Attracting new members or tenants to flexible workspaces is the number one challenge, and arguably the one thing that keeps their operators, marketing and/or sales folks up at night.
Long-story short: at Syncaroo we’ve launched the pilot GiftWorkspace.com campaign to try and reach and engage those folks who’ve found themselves, and their teams, secluded or reluctantly working from home.
Below I share some of my thinking and experience with ‘gifting access’, how it could benefit workspaces, and how/why you can get involved with the pilot #GiftWorkspace campaign right before the biggest gifting season of the year.
For a long time I’ve been watching the similarities between the tight-knit communities at small local gyms and those that form inside and around coworking & flexible workspaces.
But it was only after a few weeks of brainstorming with, and for, workspaces (mostly outside of big cities) around how best to get new members to join, that another similarity and an extraordinary opportunity became clear.
🙉 Backstory: Gym & I.
I’ve always loved sports and physical activities. But I never really loved the idea of taking time out of my day to go and carry or move heavy things around, over and over again. And then having to pay for the opportunity as well.
Even when I was unhappy with my physical health, and was overworked and drowning in stress, I still found a myriad of excuses to not try the local gyms. From “not having time”, to not “liking the idea of gym”, to thinking classes or trainings would be “awkward” if I was just getting started. I told myself all of these, and then some.
🎁 But one day, I was gifted a voucher to try out a bunch of sessions at a small group-class gym.
With these passes almost all the excuses suddenly had no leg to stand on.
In one move I suddenly had external accountability (from the gift giver, and the pressure of knowing they had paid for these passes), a time-limit (the expiry of the passes) and also no real reason not to go and try it out.
So in I went. I tried it out.
And yes, I did land up moving a bunch of heavy things (mostly myself) from one side of a room to another. Again and again. However I also found community, camaraderie, and a reminder of the benefits that came with making the time to looking after one’s self.
And now, almost four years later, even after moving across an ocean, and riding a buckling rollercoaster of challenges since then, I do my utmost to set aside the time, resource and mind space to find a small local gym with group HIIT classes wherever I find myself for any prolonged period of time. (Right after I find a local coworking space or two, of course.)
The Challenge: Getting folks to try flex workspaces.
Never before have so many human beings been told to ‘work from home’ or ‘work remotely’.
Derek Thompson wrote in The Atlantic in August 2020 that in the US alone, “tens of millions of American workers were thrust into a sudden, chaotic experiment in working from home. Four months later, the experiment isn’t close to ending.“
As part of this ongoing experiment, a growing number of people have begun exploring or leveraging flexible workspaces (like coworking spaces and business centers) to regain space in their homes, improve their mental health and/or to regroup with their teams or workloads.
However there’s still a huge majority of remote workers that haven’t, and probably wouldn’t ever, take the “risk” of trying our a flex workspace, touting similar excuses to the ones I once told myself about not trying out the gym.
The Idea: workspace as gifts of love & support.
That got us thinking…
“What if instead of just telling people to try out a flexible workspace nearby, they could get a gift to do so?“
This online campaign aims to make it easier for loved-ones, team-members, managers, colleagues, friends to gift workspace access to folks that may love to try beautiful local workspace, but who may still be hesitating to explore the benefits, community and clarity that flexible workspaces do truly provide.
We envision a day when freelancers, remote workers, entrepreneurs and all creative makers can be gifted workspace near their homes, in turn supporting local workspace providers and their immediate hyperlocal economy.
We’re currently inviting workspaces providers, booking platforms, space management systems and anyone who’d like to take part in the pilot campaign to register their interest at GiftWorkspace.com.