Networking attractions for tenants of flexible office concepts
One of the key features of coworking offices is the large concentration of companies and entrepreneurs from various industries. This can result in the development of effective networking. To make the best use of the potential of a coworking community, the working environment must encourage frequent interactions. After the debut of serviced and coworking offices on the Polish market, we are seeing a growing range of networking events and recreational activities organized for tenants of such offices.
The most interesting range of after-work activities that coworking offices have to offer are for those tenants who require a less formal working environment – including companies from the creative and new technology industries. Examples include concepts such as Mindspace, Brain Embassy and Spaces, with the latter soon to be launched. Common spaces that facilitate informal meetings, coffee islands, soothing music are all elements that encourage common activities outside the walls of a private office.
The arrangement and design of co-working offices differ significantly from a typical office environment and encourage evening events with an authentic atmosphere that encourages employees to remain in the office even after working hours.
Opening a co-working space triggers positive associations with a place where one can have a bit of fun after work. For example, during the inauguration of the Brain Embassy in Warsaw, the soon-to-be office turned into a club with a DJ, live music and refreshments.
Coworking offers include not only meetings “after hours”, but also frequent get-togethers during breakfast and lunch as well.
Community Managers, who take care of developing non-business offers, create these events. However, tenants also have a great impact on the life of the office as they can also propose and organize such occasions on their own. In order to facilitate communication, offices create their own mobile phone applications that allow you to stay up to date with life “after hours”, sign up for events and establish contacts in the community.
The repertoire includes business events as well as cultural and recreational initiatives. However, there is a marked dominance of business-related events - guest lectures and workshops as well as events carried out on the initiative of tenants These include business-mixers, business speed-dating and mentor matchmaking. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly popular to use coworking space for weekend hackathon sessions in the IT industry as well as start-up marathons, which encourage entrepreneurs and students to create new solutions in their respective fields.
Another popular idea that is gaining traction is for people to have 20 seconds to present their idea to others. An alternative event are the "FuckUp Nights" during which entrepreneurs talk about their business failures and the lessons they have learned.
Of course, there are also interesting examples of cultural and recreational events. In the Warsaw-based Mindspace, you can participate in yoga classes, while the global coworking giant WeWork organizes weekly happy hours, meditation sessions, board game evenings, screenings of independent films, poetry evenings and cheese tasting.
It is also worth emphasizing that for existing brands as well as new businesses, a coworking community is the perfect goal for organizing promotional campaigns and market research which can lead to sponsored events, presentations of new products and other services.
Finally, coworking is an ideal environment for social initiatives and fund raising events. The leader in this field is WeWork where meetings to raise awareness on social problems, such as discrimination, and mental illness are organized. The London-based division hosts regular meetings for military veterans offering mutual support on the labor market, while in New York Scouts sell their cookies.
The events can be attended by people inside or outside the community, which is consistent with the spirit of openness and inclusiveness of coworking environments. Tenants of coworking spaces welcome the opportunity to promote their businesses, acquire new ideas and business partners, while larger companies sponsor meetings with the hope of attracting talents.
Such events are also an excellent way of promoting offices amongst potential customers. Primarily, such meetings promote the culture of teamwork amongst office tenants, and so relieve employers from the difficult task of providing teams with an interesting and stimulating working environment, which is increasingly expected by the new generation on the market.
At the same time, employers need to ask themselves whether the non-business offer will not become too distracting for their workers. Numerous events and theme days can make the office less conducive to company operations, than previously thought. In such cases, you may want to consider the offer of traditional serviced offices such as Regus or OmniOffice.
Along with the development of the coworking scene in Poland, we can expect to see more attractive networking and cultural propositions that are fast becoming one of the key criteria in encouraging companies to choose this option. The office is becoming a source of entertainment with the consequence that the professional and social arenas are more closely connected. It should be mentioned that WeWork even went a step further by launching its WeLive concept, i.e. an offer of flexible lease of apartments in the areas adjacent to offices, and WeGrow - a private school at WeWork’s headquarters in New York that is dedicated to the development of entrepreneurship from an early age.