In response to the changing landscape of modern work, flexible coworking spaces have become an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional office.
In the US alone, the number of dedicated coworking spaces has risen considerably to a total location count of 5,612 workspaces.
There are numerous benefits to the use of coworking spaces for both staff and employers, from the potential to reduce energy usage by as much as 30 percent to allowing recruitment teams to hire candidates outside of previous geographical restrictions, but implementing a coworking model isn't always easy.
Business owners and HR professionals must adapt some traditional recruitment procedures to ensure that new staff receive the support they need to flourish in flexible environments, meaning onboarding coworking teams often requires a responsive and streamlined approach.
To help teams develop an effective coworking onboarding process, here are seven steps to take when onboarding coworking teams.
1. Provide clear documentation
Though there are some similarities between traditional and coworking offices, new hires that aren’t familiar with the flexibility offered within coworking environments may find navigating the workplace to be a little challenging. It might not be immediately obvious which areas and facilities are considered communal or private, and dispersed teams may be unable to offer an in-person onboarding process.
To ensure that new hires can become self-sufficient as soon as possible, it’s wise to create a detailed new member information document containing information regarding:
- Available office amenities.
- Facility opening hours.
- Required security codes.
- Group messaging services.
- Important contact information.
Drawing up a document like this will allow HR teams to assess and organize the information that new hires need the most. It'll also help staff empathize with employees and ensure that they can focus on their roles with little distraction. Additionally, a well-designed new hire information document can be a template for all future coworking onboarding teams to work from.
To help with the streamlining and creation of effective onboarding documents, teams can leverage AI technology software like Scribe to produce actionable onboarding guides in a matter of seconds.
Check out our free onboarding guide template made with Scribe and Scribe Pages.
2. Sign a lease contract
Unlike traditional offices, members of coworking spaces are required to sign a lease contract outlining the specific rules and expectations shared by all companies and employees inhabiting the property. A standard lease contract will often have important information like the number of guests allowed on the premises, rules relating to noise and an outline of which facilities can be used by staff.
New hires should be issued this document early on in the coworking onboarding process, as they’ll need plenty of time to carefully read and understand the unique terms and conditions. A good way to do this is to send the document alongside a welcome email as soon as the candidate has been hired. This way you can make sure that the employee is suitably prepared for their first day on the job.
While you can have your employee sign all of this paperwork async, it’s wise to request a meeting so that your onboarding teams can answer questions and offer support.
3. Create a new members group
One of the major benefits of working in a communal environment is the chance for employees from different teams and companies to share ideas, network and collaborate.
In fact, data shows that 82 percent of coworkers claim to have expanded their professional network after joining a coworking space, with 84 percent of workers stating that coworking environments improve their motivation.
To help promote collaboration and develop a strong workplace community, coworking team building should be a top priority.
Make efforts to introduce new members to existing staff as soon as possible. Start by creating a new members group that employees can join. Staff can regularly post updates and useful information to help new hires get a feel of the workplace culture.
Coworking team management leaders should also organize group events and take the time to create an office layout that promotes conversation and personal interactions, as this will further contribute to a positive and connected workplace culture. Research repeatedly shows how beneficial these efforts can be, with 80 percent of surveyed staff gaining actionable professional guidance from coworking groups.
4. Be hands on
During the onboarding coworking process, leaders should take the time to physically walk new hires through every necessary procedure so that they can follow each process themselves.
Rather than simply telling staff how to sign into the property, access on-site amenities and book meeting rooms, it’s important to take them through each process to make sure that they fully understand and are comfortable with your SOPs.
Take advantage of this time and explain any unique quirks of the space — like the best time to book meeting rooms or how certain amenities work. This walkthrough also creates an opportunity for staff to meet new hires and promote coworking team building.
5. Use automation when you can
No matter the company, the coworking onboarding process can be long. There's a great deal of important information to cover alongside setting up new hires with all relevant work equipment and system access details.
Thankfully, you can use smart technology to simplify many aspects of the onboarding process by automating a range of potentially time-consuming tasks.
For example, a smart software solution like Scribe uses AI to create process documentation in seconds.
Onboarding coworking teams can quickly and effortlessly build step-by-step guides and templates that walk new hires through the onboarding process. Scribe is a documentation and screenshot Chrome extension that turns any workflow into a how-to.
Answer FAQs and streamline training by building documentation while you work — and making it available to your teams right when they need it the most. Scribes are easy to access, share and embed in any of your favorite tools.
Use Scribes integrations with wider platforms and professional software tools to connect knowledge bases and essential systems, presenting new hires with updated and actionable information to speed up coworking onboarding process.
6. Set up access control
Access control systems are important in any modern office. The operation of these devices helps security teams safely and reliably monitor who has access to what. For coworking spaces, these systems are even more vital, since workers from different companies will require unique permissions.
During the coworking onboarding process, issue new hires with unique access credentials configured to permit them entry to communal areas and any locations necessary for them to perform their jobs. Make sure to inform them which areas their credentials won't have access to.
Many modern coworking spaces make use cloud-based access control systems since these networks allow security teams to integrate property access with additional systems.
For example, staff can be issued credentials directly to their smartphones allowing them to enter the property, sign into on-site computer systems and even book meeting rooms and amenity access from the same platform.
7. Be clear about culture & expectations
If your coworking team follows the above steps and carefully develops a well-structured onboarding process, new hires should have a good understanding of the rules and regulations of the office, plus the general workplace culture of the coworking space.
However, it’s important that teams communicate this information clearly throughout the coworking onboarding process. For example, if there's a rule stating that conference calls are not allowed in open communal spaces, make sure to show new hires exactly where they can make these calls.
Take the time to consider what information would be useful to new members that they may not think to ask during the onboarding process. Are dogs allowed inside the office? Are members allowed 24/7 access to the building? Are certain parking spaces reserved? By providing this information during onboarding, you'll help teams avoid potential issues further down the line.
When onboarding coworking teams, often the key to a smooth and effective process lies in clear communication and well-structured documentation. Take the time to empathize with employees and consider the information that would be most useful to staff unfamiliar with flexible office spaces and coworking environments.
Take advantage of smart technology to speed up and streamline the coworking onboarding process and ensure that new members can access helpful training guides and documents easily at any time. By following these principles, onboarding teams can ensure that new hires feel well-supported and ready to work.