First published by DeKamer
As the pandemic required an online shift many coworking spaces had struggled with profiling and showcasing their business culture through the use of online processes. When operating a coworking space, onboarding new coworkers into a shared space is a challenging task.
Showcasing is a way for coworking spaces to make the onboarding process easier for the new coworkers. It will provide the coworkers with a feeling of confidence in their choice in the space as they have seen the culture within it. With online processing being implemented this lessens the impact of showcasing, so how can online processes be incorporated to create a friendly and warm environment for the new coworkers?
Difficulties in the onboarding process
If we take a look at the history of coworking spaces, they were developed for the hospitality industry, which made the onboarding process easy to implement. However, the onboarding process is, simultaneously, underestimated by entrepreneurs and more difficult to implement in today’s landscape as we are adapting to new digital processes.
With the implementation of legal restrictions came social changes that required the industry to be moved to an online space. This made it more difficult for coworking spaces to express their values and culture and make the space appear attractive.
As the coworking space has had to become more appropriate for current times Coworking space managers have to showcase this culture through online onboarding processes. As there is no way for the managers to immediately be aware of the message that comes across in an online space this is a new barrier they have to overcome.
That being said there are other ways for the culture and values to be communicated in media and online processes.
The onboarding process should be done in an intentional way. It needs to be done in a way that includes the potential new coworker and takes them into consideration. This will make the onboarding process quicker and more effective as it will show the new coworkers the culture and community of the cowork space.
How DeKamer solves this issue
Jeannine van der Linden has created a sense of community throughout the onboarding process of DeKamer. As some of her coworkers are digital natives they are able to easily understand the onboarding process, as she sends them a link and they follow the instructions given. This makes the process simple.
That being said, not everyone who wants to onboard with Dekamer are digital natives. There are cases where this process feels impersonal and distant. To prevent new coworkers from experiencing this Jeannine included had given them the option for the onboarding process to be done in person or together with staff. Although this option was implemented by DeKamer before the lockdown, it is still an automated process. That being said, when there were strict lockdowns being implemented Jeannine had offered her assistance to coworkers with the needed documentation, with the onboarding process by having personal calls with them to help them through the process.
In order to ensure the onboarding online process goes well, it is important to ensure that the technologies being used are user friendly. There are numerous platforms that can be implemented, some are better suited for the user, others for the onboarding process, some meet the basic needs of the onboarding process and are user friendly. The main aspect that needs to be a priority for this is that the end-user is able to use the platform.
Additionally, DeKamer ensures that it communicates its values through the models it creates. The way in which Jeannine does this is through establishing a revenue model that reflects the earnings of Dekamer coworkers. For instance, if the coworkers of DeKamer are able to afford to pay more for the space that they use, then they are making more money. Essentially if the business grows, then the space grows with it.
This is done to reflect the values that DeKamer has, one of which is that Dekamer coworkers should only pay for the space they use. This in turn makes it flexible and affordable for each person’s budget. In this way, Dekamer has a way of creating an environment where the business and space grow in unison.
Being able to have the coworkers go through the onboarding process, giving them access to offline spaces, and allowing them to feel welcome, gives them a chance to understand the coworking spaces’ culture and values. Assisting them through this process will ensure them to feel comfortable and welcomed within the space and calm the anxieties they experience when going through this process.
In order for a potential new coworker to better understand the coworking space, they need to be able to experience its cultures and values in some way. With online onboarding, this is a difficult process, but there are ways to make the process easier. To ensure that new coworkers understand the community and culture of a coworking space, going through the onboarding process with them is a way to make them feel welcomed, included, and considered.