We sat down with Membership Manager James Pain at Work.Life to discuss the communities within their buildings.
Tell me about the coworking community at Work.Life.
The community at Work.Life is one of the things that drew me to work here. A lot of workspace companies have a community of some kind, but ours really is amazing. Our spaces in general are a lot smaller than a lot of other coworking companies, which maintains a close relationship between ourselves and members. The Work.Life building I work in in Bermondsey is just the right size; small enough that people see the same faces every day and know one another, but big enough that we can throw a good party or event.
It also means that we can really listen to our member’s feedback. We have a regular survey just for this, and we always ensure that we react meaningfully to what members think about the space. In some senses, the office space has been put together collaboratively by everyone here. We recently had a suggestion that one of the phone booths should be bookable. We implemented this immediately - just with a paper and pen by the booth - and everyone loves it! Simple solutions are sometimes the easiest and have the biggest impact.
What kind of events do you run at Work.Life?
We have all sorts – Lunch & Learns, weekly yoga, Show & Tells, charity events, and networking events. We try and provide anything that brings our members together or is of benefit to them.
Of course, everyone loves a freebie! Just down the road we have a restaurant that sells amazing seafood and they came in and gave everyone free lunch one day! I think one of the best things about it is that we are now a space within a local community of businesses that we love to work together with.
What has been your favourite community event?
My favourite was the charity pub quiz - but perhaps I am biased: it was my idea! We Skyped across all Work.Life venues - that’s 7 in total - and had a pub quiz with all our members together. Everyone got really into it, and the atmosphere was amazing. I love a pub quiz and this was a great, fun way to get the whole member base together. Plus, we raised £1300 for a great local charity.
What is your favourite thing about Work.Life?
It’s got to be the staff and the members. As a coworking company, there’s usually only 2 or 3 of us onsite most days here. That’s why having such a good relationship with the members is so important. All the staff have made genuine friends with members which is amazing: loads of us hang out all the time.
Plus, my role is a little bit of everything. On a day to day basis it can be a real mix of sales, admin, business analysis, facilities and event management, all alongside making the member experience the best it can be. Sometimes you’re just a confidante or a shoulder to cry on, but it’s vital to be trustworthy as a manager here. In short, every day is different, and I’m certainly never bored!
What are your visions for the future of Work.Life?
I think we’re heading in a great direction. Coworking is clearly the future of business and it’s going to get even bigger than it is now.
As a company, our next big growth area will be extending outside of London. We’re passionate about the industry and I think we really want to prove you can get to many spaces while still maintaining that strong sense of community and person-ability we’re currently well known for. It’s an exciting time and we’re expanding at a nice rate. The future’s looking really good for us!
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