Building a Coworking Community: Membership & fulfillment of needs

Creative business people in coworking office

 

Coworking spaces can be a great way to broaden networks. Yet not all coworking spaces put as much effort and focus into building a community around their space as they would like to. The coworking spaces that are building a community know how valuable it can be. But it’s still a challenge to build a proper community. mr.Watson helps to solve this problem and allows you to easily create a coworking community. We built a platform for spaces to strengthen the network, and we have gathered a lot of knowledge while building it.

In the next few months we will publish a serie of articles around our findings, ideas and questions from the world of coworking spaces. With over 2.5 years experience in the field of creating better communities, and over 3000 members within these communities, we are happy to share what we have learned so far. Starting with the information we found asking ourselves what a community is an when people feel a part of a community

An effectively managed coworking community gives members the feeling that they belong to something bigger than themselves or their small company, a community in which:

+ Their voice is heard
+ Each member’s abilities are valued and utilized synergistically
+ The desire for purpose and fulfillment are met
+ Practical tools and systems are in place that promote the community’s success

Needless to say, when membership in the community is embraced by employees who experience the traits listed above, it is a win-win situation for both them and their employer.

Successful coworking communities are built through individuals who embrace the community because it meets essential personal and professional needs. Here is a look at how implementing a coworking platform facilitates this process.

Membership: Creating a Sense of Belonging
A wealth of empirical data has borne out what might be obvious about human nature. Everyone desires:

+ To be a member of a community that gives them identity
+ To be valued and to have influence within the community regardless of their position
+ To receive benefit from their involvement
+ To enjoy the shared history and emotional connection that results from doing something meaningful with others

McMillan and Chavis, in their highly regarded 1986 research study, state that these principles are essential to forming a sense of community that provides benefits to those within the group.

These are the scientific underpinnings of the unique approach to developing coworking communities that people are eager to identify with as members. When implemented in coworking space, individual business owners and small companies, like disconnected islands, are brought together to form a continent where relationships, communication and mutual growth occur.

In such a community, all benefit from the ideas, vision, knowledge, passion, talent and experience that each has to offer. Relationships and trust are forged. Classic synergy occurs to form a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts.

Fulfillment of Needs is the base
While effective coworking starts with membership and buying into its purposes, it can only be successful in the long term when the benefits to involvement are tangible.

In communities, the advantages are practical, professional and personal.

Practical: There has to be a solid basis; it is difficult to create a community in your space when the basic needs aren’t met. Platform apps streamline the logistics of many companies sharing facilities. Communities can use features like a Bookable app, which makes it easy to reserve a meeting room, workspace, equipment and other shared assets.

Professional: The opportunities for growth and the mutual fulfillment of needs are endless. For example, a graphic design firm working in community with an advertising company offers obvious mutual benefit. Throw an IT company, startup consultants and a legal firm into the workspace too, and the advantageous connections are multiplied. A community platform nurtures the organic formation of relationships that grow into mastermind communities of ideas, inspiration, innovation and success.

The relationships can be facilitated with features like a meetup app or messenger, and you’ll know who to reach out to by accessing member profiles. Each profile includes a picture, contact information, social media links, about info, skills & expertise and team members & company. It’s like LinkedIn personalized to your coworking community.

Personal: When people are working together cooperatively, relationships are formed that also enhance their personal lives. A coworking platform doesn’t replace human connection, but rather facilitates and enhances interaction. This is done through the creation of a private social network that grows healthy community.

The interaction can be as simple as two members from different companies getting re-energized over coffee or as involved as large groups from several firms meeting socially on the weekend to pursue mutual interests. At Mr. Watson we have learned that the complexities of getting people together are dramatically simplified when using a coworking platform.

Conclusion
Whether your purpose is to start a coworking network or to maximize the benefits of an existing community, a coworking platform is the proven choice. Using an approach rooted in Sense of Community theory, a platform will help you achieve demonstrable results in building a community to enhance engagement, performance, success and satisfaction for all

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