This week in the Coworking Values Podcast, we are going to be doing a quick catch-up with what’s happening in the coworking industry so far in the first quarter of the year.
And we are also going to be talking about the upcoming events like the Coworking Symposium that’s coming up this month, the meet-ups and about what clubhouse coworking is. And we also talked about how a good deal of research is being done on the coworking industry and the future of work.
How is it going with Clubhouse Coworking?
Bernie: I am loving it. That I get to speak with people, speak with and hear from people all over, you know, a mix of industry and the movement.
So there’s people I’ve never met in person or spoken to, but I’ve met them in the clubhouse. And I really, really appreciate that side of it, but you can, you know, I’m very wary of. Gain hoovered into everything. Also, I find it, I go to rooms where I know people which might sound a really obvious thing because I know people like us are very good at writing headlines to blog posts, podcasts, and clubhouse rooms that you go in and you might just.
You know, waste your time. So trust is a trust as I feel almost I’m stating the obvious here. Trust is a huge issue there. So if there’s, um, I don’t want to wander into a room, which is like how to, how to 10 X your. Co-working podcast in 10 seconds and then sit and listen to a load of rubbish and B.
Zeljko: Clubhouse is a kind of mixed feeling experience because I found that it gives you that sense of talking to people that you haven’t seen in quite a while and kind of personal experience. But I also found it on a negative side. It requires a lot of your time and attention, so it’s not like, okay, I’m going to just skim through a text or read a text or pocket of text and read later, basically when something is happening, you need to be there and you need to listen to it.
You, you may do something else around it, but you are involved. In it, especially if you’re talking to also, so basically, it has its good sides and negative sides for me also I am not using it as much as most people are kind of ranting about it, but I do find it kind of useful to talk and connect with people who we haven’t seen for a while and because we don’t have conferences, we don’t have live events. We don’t have meet ups, we don’t have anything.
And, and in today’s world, you know, like talking to people, it’s very important.
How to Attract (and Keep) a Great Community Manager
Zeljko Crnjaković 0:25
This episode is brought to you by Cobot, a leading management software for coworking spaces, offices, hubs, and flexible workspaces around the world. You know, one of the best things about Cobot is that it’s produced by people who used to manage a coworking spaces and know the ins and outs of the main problems and issues bugging coworking managers. So, if you want more time for your co-workers and community, check out Cobot at cobot.me and take your coworking management to the next level.
Bernie J Mitchel 1:00
I don’t know where to begin. So, let’s just start talking, Zeljko, because I haven’t seen you for ages, and there are so many events and exciting things going on in the coworking world. What’s coming up for you, friend?
Zeljko Crnjaković 1:13
I don’t know what’s coming up for me, so, I’m currently fighting for air in an empty room, covered with a blanket, recording a podcast with you, but I just hope I sound okay. So as far as coworking events, a lot has been happening in the industry, how we like to call it, nowadays. But you were kind of tracking everything. You mentioned that you were part of the coworking convo and you’re announcing the Coworking Symposium, and you’re doing This Week in Coworking with Hector, and you’re doing a lot of Clubhouse Coworking. You’re doing this all you know while doing another job. So, how do you manage that?
Bernie J Mitchel 2:06
I just read everything. All day every day.
Zeljko Crnjaković 2:09
You’re superhuman like. Just admit that you’re using that four-hour workweek method from the other guy with the podcast and doing a lot of like Filipino assistance, reading everything for you.
Bernie J Mitchel 2:27
They don’t read everything for me ,they write everything for me. And they put our podcast out for us and, of course, they’re part of our team. I was thinking about this the other day, about maybe like 10 years ago that it was my friend Julius who used to run, he’s just sold his thing called Event Manager Blog, and I used to wonder like how do you get everything? How do you know so much? And I actually remember it was in my friend’s flat, we were visiting our family, and I was on a Skype call, because people used to use Skype in those days. I was like “how do you do it, Julius? How do you know so much?”, and he goes, “I just read every day for an hour in my industry, so if you want to know what’s going on, you have to read everything.” And that’s what I did. I have a lot of people who are listening to this, and you and I know and track, and we’re in contact with, but I get sent to pocket, and then I have an app on my phone called Voice Dream Reader, because I can read but I’m not really good at reading, so I just listen.
Zeljko Crnjaković 3:38
So, you have that app that creates everything for you while you sleep and you’re magically awoke, and you just know everything in coworking, cool. I need to get it too.
Bernie J Mitchel 3:47
Jamie Russo knows everything coworking, I just know coworking.
Zeljko Crnjaković 3:50
I need to get that installed into my brain somehow. So, apart from that, we’ve had a lot of interesting events, and we’ll have a lot of interesting events in coworking. Let’s talk about something ongoing, so, how is Clubhouse Coworking going?
