Coworking spaces have seen a dramatic rise in popularity in recent years. While demand is growing, competition is also fierce with 15,500 coworking spaces operating across the globe. It is increasingly important to set differentiate your serviced office and to provide high standards in service for your members.
Properly staffing your shared workspace will help to ensure the longevity of your business. Your coworking metrics will improve - more prospects will become members, churn will be low, events will be well run and you will become an economic engine for your local community.
Since many coworking spaces are not yet profitable, to keep overhead low, you can only hire very limited staffing. Therefore, it is important to have great people performing the right roles. Having worked with hundreds of coworking spaces, we've found three positions that are required to facilitate a strong community and healthy business. If you are doing everything yourself, or you do not have great leaders in these positions, you might want to reconsider your human resource strategy.
1. Community Manager
The community manager is the linchpin of everything. They help shape the office culture of the coworking space. He or she builds, improves and manages relationships between members and prospects and creates harmony in the workplace. At the same time, because members will have a personal relationship with the community manager, they are the point of contact when a conference room is not ready for use or the printer is not working.
This face of your business is typically extroverted and has excellent communication skills. They are a self-thinker and great at multitasking. A community manager's responsibilities will include:
- Facilitating connections between members. This begins by understanding member company goals during orientation and regular check-ins with everyone who works in the space.
- Membership sales
- Organizing group activities such as happy hours and networking events
- Selling outside events to utilize and monetize conference rooms and other large spaces
2. Operations Manager
Your operations manager is responsible for improving the efficiency of administrative, program, and financial operations to ensure long-term success. On a daily basis, they are troubleshooting anything that might arise which has a negative impact on the member experience.
The right person for this position will be an A+ at tactical execution. They will be great with tasks prioritization and management, highly organized, be strategic in putting long-term solutions into place and have strong communication skills. Responsibilities for this position might include:
- Collecting and analyzing performance data
- Building performance improvement strategies
- Managing daily operations
- Documenting cases and resolutions
- Empathizing with members
3. Sales Manager
Ultimately, the financial viability of your shared workspace depends on generating revenue while you minimize overhead. The sales manager will be responsible for client relations and property management. The right person for the position will be detail-oriented, adaptable and strive for excellence. Responsibilities include:
- Networking and becoming a part of your local community to build a stream of long-term leads
- Online and in-person to lead generation
- Accounts payable and accounts receivable
- Organizing prospective member events. The community manager should help execute these events.
- Maintaining relationships with key vendors, for example, your landlord
Support Your Staff with Coworking Software
With a great staff - and especially if you are still building an All-Star team - coworking software will ensure everything works smoothly. This will allow your low headcount to focus on building your coworking community.
Coworking space management system automate many back office aspects of running your space. You should also automated productivity-sucking tasks with a visitor check-in app, mail and package log app and conference room management. These products also provide real-time data and analytics so that you can access, evaluate, and modify each area of business processes instantly.
If you are like many coworking space operators, you got into the business to support and be part of your local community. In order to achieve those results, you can try to do everything yourself. However you are more likely to succeed if you surround yourself with a great team and give them responsibility for results. Supporting your team and community with the right software will increase the odds of a thriving coworking community.