I’m seeing a growing focus on hotel models to define coworking.
And I have some thoughts.
In terms of giving travelers a way to vet, rate and easily access workspace on-demand, the hotel model works great.
My home coworking brand has a number of spaces and I use most of them.
But here’s where the hotel model falls apart:
Hotels focus on travelers.
This fails to account for the members who are in your space five days a week, year in and year out.
Most members are not like me—hopping around to different spaces.
Most members want to lock in to a space they love, and work.
The industry should adopt useful aspects of the hotel model, including standards and ratings, hospitality, get-in-where-you-fit-in pricing and easy access to a network of spaces.
But don’t overlook your most valuable differentiator: the members who activate your space.
All the amenities in the world can’t bring a boring space to life.
That takes people, humanness and a mutually supportive community.
You can’t buy that.
You have to build it.
I might be willing to work in a boring space for a day or two, but I’m not willing to go to a boring space every day.
I’ve had that experience and it was miserable.
As things take off in the workspace industry, remember that community is not soft or woo woo or an afterthought.
It’s your highest priority.
If you’re not already hyper focused on your community, start now.
Because as coworking explodes, unactivated spaces will get left behind.