Bernie J Mitchel 4:19
I’m into Clubhouse, but I’m very careful where I go.
Zeljko Crnjaković 4:23
You just said that you don’t like reading, so, Clubhouse works for you as a platform?
Bernie J Mitchel 4:31
It doesn’t, because I know that I don’t go on TikTok because I will get sucked in for ages. When I was first on Facebook, I never left it, and anything like that. And I use an app called Rescue Time, which you probably know, and 10 years ago I thought I was productive, and then it showed me how much time I was spending on Facebook, even though I didn’t think I was spending time on Facebook. So, I’m very, very careful where I go and spend my time. There’s a whole coworking club. A lot of people we know, run that together. So, I’m finding it very useful because I can go in there, and that means I don’t have to go work in Europe. So, I’m loving it. I get to speak with and hear from people all over. They are a mix of industry in the movement so, there are people I’ve never met in person or spoken to, but I’ve met them in Clubhouse, and I really appreciate that side of it. But I’m very wary of getting hoovered into everything. I also find that I go to rooms where I know people, which might sound like a really obvious thing, because I know people like us are very good at writing headlines to blog posts, podcasts, and clubhouse rooms that you go in, and you might just waste your time. So, trust is a, I feel almost like I’m stating the obvious here, trust is a huge issue in there. I don’t want to wander into a room which is like, how to tax your coworking podcast in 10 seconds, and then sit and listen to a load of rubbish.
Zeljko Crnjaković 6:19
Clubhouse is a mixed feelings experience, because I found that it gives you that sense of talking to people that you haven’t seen in quite a while, and kind of personal experience. I also found it on a negative side, it requires a lot of your time and attention so it’s not like, okay, I’m going to just skim through a text, or read a text, or pocket a text and read later. Basically, when something is happening, you need to be there, and you need to listen to it. You may do something else around it but you are involved in it, especially if you’re talking. So, basically, it has its good sides and negative sides for me also. I am not using it as much as most people are kind of ranting about it, but I do find it useful to talk and connect with people who I haven’t seen for a while. And because we don’t have conferences, we don’t have live events, we don’t have meetups, we don’t have anything. And in today’s world, talking to people is very important, and listening to this podcast is very important.
Bernie J Mitchel 7:38
I do have a clubhouse edge. So, in the coworking space near my house that I’m now a member of, there’s a podcast studio and a YouTube studio and it’s amazingly kitted out, and Paul that runs the place, just quickly got into clubhouse, he runs a coworking office building. He loves podcasting, audio Dj-ying and everything like that. So, he just got into clubhouse and bumped into a load of people, and he has like 1000s of 1000s of people, so he runs a live breakfast show one Clubhouse called Breakfast with Winners, and 1000s of people tune into that every day. Yesterday they had a room which the average time people were in the room was 16 minutes, and consistently there were like 500 people in the room, and they had 13,000 people go through the room, as they did their hour.
Zeljko Crnjaković 8:49
That’s very impressive, but you also find their successes on various other platforms and I applaud everyone who found his niche and calling within Clubhouse, for example, or any other platform like that. It is a wonderful way to engage your podcast audience. But, again, from a user perspective, not from a content creator perspective, it needs its time, so you need to give it your time in order to get something out of it.
Bernie J Mitchel 9:37
Ashley, Shavon, and other people we know as part of the coworking family, run very specific rooms on; inclusion, identity, and community management, and I find that very interesting. The thing I like to go to all the time is, Hector and Mike run This Week in Coworking on a Friday afternoon.
Zeljko Crnjaković 10:04
Let’s talk about This Week in Coworking, so I found it very useful, and I found that kind of hectic. I stumbled on to the idea of condensed content, which is very condensed and encompassing everything on a regular level that you kind of need to get to it.
Bernie J Mitchel 10:32
It’s very well done. I’ve got his blessing, but in our little payment platform, which is aimed at freelancers, we’ve just got Ed Goodman from Freelance Heroes, and we started a newsletter called This Week in Freelancing, and basically like everything he does in This Week in Coworking. Ed has a regular Friday show on Facebook, and I know how to do that, I’ve just never been bothered to do it, and we spoke a little bit about it. I didn’t tell him how to do it, but he’s in the early days, he’s like, okay, what do you think of this? So, I’m definitely not saying the success of him stems from my advice, and he’s so good at WordPress, and all the buttons and elements or hacks and stuff like this, and the way he puts it on.
