Coworking Managers

Operator survey reveals the heart of coworking: community-building

This article is in an ongoing series analyzing results from the Coworks survey of coworking space operators and managers. The goal is to peel back the curtain on the day-to-day work lives of these multifaceted professionals. 

When asked "What is your favorite part of operating your coworking space?", a striking 84% said interacting with members. This response highlights the very ethos of the coworking movement: human connection. 


Now it’s very likely this response doesn’t surprise you at all. And if that’s the way you feel, I’m willing to bet you are a manager or operator or a coworking space. 

As flexible and remote work arrangements become more prevalent, many workers find themselves struggling with isolation. Coworking spaces are countercultural havens where people can combat loneliness and make genuine connections. According to a 2022 study, 71% of coworking members say they interact and network with others in their space. What's more, 64% have made valuable professional connections through their membership.

Managers play a pivotal role in cultivating community. The 2022 Deskpass U.S. Coworking Survey found that a welcoming staff and member events had the biggest impact on members' sense of community. Nearly half of respondents belonged to spaces with a dedicated community manager role. 

This emphasis on human interaction drives measurable business results as well. According to Deskmag's 2022 Global Coworking Survey, over 86% of spaces report member referrals are one of their most important sources of income. Satisfied and connected members become de facto evangelists.

Community Building Strategies for Space Operators

As many who follow Cat Johnson already know, coworking is community. But how do you create, curate, and cultivate it?



In addition to referral revenue, community drives member retention and accountability. Per the Deskpass survey, almost 70% of members said they experience peer pressure to be productive when working around others. Coworking spaces implicitly motivate members to avoid distractions and focus.

Managers find the same benefit from being embedded in their workspace community. When asked how they prefer to work, 91% said they like to be on-site at their location(s) as much as possible. Staying engaged with members keeps operators grounded in firsthand feedback.

Coworking spaces attract those craving the structure of an office environment, without the rigidity or politics of a corporate job. Members value flexibility, autonomy, and balance above all. Thus managers must carefully strike that balance between fostering social bonds and respecting personal space. 

The appeal of human-centric spaces will only grow stronger amidst digital overload and Zoom fatigue. Coworking provides refuge for the increasing number of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers seeking places where they can belong. 

Managers have a profound responsibility — and opportunity — to shape members' whole experience of work-life. The survey statistics confirm that community cultivation is the heart and soul of the operator role. Maintaining rich interpersonal connections leads to member loyalty, referrals, engagement, and retention over the long term.

The result is not just pleasant workspaces, but ecosystems where business and friendship reinforce each other. As coworking continues to expand globally, expect its emphasis on social wellbeing to disrupt both corporate real estate and work culture at large.

Stay tuned for further installments analyzing statistics on operators' daily tasks, goals, and tools from the recent survey. Understanding coworking management from the inside provides powerful glimpses into the future of work.

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