For Coworking Day 2018, I wrote an open letter to community managers.
They are the heartbeat of coworking, they have an almost-impossible job, and they deserve our undying praise and gratitude. So don’t forget to say thank you to the people who run your coworking space today.
This year, I decided to share a glimpse into what I love about coworking—not from a big picture view, but in a single moment.
- I was greeted this morning with three hugs.
- Earlier today, I had a heart-to-heart with a fellow member about anxiety-reducing strategies.
- I have a quick question for our in-house SBDC advisor, who I’ll likely see later today. Last week I met with him for an hour to go over next steps for my business. For free. Just down the hall.
- Our mug wall includes Hello Kitty, Stumptown Coffee, handmade ceramic creations, one from local social purpose marketing agency and an enormous NextSpace stein that’s been floating around forever.
- When I go to an off-site meeting later today, I’ll leave all my stuff in the space.
- We have an inflatable unicorn with a rainbow mane on top of our fridge.
- Our beer fridge includes several varieties of sparkling water.
- Bennett’s “What Do You Want?” question is in the main hallway where it serves as a reminder every day to focus on what is real and not get caught up in a chase.
- We have a rotating art show in our hallways.
- Ed, a fellow member, has his amazing metal art all around the space.
- We have a conference room just down the hall that has everything three friends and I need for an impromptu video project later this week.
- Of the 12 people in my immediate vicinity, I’ve collaborated with seven of them in the past year.
- Our fridge has half and half, soy creamer, coconut creamer, milk, almond milk and a few other options.
- There’s a statue of Kwan Yin next to me and four small, orange, stuffed moose staring at me.
- I’ll likely take a mid-day mental health stroll with Sue. Sometimes these walks end at the beach.
- Our podcast room has mics, tripods, an o-ring light and sound-absorbing foam.
- Our member wall is a reminder of where we’ve all been, and where we’re going.
- Our washroom is designated by a pirate flag. This is a long-running NextSpace tradition that I adore.
- I may have teared up during a recent conversation about authenticity and vulnerability with Iris.
- Jules and I just looked up, caught each others’ eye and, at the same time asked, “You good?”
- After that, I waxed poetic for a while about the joys of analog music and record pressing plants. Jules smiled, nodded and agreed that records were/are the best.
- We have a three-hole paper punch, which you don’t really need…until you do.
- Many days people bring snacks to share. Today there was homemade sourdough bread.
Honestly, this post could go on forever. In another hour or two, I’ll have 23 more things I love about coworking right now.
Coworking is a way of being. It’s how we spend our days. It’s how we choose to move through our work.
Our coworking community has very little to do with our actual building. If we could no longer use this building, our community would just move to wherever we were going next.
If you’re a coworking space operator, spend less time fixating on the design of your space and more time participating in your community.
If you’re looking for a coworking space, don’t look for the most fabulous space, find the one that feels like your home community. Design aesthetic matters, but after a couple of months, it won’t matter that much.
What will matter is the circle of people you surround yourself with.
Find the community that inspires you and that you can contribute to.
Then get to work doing your life.
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