So, for those who don’t know, it basically is a blog post. And then he sends it as a weekly email newsletter as part of the included brand, and there are a few other things in the weekly email newsletter, so it’s worth signing up for the weekly email newsletter. And then he puts a little post on LinkedIn, that mentions everybody in it, so we all go there and go oh my goodness Hector mentioned me. But even that act is definitely a marketing, attention seeking thing. Because he highlights everybody who’s mentioned in it, I then going click around them on LinkedIn. So, I’ve got to know who’s actually showing up on a regular basis. And one thing you’ll notice Zeljko is, you think people are amazing, but so few people publish stuff on a regular basis, and what he’s got there is people who do stuff on a regular basis. So, showing the people who are consistent in our industry, creating content, sharing knowledge, whatever they’re doing, and the same people turn up because it’s a little bit of an echo chamber, but I know he works really hard finding these stories.
Zeljko Crnjaković 12:42
Everybody should check out This Week in Coworking. Bernie, do you know the web address?
Bernie J Mitchel 12:50
If you just type, This Week in Coworking, we’ll put a link in the show notes, obviously, if you just type, This Week in Coworking, it comes up.
Zeljko Crnjaković 13:00
Okay, and finally we need to talk about the Coworking Symposium which is coming to us in about two weeks-time on 15th of April. What’s happening there?
Bernie J Mitchel 13:18
I’m going to go a little bit sideways on this, buddy. So, it’s a lot of highly capable PhD students, doctors, and professors, and our friend, Ivanne from ADA Coworking, sharing research about the future of work, particularly about the shared workspace industry and the future of work, and how COVID has affected that. And it draws down to how a coworking space in the local economy will evolve and stuff like that, so, that sounds very heavy. I’ve been to many, every week, either we’re organizing, or someone else’s organizing, and particularly in London, there’s a lot of little pockets of Zoom calls and things run by the local government and stuff. And people are always going, “oh, I wonder if anyone’s researched?” And wouldn’t it be great if there was an app for people to find workspaces. And, yeah, we’re really worried about the future of our coworking business and our local economy and when people start commuting and do what we do, how do we stay safe? And will the aliens come and kidnap us all? All that information is in here, and it’s like people don’t realize, including me, don’t realize how much research has been done on coworking and shared workspace, and aliens.
Zeljko Crnjaković 14:52
So, Coworking Symposium has been, this is the second year it’s being held. Even though the first year was a bit mixed between the coworking, people from the industry and the research part of it. And this year is mostly focused on research, but as Bernie said, research is a very important part of the coworking, both movement community and business side, because by listening to these wonderful people that do research, we can prepare for the future of coworking and the future work, and can estimate why the masses of the population will see coworking and where do we need to adapt and move, because most of the things that we’re doing in coworking is adapting to everything around us. Right, Bernie?
Bernie J Mitchel 16:02
Absolutely. The thing I’m really enthusiastic about is, there are a lot of people going “on the future of work, we will see, 65% of people will be doing handstands in coworking spaces by 2020”, all this kind of stuff. This is normally the sorts of people shouting out predictions, but my hope, which is different from a industry prediction, is that people will stop commuting and the coworking space that you run, and the one I’m in will be part of the local ecosystem.
Zeljko Crnjaković 17:05
So, less commuting and more coworking spaces that are based on local communities or even areas.
Bernie J Mitchel 17:15
Exactly. So, how does that play out in the country where you live.
Zeljko Crnjaković 17:23
I am hoping that this becomes a thing for you and people in big towns because Subotica is a smaller town and here we don’t have the concept of commuting because the whole town is like, you can walk across it. I mean it’s not that small but if I get in a car, I’m anywhere in five minutes. So, basically, my coworking space is 10 minutes away by foot, and that’s a fact for most areas of the town, at most 30 minutes. So, it is a community centre, it is a community coworking space. And, I mean, this smaller town doesn’t need coworking spaces that are in one segment of the town and the other one in the other segments of the town because everything’s so close together. On the other hand, places like London, when you have to get on a subway, or a train, or a bus and ride one or two hours to another part of town, that’s commuting and that’s losing time from your life to get to work, and then from work to home, that you don’t need to do. For example, here in Serbia, we’re starting, and that’s happening in a lot of places around the region, and I think the world is that people are thinking about moving from big cities to smaller towns, because not only is the standard cheaper and everything else, but it also saves you time and hassle of going through traffic, and city, and commuting, and parking, and everything that is just taking up time, either from your personal life or from your work life, whatever you do.
