An important recurring topic in recent This Week In Coworking newsletters, and the interactive audio discussions we host on Fridays at 10:30 Eastern time over on Clubhouse, are that folks who are caregivers simply cannot return to the workspace just yet.
Even if there’s a coworking space across the road from their house, that’s affordable, and has the best community and member perks in the world – if there’s nobody to look after the kids whilst they’re at the space caregivers simply can’t come in.
End of story. Or is it?
Coworking space leaders are pretty well-known for both, their creative problem solving abilities, and for their empathetic understanding of their local communities’ challenges.
Even before Covid swept the globe, coworking leaders have explored bringing childcare, nurseries, after-school activities and more into their workspaces, in-part to better support caregivers.
Throughout the lockdowns of 2020, we saw a whole new set of empathetic experiments and support campaigns. We were so inspired we even began interviewing some of these community leaders for our Coworking + Childcare series exploring microshooling, pop up-day cares, coworking in churches and more.
But what if your space doesn’t suit hosting a daycare, or for whatever reason you don’t want to, or can’t, get the right licenses to bring such a service safely into your offering?
We say partner up with those who can!
But ofcourse we would, we’ve been helping coworking spaces build rewarding partnerships for over 6 years.
🐶 A lot families and remote workers got new furry family members during the lockdowns. So when you see this little emoji in this post, it’s a kinda side-tip to help those folks who don’t want to leave their pets unattended at home if your workspace is not or cannot be pet friendly.
“But how!?” you’d probably say.
And so here’s a few ideas and tips to help, after the many, many, maaany global, national and hyperlocal perks and partnerships we’ve helped negotiate.
1. Identify your potential partners.
Build a quick list of the daycares, nurseries, kindergartens in your area. Maybe ask around from members who’ve got kids, if you don’t have any or haven’t needed such services in the area of your workspace.
If these are within 15 mins travel time from your workspace that’d be great for next steps, but anywhere under 45 mins should work for great providers where transportation isn’t a challenge.
🐶 Doggie day cares are popping up everywhere, but if there’s none around, are there any top-tier dog walkers that your doggie-parent members would recommend?
2. Note how else you could support their business.
We often find that building partnerships from a ‘give first’ position works best.
Other than telling your members about them, could you offer to host fundraisers, cake sales, or training days for their staff? Would ordering certain supplies together make them cheaper?
Thinking about how else you could help them before you ask for something, puts you in a more confident negotiating position.
🐶 Adoption days in your parking lot and shelter food drives could be cute and fun events you could host together with a close-by doggie day care, that would also resonate with pet-owners.
3. Reach out and see if they're able and interested.
Making new friends can be scary, so can reaching out to build a local partnership with someone who may or may not be interested in working with you. But the only way to know is to ask.
We recommend reaching out with a clear offer along the lines of:
Make it personal, but also get across why you think they’d make a good partner and why now’s a good time to partner up.
The goal is to get them to reply and ask to chat or for more information.
🐶 Wanna get a doggie day cares attention? Chuck in some photos of your coworkers furry little ones.
4. Work out a win-win-win deal.
If they’re interested, that’s when the fun begins. There’s so many ways your can partner, and the only limit really is your creativity.
Depending on the price-point, you could bundle in their price into a new work+care plan.
Or you could ask for a discount for your members, and offer their customers a discount on working from your space.
Or you could cross-promote each other on social media and inside each others’ spaces.
Each partnership is as different as the businesses and people involved.
Keeping in mind what you’ve prepared in step 2 will help you negotiate even better terms and deals for your members.
5. Share and track what works.
Once a deal is set, and you’re ready to start sharing with existing and potential members, be sure to make these (and any other member deals you arrange) are easy to find and share in the future.
A great pro-tip here is have some way of tracking how many of your members use a deal and how often.
There’s a few ways you could tackle both, but we’d recommend using our Hyperlocal Perks module, which is part of our includedPerks Premium tier, as it not only helps with displaying, searching and filtering perks, but also lets you get notifications and statistics on usage over time.
Now caregivers can get a little more help with their return to your workspace.
Whilst not everyone will be able to take up your partners’ offers, having them there will help position your workspace as not only a hub that understand their members, but actively takes steps to make working from there as affordable and empowering as possible.
Got questions or would like to chat about deals?
Community operators who sign up for includedPerks, both our free and Premium tiers, get access to our exclusive Slack group where you can ask our team, or other awesome community operators for tips, tricks or advice.