10 Coworking Aspirations for 2020
Every new year is an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve been doing and what we could be doing better. That’s why we’ve put together a few of the things we’ll be working towards over the next year (and the next decade). We hope you’ll join us!
1. A continuing effort for accessibility
There’s no such thing as an accessible/not-accessible binary. There’s a constant need to develop our systems, both physical ones and structural ones, to improve accessibility. Last decade we saw specialized coworking spaces for women, working parents, different levels of mobility and needs, and indigenous communities, among others. What lessons can your space learn from the ways that they have pushed accessible design forward? And what can you add to the conversation?
2. Growing federations and alliances of independent coworking spaces
Over the past ten years, the conversation around coworking has been dominated by the influence of giants like WeWork, CBRE, Knotel, and other international corporations. But the implosion of WeWork has opened up a golden opportunity to reclaim coworking from the ground up. We want to see independent spaces can pool their resources to match the financial and logistical weight of the corporate giants. Which get to my next aspiration…
3. Turning the WeWork saga into a new coworking narrative
Many people were first exposed to coworking via WeWork. Which made it all the more devastating when their very public financial trouble became a proxy for coworking as a whole. The flip-side is that now independent spaces have a new opportunity to define what coworking is by sharing their stories and filling the void left in the wake of WeWork’s vacancies.
4. Maximizing every space’s potential
Alongside accessibility, how can we improve the resources available for members? And do you have resources for your members’ mental well-being? We spend many of our waking hours in our workplace, it shouldn’t isolate us, but rather uplift us. What things are you planning to increase the positive effects of your space? If you’re looking for some ideas, Ashley Davis from Coworking Resources wrote a guest piece on our blog about maximizing your space.
5. Pushing for sustainability
We’ve all seen half-measures before, we might have even made them ourselves. “We’re looking into ways to reduce our emissions by 2050” is no longer an acceptable stance for anyone to take. The planet is in crisis and coworking spaces are well-situated to make a positive impact. Have you looked into ways that you can get involved, both in your space and in your community? The time is now.
6. Expanding into the countryside
The big cities have not reached saturation, according to the research we’ve seen; but they are well-serviced. Suburban and rural areas, however, have an enormous gap in demand vs. supply. As smaller towns lose services that are essential in a functioning community, coworking has the opportunity to enrich and support the communities that we came from. We want to see coworking become a positive force in the working and social lives of people around the world, regardless of how big their community is.
7. Breaking out of our comfort zones
It’s a natural impulse to develop routines and stick with them, but it’s a shame that this impulse prevents us from visiting nearly as many coworking spaces as we’d like! It’s also an impulse that herds us into thinking that because something is difficult, it’s not worth the effort. Is there a new design idea you’ve had for your space? Why not start putting it together? Been meaning to run a new networking event, but worries that no one will show up? Just do it! If it doesn’t work out, it’s fine. But there are so many great ideas that ever come to fruition because no one ever took that first step.
8. Engaging with the community
You probably never stopped doing this. And that’s great! But it’s never a bad time to remember where we came from, who’s around us, and evaluate our impact on the community. What is your neighborhood struggling with? Have your community members been dealing with new problems? See what you can improve and what you can develop for the new year.
9. Thinking long-term
Too often we get bogged down in the day-to-day, and it prevents us from achieving the things that would make us healthier, happier, and more successful in the long-term. It’s a “next week” problem, except that next week you’re equally busy with the small stuff. Set aside some time, either daily or in large blocks, to focus on solving the big issues and putting the big plans into motion. You won’t regret it.
10. Finding time for what matters
If someone asks why you got involved in coworking, you probably wouldn’t say: “Because I love digging through spreadsheets.” It’s about the members! Take a minute to appreciate the hard work you’ve put in and think about ways to reclaim your time.
Have any thoughts you’d like to share, or any resolutions of your own? Let us know and we can feature you on our blog!
If you aren’t already using Cobot as your coworking management software, give it a go! You’ll find that our features can help you run your coworking space more effectively and grow your community. Just sign up for a free trial or a live demo session. And if you have questions, our support team is all ears!