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.

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.

Booking cancellation periods, invoice previews, invoice numbers

Last week we added a few smaller features:

Booking calendar

Resources in the booking calendar can now have a cancellation period. This allows you to prevent members from canceling/changing bookings up to x hours before the booking starts. If you have a lot of people booking your conference rooms and canceling in the last minute this might help. To enable go to Setup -> Booking Calendar -> add/edit a resource and fill out the cancellation period field.

Invoices

Want to know in advance how much a member is going to be charged with their next invoice? Just go to the member’s page, open the invoicing drop down and click preview next invoice – voilá.

You can now customize the format of invoice numbers. For example if you have multiple locations and you want to prefix the invoice number with the location go to Setup -> Invoice Settings and fill out the invoice number format field, for example entering NYC-1000 will format your numbers as NYC-1000, NYC-1001 etc.

New white-label features: custom colors, copy and domains

We just released a bundle of new features that lets coworking spaces customize their Cobot account in order to retain their brand when members interact with Cobot. These features are available as part of our new pro plans.

Custom Look

Coworking spaces can now customize the colors and fonts of their site on Cobot to match their logo/brand:

The Port Workspaces on Cobot. See more examples

Custom Copy

All emails Cobot sends out to members can be customized in order to match your tone and style. They can also be sent from your own email address.

Custom Domains

To make the white-label package complete your members can access Cobot from your own domain, so instead of having to go to co-up.cobot.me (our own coworking space) they can visit members.co-up.de.

With these customizations combined Cobot becomes completely invisible to your coworkers and they only recognize and communicate with you.

The customization features are available on our new pro plans only, starting with the Bronze plan from $95/month. During your 30 day free trial, customizations are available, too.

To try it out sign up for a free trial and then go to Setup -> Customizations.

Deposits and signup fees

We just added an often-requested features: to be able to charge new members a fee, either for a deposit or a signup fee.

Before you had to manually create a charge every time a new member signed up. This was of course not very convenient and also error-prone. What you can do now instead is configure an automatic charge on a per-plan basis.

To add the charge add or edit a plan and scroll down to the signup charge section in the basic settings tab. Enter an amount and a description – from now on new members choosing this plan will have a charge added to their account, which will in turn be added to their first invoice.

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