An Open Letter to Community Managers


From my NextSpace Santa Cruz days: Maya, me and Jennifer. I was so fortunate to be a member of a coworking community run by these amazing women. And huge props to NextSpace Santa Cruz OG community managers Iris Kavanagh and Grace Gamboa, who set the tone early for what a coworking community could be. Photo: Jules Holdsworth

Originally published August 9, 2018

Dear community managers,

In case no one has told you in a while, you are the BEST!

Without you, this whole coworking thing would fall apart.

You freaking rule!

When I was a guest on a big webinar and was having trouble with the internet, who was there troubleshooting the ethernet connection and keeping me calm? You were, my friend!

And what about those happy hours we all roll into without much thought. Who organizes them and feeds and waters us week after week, year after year? You do, love!

You handle messes with smarts and humor.

And don’t even get me started on all the finesse you regularly have to muster to deal with the more challenging members of the coworking world.

I know it can be frustrating, and sometimes boring, and sometimes infuriating. So much of what you do goes unnoticed. If all is well in the space, and we members are just happily doing what we need to do, that’s because of you.

The fact that the fridge always has my favorite creamer? You make that happen.

The clever, somewhat snarky signage reminding us to wash our damn dishes? Your creativity shines like a thousand suns.

Those weekly whiteboard questions that usually provide a quick laugh (or sometimes sweet tear) and help us get to know one another? All you, mate.

You balance badass, cruise director, networker extraordinaire and all around kind/thoughtful/fun person, and you do it with style and flair.

Your knack for connecting people has led to more collaborations and friendships than we could ever count.

When everyone panics about the wifi going down, you handle that shit and get us back up, stat!

Your cool under pressure is a sight to behold.

You make tours—which you’ve done 500 times—fresh and fun every damn time. It’s grace in action.

That art you gave me? I’ll treasure it forever.

We never run out of toilet paper, or coffee, or bandaids, or aspirin, or laughs.

And sometimes you bake us cookies. OMG! Who are you?

Seriously, I marvel at your awesomeness every single day.

The way you rock the moment, whether it’s a memorial for one of our beloved members, a group bike ride, a lunch and learn, or one of our off-the-hook holiday parties, is awe-inspiring.

That chat last week when we got vulnerable and talked about what was really going on in our lives? Pure gold.

I probably don’t tell you enough, but I’m so grateful for you.

So, so, so, SO grateful for you.

I’ve worked in spaces where the community manager is little more than a statue at the front desk and, I can tell you, the space suffers because of it.

There are plenty of spaces where the community manager game is weak, and turnover is high.

I get that we’re among the lucky ones to have engaged, awesome humans running our space.

You are the face and maestro of our community. You handle all the todos and todon’ts so we can handle our businesses.

Seriously, I appreciate you every day and, on behalf of the global coworking movement, thank you soooo much!

Further together,

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