Organic Connections in a Curated Community
A huge part of the role of the Community Manager type in a coworking space is curating and running internal events that bring the different factions of the community together and encourage them to interact and collaborate, share ideas and advice, and just generally have a really good time. Often the strategy around this is built on discussion groups, community morning teas/lunches, and the use of specific social media and digital tools to get people talking online. Lately however, we have noticed that there are other factors at play helping our awesome group of humans to bond. Less organised, more accidental, but really really effective none the less. Here is a little list of feel good pockets of conversation starting awesomeness that we see working magic around GridAKL.
What is it about animals that brings out the inner goofball in everyone? The last week we have been looking after a lovely little pup named Tui. She is the perfect office dog. She’s cute, quiet, happy and all she really wants is a little pat and cuddle from everyone who walks in the door. Grown men sit on the floor with her and hang out and everyone reminisces together about their dog at home, past office dogs, wishing they had a dog…
Dogs in the office -they just make people happy man.
THE ARCADE MACHINE
We recently had an AMAZING addition to GridAKL. The 1200+ game arcade machine that now lives in the kitchen is the outcome of challenging law firm HGM to come up with a creative way to get their name into the space. They won. In a huge way. Every time I turn around there are people standing at that machine, many of whom I have never seen interact at all prior to its existance. The friendly competition creates a common bond that is highly entertaining to witness for the rest of the community.
There is something awesome about seeing residents bring their kids to work. Suddenly you get to see another side of people. Being introduced to their mini-me’s and putting faces to names is rad, and its really cool how many fellow residents enjoy meeting each others families. Whether empathising over age-specific tantrums and dilemas or sharing stories of babies on the way, first steps and lessons learned; the children of residents are the source of many a bonding moment.
We’ve had some big World Cups this year. First we had the Cricket, just recently we had the Fifa under 20’s and before you know it we’ll have Rugby. What’s cool about this is that sport has no language barrier. A great goal is epic, regardless of who scored it. These global sports have brought together the most culturally diverse residents as they appreciate the skills and the scandals together during tournaments. Getting our hands on a bunch of tickets to one of the Football games was a great reason for a group of residents to hang out socially outside of work too.
*On a side note, it’s pretty awesome that a great sporting result can give even the smallest migrant communities out in the wider NZ a reason to embrace their heritage and proudly celebrate their nations. Kiwis aren’t always the best football supporters so it was awesome to be surrounded by passionate Serbians and Malians over the World Cup.
COFFEE – BUT MORE SPECIFICALLY, MILK
In every space that BizDojo has, there is and always will be a proper Coffee Machine. This means our Residents soon become the finest coffee connoisseurs, each with their own methods and secrets in creating their perfect caffeine hit. However, it’s not always a smooth start – and new residents are often guilty of creating excruciatingly loud and screechy burnt milk (‘new residents’ and also…me).
What is cool though, is that it’s not JUST our team that runs over to stop the noise and help out. These days, it’s actually mostly fellow Residents who now dash to their side to end the pain. Tips, strategy comparisons and offers to divide and conquer are total norms, and it’s cool to see something like Coffee be so effective at getting people talking. We now see these chats happening all day every day in the kitchen.
Do you remember at primary school when you’d sit down with your mates and compare what was in your lunchboxes? Well, yea that pretty much still happens in coworking spaces, just on a much bigger scale – and it’s super interesting. You’ve got a bunch of people from different companies, cultures and life stages checking out what cuisines have made it to the table. We’ve had reheated Domino’s sitting next to Russian speciality dishes next to My Food Bag leftovers – all chatting and laughing about food. Regardless of personal preferences, it’s obvious food brings people together and that’s awesome in our books.