Bernie J Mitchel 19:40
I agree, and you get in a habit. So, one of the positive sides of the whole COVID lockdown thing is, it was like a pattern interrupt. So, in our house, my wife would have this crazy rush to get out the door for 7:30, and one of us would take Ollie to the Breakfast Club because we both had to be at work, and Breakfast Club shot when locked down hit. Ollie was still able to go to school. There was a small group of children at school because you know my wife works in a hospital and she had to be there every day so my role, I mean, we share a lot of parenting stuff anyway, but my role became only I could take him to school, so 9 till 3 was the school run every day. I had to fit my life inside of that because I can do some work, when I get home, but it’s just not as easy to focus with a fortnight playing 10-year-old in the house. So, that morning rush just disappeared and after a while I was like, so why did we kill ourselves for the first hour of everyday to get to somewhere and then nothing happened. And then I moved into this place here. So, there was no commuting, and I have more time, but I just have more space, as well. I still have to work. It’s a holiday and I’m working today.
Zeljko Crnjaković 21:08
I’m going to give you the other side of it, and give you a small answer for everybody, why people are commuting and why do we still, or will still need to go to these other coworking places, and maybe not for regular hours, but right now you’re not missing anything because there’s nothing happening. There are no events, there are no meetups, there are no meetings, but you will still need to from time to time at least go and commute and see other people. Because a big thing, especially in our branch is contact, and talking, and communication, and being present all around so, it’s not just like you and I. You and I are working for a corporate or work from anywhere, the company require us just to stare at our computers and it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting at home or in a coworking space. A lot of our business and coworking business is with the community. So, we will still need to go, but it’s a good thing that on a regular day to day basis, you have an HQ which doesn’t require commuting, and then you can go out and still see other people when necessary.
Bernie J Mitchel 22:33
We have an HQ that I can see from my window. There’s a train station which is 15 minutes into central London, and so it’s very easy to get people to come here because of where it’s located. If anyone knows, it is in Ilford which is like the London Borough Redbridge, and you certainly don’t grow up going oh my god, I can’t wait to move to Ilford, but it’s so convenient, and people have seen how it is now.
Zeljko Crnjaković 23:06
You said that one small thing that I’m going to use to call you Mohammed from now on, is that it’s so easy to get people here. It’s not easy for you to go there. So, the mountain, and the Muhammad was how the story goes. Which one is easier to move?
Bernie J Mitchel 23:23
You were at an event too?
Zeljko Crnjaković 23:33
I was. I had the pleasure of being in Cat Johnson’s Coworking Convo, which Hector enabled, and it was a very fun thing to do. Cat does those convos very relaxed and very chatty, and we talked about finding and keeping coworking a community manager, so everybody was sharing their two cents and I just hope mine helped. Because, as you know, we don’t have a speciality community manager, so, usually a one-man show or a two-men show, or any man does everything or woman, whatever. So, from community event reception, hosting, cleaning, so everything, so finding that one person that can explain everything that goes and is required to run a coworking space is very tricky. So, it was a wonderful event and I had so much fun. I think we covered everything for this episode, Bernie. So, what’s next is to call everybody to listen to this podcast.
Bernie J Mitchel 25:08
If you go to the week coming up, and we’ll put links, there is the first Friday call, which will be, when you’re listening to this, will be a few days later, which is where we invite people every month on the second Friday of this month because it’s a holiday, but everyone is running a project like Rural Coworking, the Coworking Idea Project, the Coworking Library, the Coworking Symposium, the London Coworking Assembly, and I’m sure there are other things in there I’ve forgotten. Everyone comes in and gives a progress update, and it’s a great place for people who work like Jose who’s started the Rural Coworking project, because a lot of people have been talking about rural coworking for years, so he’s managed to gather everyone together. So, he comes to that corner and says who knows about rural coworking. Everyone sends him the people that have been working on that for ages, so that project is banging along. So, there’s a link in the show notes to that.
We also have, I’m very excited about this, in the end of April, we have our regular London Coworking Assembly event, and this time it’s going to be about marketing a coworking space. So, we have Zoe from Spaces to Places, who is London’s, other than me, of course, London’s actually better than me, London’s Coworking, shared workspace Marketing Consultant person. My friend Dave King who is a start-up in London nowadays, but previously he worked for Salesforce, Google, and Oracle, and he’s just very good at marketing. And also, our good friend Kofi, who is the Founder of urban MBA in London, and he worked for Nike for a decade on product and marketing. So, we’re going to do a Q&A session and then that is going to point to a lot of other meetups and stuff from people we know in London, to help people just get their communication in shape, because you can’t teach a kid to ride a bike at a seminar, and you can’t learn how to market your business in an hour-long thing. It’s just conversations and being pointed in the right direction. So, we’re very excited about that. I think that’s it.
Zeljko Crnjaković 27:29
I believe that’s it. So, everybody who didn’t remember everything that Bernie said, check out the show notes, and just click the links, and we’ll see you and talk to you in the next episode of the Coworking Values Podcast. Say bye, Bernie.
Bernie J Mitchel 27:46