Roles of a Co-Working Space Community Manager
What does a co-working space community manager do?
- A conduit to all things new
- A familiar, friendly face
- A mediator and a matchmaker
An active sense of community is the heart and soul of a co-working space. Members and guests of the community themselves may not be aware of it, but it’s that very spirit that makes a co-working space more than just a workplace. At the center of it all, at the heart of it, stands the co-working space community manager, breathing life and character into the otherwise mundane collection of desks and chairs. So what exactly is the role of a community manager? How does an excellent community manager contribute to unlocking the potential of a great co-working space? Read on!
A Conduit to All Things New
A community manager brings people together by discovering what the guests and members need and feel, then whipping up something new and exciting that can connect and intersect them. This creates a living, breathing community more than anything else.
Creating events tailor-made for different reasons is a primary job for a CM. It can be to ease stress as a collective like happy hour, gripe-releasing sessions, board game hosting, or morning yoga. It can also be to pool thinking minds together like lunch-and-learns or idea sharing activities. This also encourages new prospective members to seamlessly join the community via a public event. A community manager is not a pencil pusher, but a “people connector”, and the best way to do that is by bringing something new to the table for everyone to share.
A Familiar, Friendly Face
You know that friendly barkeep in those popular adventure stories, who seems to lead you to all the right people and tip you on where to go next? That’s pretty much what a community manager is. His or her demeanor also sets the tone for what kind of a group and what vibe the place has. That can be the deciding factor whether a guest wants to sign up to be there regularly or find his or her place in the community.
If any member or guest needs help with whatever trouble they’re having, they know exactly who to turn and run to; someone who’s guaranteed to solve their smallest problem. That’s your community manager. He or she is ready to assist and to extend a helping hand even before the need arises — always with a warm, welcoming smile. If there are also those who need to find a particular person with a certain skill set or service, they can turn to the “friendly barkeep” to connect them to someone in that field. Problem solved!
Eventually, they will feel a sense of belonging in a safe space where they can be as natural and as candid as they are. This also means that they’ll keep coming back.
A Mediator and Matchmaker
A co-working space has a very strong emphasis on its prefix ‘co’, which means that it’s a shared communal space. As you can tell, any group of people stuck together in one place for a duration of time, especially for extended periods, can lead to some friction and misunderstanding. Even more so when everyone is stressing out about deadlines, deliverables and client demands. And that’s where a community manager steps in and alleviates the tension, ready to find reasonable compromises and ways to settle disputes without disrupting the flow of work.
On the flip side, a co-working community manager knows (or is always eager to get to know) all the people going in and out of the facility, whether they are first-timers or long-time regulars. Adding that extra touch and effort goes a long way into creating new relationships within the member circles that may form into greater ventures, to larger teams and dreams. For the co-working space, a CM retains those connections (and ideally, friendships), checking up on where they are in life or what they need, and exploring new opportunities to help. In turn, a CM will be able to market and expand the customer base with a never-ending network of people who share the same interests and goals.
A community manager is a person of the people. An outgoing extrovert with a pulse for what’s new, everyone’s trusted friend and ally; the glue that holds and balances the new community. Seems like a lot to ask of someone, but with the right kind of person, you can build and connect a network of people that are willing to create and develop together in a new-found home – and to that point, it’s a very rewarding experience and an amazing, worthwhile accomplishment for anyone.