cobot news

the one tool you need to run your coworking space

www.cobot.me

cobot was created to free coworking space managers from mundane tasks, giving them the time to do what is important: attending to their coworkers.

Google Calendar Integration

We’ve had some basic calendar syncing for a while, but now we’ve completely rewritten it and make it at least 500% better.

Our new Google Calendar integration:

  • Synchronizes your Cobot booking calendar with Google Calendar - both ways
  • Bookings made on Cobot are synchronized within seconds, the other way round it’s at most a 10 minute delay
  • Is super easy to set up. Just go to the add-on and make a few clicks - that’s it.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

P.S. if you’ve been using the old calendar sync add-on please turn it off and use the new one

Better wifi integraton: The Netbox

We’re proud to announce a new partnership: Linewize provides internet access control and monitoring for businesses and the education sector - and now for coworking spaces using Cobot.

Together we’ve created the Netbox, a network device that you plug into your existing network. Without any configuration you can get started within minutes.

With the Netbox you control who has internet access: members have to log in with their Cobot account. If they’re not a member, if they don’t have enough time passes they can’t get online.

In addition the Netbox tracks attendance: see how many people come to your space, at what time, how often etc.

Key Benefits

Freedom to be friendly

No more being tied to the reception desk or concern over coworkers payment status. The Netbox lets you enjoy running your space as much as your coworkers enjoy using it.

True wisdom is knowing your space

Coworkers’ time online directly represents their time on site. Use this information to optimise space use, tune membership plans or even oversell space based on measured capacity.

Understand Internet usage

The Netbox allows coworking spaces to measure internet use per coworker. Spaces that pay for data can keep a watchful eye on consumed data and have a friendly word to coworkers who torrent movies.

Spontaneous, accurate billing

With the Netbox managing your WiFi access you can skip pre-bookings and advance payments and simply charge coworkers for their actual use of the space.

Integration that just works

The Cobot Netbox simply installs between your existing firewall and your WiFi access points. Create a Cobot account and you’re done. No RADIUS, no PFSense, no configuration, no hassles.

Pricing

The Netbox costs $220 (includes worldwide shipping) plus a monthly charge depending on your Cobot plan.

Use it now

To experience how the Cobot Netbox can make the task of managing your coworking space easier, log in to your Cobot account and go to Setup -> Wifi Integration.

Mailchimp Newsletter Integration

Mailchimp is a service that lets you easily send great-looking newsletters and track how well they perform.

And their mascot is pretty handsome. Like ours.

Cobot now integrates with Mailchimp, automatically adding new members to Mailchimp mailing lists as they sign up. This way your members don’t have to sign up twice and you don’t have to add them manually anymore.

To connect your Mailchimp account to your space on Cobot visit the Mailchimp Add-on and follow the instructions.

It only takes a few seconds to get your mailing list filled up.

Prepaid Booking Passes

Is your space frequented by business travelers and knowmads who come in irregularly? Our new prepaid option allows you to offer flexible booking while avoiding an end-of-the-month billing with members who may not be around for that long.

We call this new feature prepaid booking passes and they allow your most flexible flex workers to preorder their favorite green meeting room or that cool desk with a monitor and pay you immediately.

How about a 10-hour pass for one of the small meeting rooms? That could be great for freelancers who prefer to stay flexible who only need a room for the occasional client meeting.

Prepaid bookings can be used with any of your booking calendar resources and are based on your members’ plans. Once signed up, your members can buy booking passes and start using them immediately to make bookings.

To set up prepaid bookings passes, go to Setup -> Plans -> Add plan -> Bookings. For step-by-step instructions, take a look at our prepaid booking passes guide.

Buy time passes during signup

New members on a day pass/drop-in plan can now buy time passes during signup. Previously they had to wait until an admin confirmed them before they could buy any passes. Our new solution makes the process much simpler and easier to understand.

We’ve added a few fields to the signup form that let new members specify how many time passes they would like to buy:

After they hit the signup button, an email goes out to an admin to confirm them (or they could be automatically confirmed - contact us). When the membership is confirmed the requested time passes are automatically assigned and also invoiced and charged for immediately. You’re welcome.

