- Community managers are often the unsung heroes that really make or break a coworking space.
- Without someone on the pulse of what is happening in a space, the culture can spiral into negativity.
- Community managers support and empower the community and enable the space to differentiate in a competitive market.
As I reflect on this past year’s experiences of working out of coworking and shared workspaces in the US, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Hungary, a few spaces come to mind due to their phenomenal community managers.
Within flexible workspaces, I find that most of the time we focus on the design, the location, the companies owning the spaces, and the members doing really cool things. The community managers can be the unsung heroes and drivers of a space that can make or break it.
A community manager can single-handedly maintain and grow a space’s membership, reduce turnover, and even has the opportunity to improve all members’ personal and professional lives.
What Makes a Great Community Manager? Why Does it Even Matter?
This person or group of people helps connect the community of the space, they make sure the coffee is flowing, the space is clean, and manage or take care of countless other responsibilities. With so many responsibilities, the community manager is oftentimes a part of almost all daily activities in a space or is at least the most public face to the members for support, questions or concerns.
As members of a workspace interact with each other, a community manager can also help to maintain the values of a place, the organization(s) within in, and the people involved. Without someone on the pulse of what is happening in a space it can evolve into something that was not intended, oftentimes negative.
The right community manager can come from many types of backgrounds and locations. Their roles are quite similar whether they are in a shared workspace or within a traditional company office. They support and empower the community as a whole, bring people together, eliminate friction, and protect the space as a safe workspace for its diverse members.
Two Values Every Community Manager Must Instill
Ever since the first coworking space I was a member of, I have seen 2 values that a good community manager needs to instill no matter where they are in the world:
- Focus on making small improvements on a daily basis.
- Monitor the space and ensure that all members feel safe and that the culture is where it needs to be.
As more people become a part of the shared workspace and coworking industry and spaces become more diverse, these values of a community manager will be even more important.
In the coming weeks, I will be putting together a series of articles diving into the backgrounds, needs, desires, and trends of community managers from around the world. I will be covering the good and the bad, bringing to light successful traits, common challenges and opportunities for improving the experience and future of this group of people within our industry.
What do you think? How would you describe your community manager? What makes a successful community manager? Do you think we should spotlight a community manager in your space? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.