“Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.”
― Henry Mintzberg
A physical space that promotes productivity and an environment that cultivates collaboration entices people to opt a coworking space. At least, at first. What keeps the members coming back, again and again? The community manager!
It is the many tasks the community manager juggles, rather beautifully, that retains people and knits a closely-linked community. Anyone who has ever stepped inside a shared workspace, especially in a bustling metropolitan like Mumbai, knows this. What is shrouded in mystery is the precise role of a community manager, which we uncover here.
Who Is A Community Manager?
What’s the difference between a barely managed office space and a thriving coworking area? A community manager. He (or she, we’re not biased) is a person who a) runs the space b) builds relationships and c) nurtures the environment. A community manager tends to be extrovert who loves networking. Their primary goal is to create a harmonious ecosystem where people feel comfortable and involved.
More often than not, a manager is an individual who has had some experience in a service sector like hospitality. Why? Well, because that’s where they learn the value of ‘stickiness,’ i.e., how to generate connections between people and persuade them to keep returning.
The Role Of A Community Manager: The Hats They Don
The position of a coworking community manager changes with the drop of a hat. One minute they are keeping track of inventory and another they are organising an event. But under it all, they have a singular goal – to grasp synergies between members and use it to their advantage.
1. The Dull But Essential…
… day to day roles.
It takes a lot of work to command an office. A lot. And when the space caters to a plethora of professionals, the work increases manifold. The community manager’s job is to anticipate the daily needs of the members and accomplish them. Just a few of the essential tasks essential they fulfil are:
- Ordering supplies
- Collecting the mail
- Tracking the inventory
- Organising and restocking the pantry
- Maintaining desks, conference rooms and other areas
2. The Creative And Crucial…
… customer service.
The community manager has to go the extra mile so that the digital nomads who fill the coworking space are content and happy. To achieve the goal, they will answer phones, distribute post and even water the greens. Hospitality is the very heart of the community manager’s position, a handful of creative functions this involves are:
- Greeting and interacting with members
- Assisting individual on membership management, AV setups or tech problems
Flexibility is key here. The manager serves as a receptionist, a concierge and a general factotum.
3. The Fun And Important…
Free day passes, trial runs and scheduled tours are other mantles a shared workspace manager wears. They are the ones responsible for acquiring new members. They do so by:
- Giving tours
- Answering questions
- Following up leads through emails and calls
The task is not limited to entertaining walk-ins and showcasing the working area, it requires vetting potential clients. It is the community manager’s duty to find the right mix of freelancers, entrepreneurs and companies who will fit into the community, derive value from it and appreciate collaborating.
4. The Dynamic But Mandatory …
… marketing and promotion.
Before a community manager can sell a coworking place to a potential client, they have to generate awareness. If people don’t hear about the shared working space, how will they find it? Ergo, the community manager is also the marketing brains or rather the social media expert in this digital age. To get the word out there, the manager:
- Blogs about the shared workplace
- Publishes images, videos and articles on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter
Advertising, promoting and generating interest is all in a day’s work for them.
5. The Loved And Valued…
… hosted events.
If collaboration made coworking popular, then events made it fashionable. And it is the function of the community manager to plan, schedule, organise and host events that bring value to the members. From quick breakfasts to learning lunches to happy hours on Fridays, the events run the whole gamut. Within this role, the manager is tasked with:
- Cooking up creative ideas for social gatherings
- Hosting learning events that add skills to the members
Besides relevant and appealing activities, the manager has to make sure that connections are made during them.
6. The Last But Definitely Not The Least…
… building a community.
Fostering a strong community. Cultivating symbiotic relationships. Generating a sense of unity. Every role, task and service a community manager performs is directed to accomplish it. After all, the very title has the word ‘community’ in it.
A manager takes time out from an already busy day and personally learns the names of new members. They spend a minute or two to catch up with existing members. If an individual is too shy to take the first step, it is the manager who makes the requisite introductions. If a person has not been attending events or participating in the community, the manager encourages them to do so.
All in all, the community manager has the work cut out for them when it comes to sustaining the community.
Everything Fits Under The Umbrella Of A Community Manager
The work, a community manager, performs has an enormous influence on the shared working place. Their duties may appear to be limited to basic operations and logistics, but the responsibility they have extend far beyond it. The part they play touches every corner of client experience.
Each day in a coworking is different. So, each day, the hat the community manager dons, differs. Nevertheless, at any given point, they are working on dozens of projects while maintaining the vibe of the space.
To sum up, the core roles of a coworking space manager are sales, communication, membership, community building, hosting events, etc. You could say that a community manager is the soul of a coworking space!
If you are looking for a coworking space in Mumbai, get in touch with us at WorkWise!