You live, you learn… How to Manage a Coworking Space


As you start up your coworking space and develop it over the first few months and years, you definitely learn as you go. However, while it is certainly useful to make your own mistakes and learn from practice, it never hurts to prepare well and get off to a good start!

Alternatively, if you are already up and running, but feel like some processes could be made more efficient or user-friendly, it might be handy to benefit from the resources and experience of others.

Therefore, we have launched a new page especially for you! Check out learn.cobot.me and broaden your knowledge of topics such as:

  • Payment methods
  • Business plans
  • Invoicing
  • Membership formats
  • Security & Access control
  • Service agreements

In addition, you can submit suggestions for new topics or set up a personal coworking consultation session at support@cobot.me. On the start page, you can also subscribe to receive any new topics in your inbox.

Avoid any unpleasant surprises or commonly made mistakes. Cover your bases and ensure that your coworking space is running smoothly, efficiently and happily! ;-)

Per member activity feed

When you log in to Cobot as an admin the first thing you see is the activity stream which shows you what’s going on in your space. Which new members signed up, who changed their plan, did those failed payments finally go through?

Especially with larger spaces a lot can be going on. If you’re looking for something specific prepare for a bit of scrolling.

Well, we just added a shortcut for that. If you know the member you are looking for just go to their page and scroll down. There you will find all activities related to that member. You are welcome.

File uploads for member questions

After recently adding single/multple choice options to our member questions here’s another one: file uploads.

If you need members to upload more photos, an ID or a license, PDFs etc. – now you can.

Just go to Setup -> Member Questions and add a question with the type File upload.

Cristina is moving on - About learning and growing

As you probably heard, Cristina, our one-woman sales team for the past 2.5 years, is moving on. Her reasons, views on Cobot, and future plans you can read in her own words. With this post I like to say thanks to Cris, praise what she has done for our customers, Cobot, and us but also reflect a bit.

race boats

When she broke the news to us that she wants to move on, it came out of the blue. It made me sad to hear and I felt like we failed as an employer. But after some time spent thinking about it, I don’t see it like that anymore. I actually think it was the other way around: we were too successful in a way. Let me elaborate: as you can see in Cris’ posts, we allow our team a lot of freedom. What we want in return is that this freedom is used to for personal growth, and Cris grew quite fast.

I still remember the energetic and slightly chaotic person who applied for the new sales job back in 2012. The fact that she left Spain and her old job behind just like that showed us that she is a person who takes things into her own hands. After she learned the basic ins and outs of coworking and cobot, she quickly provided new input, not only marketing and PR but also improvements that we could make to cobot itself.

She took care of our first steps when localizing/translating cobot into Spanish, collected and relayed feedback from our customers, helped improve the on-boarding process, worked with us on the long term vision of cobot, and made sure that we share our learning within our own coworking space.

During her time with us, she ventured out into other fields, became active within RailsGirlsBerlin and the CoworkingWiki, did business development gigs on the side, all while taking in all the knowledge she could get through books, conferences, and meetups.

She also brought in a lot to learn for us: I took examples from how she successfully built her professional online identity, and her recommendation of "The Personal MBA" started me off on a reading spree about human behavior and biases.

As it is with small teams, there is a good chance that your work relationship can grow a little more familiar, so we also had some good nights out dancing in Berlin clubs and a great sailing trip last summer.

The chaos is gone from the Cristina I know today, whose determination and focus are still paired with immense energy.

Along the way came the point at which she obviously outgrow cobot, simply because she grew faster than cobot itself. This is another lesson for me: sustainable growth sometimes can not match pace with the personal growth of a person.

So here we are now, looking for somebody new who is hungry to learn, improve, and grow further with us, cobot, and our customers.

— Thilo

Better surveys

When new members sign up for your space Cobot can ask them a few questions on your behalf. A lot of spaces use this to ask for things like profession, social media accounts or to just get to know their prospective members better.

Until today all questions had to be answered in a text field. Now we are adding drop-downs and checkboxes. For example if you are asking which neighborhood someone is coming from instead of them having to enter it by hand you can give them a drop-down with all the neighborhoods. Not only does this make it faster to fill out the survey, it also makes it easier for you when analyzing the results as the data will be more accurate.

To set up your own survey go to Setup -> Member Questions.

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