Office Nomads is in the midst of some end-of-the-year reviewing, plotting and planning. Part of the process this year included our first-ever Member Survey. After two years of coworking in Seattle, we’ve had a lot of informal feedback and have drawn some basic conclusions about what our members like and dislike. But we decided it was about time to ask them for their suggestions. Their rants and raves. In their words.
The results were fantastic. Our members provided us with some excellent hard data on what makes our coworking space work, as well as some great feedback on what we can be doing better. Here are three big takeaways:
- We’ve said it before, but now we have some data to back it up: it’s all about the people. When asked about the thing that members appreciate most about being at Office Nomads, they replied nearly in unison that it is the people that make it great. We can now say things like “the proof’s in the pudding.” Well, maybe we can’t. I’m not really sure what that means, actually.
- Our members are interested in figuring out even more ways to share resources (including people-powered resources such as bookkeepers and admin assistants), and pass business to one another. From recommendations of even more way to highlight what it is that each of our members do, the Nomads spoke out loud and clear that they want to help one another out as much as possible.
- Working in community means being human. When asked what our members would like to see improved, several of the responses revolved around typical shared space gripes: being mindful of one another when on long (and loud) phone conversations, remembering to do the dishes, cleaning up after one’s self. These frustrations came as no surprise; we all take turns being more of a distraction than we normally are, forget to do a dish now and again, and decide to not replace the toilet paper roll when it runs out. We’re all human. These challenges (while very real and requiring quick and responses by us as business owners) demonstrate another part of being in a community with one another. It is about our members working towards the best way to work successfully with one another.
Our members continue to humble us with their thoughtfulness, willingness to help us make the business better, and spectacular senses of humor. So with that, here are some of our favorite quotes from members:
“I feel like Office Nomads is saving my business. The isolation was killing my attitude and creativity. Thanks to Office Nomads I am not confusing my clients with my social opportunities (not as chatty, not as ‘charitable’ with my billing :)), I have closer ties with downtown clients. I am quite productive at Office Nomads because everyone is there to get things done, not socialize all the time. A+ guys, really.”
“There is a lot of small business know-how which could be shared more. The brown bags are a good start. And the email list is good for the occasional recommendation query.
Maybe we could occasionally collect and share links to public stuff people are working on? Blogs, artwork, trip photos, … I feel like there’s a lot of creative work going on but I’m missing a lot of it because I can’t get to happy hour due to other commitments. Maybe a “shameless self promotion” email list?”
“I just sat here for five minutes trying to think of something which I’d like to change which I actually want you to take on. There are big “nice to haves” like more light in the cafe area, but I actually don’t want you to busy yourselves with big projects which I don’t think are worth the effort when things are running smoothly.
So, I guess if I have to choose then I’d like everyone to have free ponies. With wings.”
Wow. Thanks everyone. We hear you! Thanks for helping us continue to breathe new life into the business.
(In case you were wondering, I used Google Forms to complete our survey, which was an absolute breath of fresh air after struggling with Survey Monkey. Thank goodness for Google’s helpful new tools, which bring together Google’s simplicity and exciting analysis capabilities. It saved me time, effort, and endless frustration.
In total, we had 22 members fill our our survey, representing several membership types including Basics, Residents, and those who have been Pink Slip Scholarship recipients.)
Thanks to Flickr user tonamel for use of the photo above under the Creative Commons license.