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A Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Learning Ecosystem in Your Coworking Space

Sam Bowman
A Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Learning Ecosystem in Your Coworking Space

What sets exceptional coworking spaces apart from mediocre ones is the environment and culture that they provide. Basic workspaces and a select few office amenities are helpful,  but more is needed to attract members and keep them long-term.

Instead, your coworking space must offer an experience people can't get anywhere else, such as a learning ecosystem that facilitates your members' educational and developmental needs.

This step-by-step guide will help you create a learning ecosystem in your coworking space that your members will take pride in.

What is a Learning Ecosystem?

A learning ecosystem is an environment where people engage with technology, content, data, and others to inspire learning and stimulate growth, whether professionally, personally, or both.

A thriving learning ecosystem in a coworking space provides the tools, resources, and support necessary for people to be productive in their work and grow professionally.

Each person has their take on what a good learning ecosystem looks like. You will need to flesh out your vision of this. But more importantly, you want to figure out what your members desire.

Identify What Your Members Want and Need

Identifying what your members want and need is critical if you want to create a learning ecosystem that aligns with them.

For instance, let's say that many of your members are dedicated Information Technology (IT) professionals that take pride in their careers. After a survey, you find that many of them are looking for professional development opportunities because IT is an ever-changing industry, with new technology, required certifications, and cybersecurity concerns emerging daily.

You could offer learning programs within your coworking space geared toward upskilling IT workers, such as workshops for in-demand skills like information security and cloud, application, and infrastructure security.

To determine what your members want and need in a learning ecosystem, you can send out surveys to all your members via email. Take note of one-on-one conversations you have with your members. You can take your research to potential members and poll them on your marketing platforms like social media too.

Hearing what they want and need from your members' mouths helps you create the experience that will keep them there long-term.

Determine What's Needed to Create the Learning Ecosystem Your Members Want

Coworking space member learning

Once you find out what kind of learning ecosystem your members want, analyze your coworking space. Look for what's missing in your space that's necessary for creating your learning ecosystem.

For example, your discussion with a member about what a culture of continuous learning looks like revealed that career development is at the top of the list. They want to grow, and they want resources and guidance that help them do this.

After looking into your coworking space, you realize you don’t offer professional development resources. Your next steps would be determining what kind of professional development support you could offer, like skill-building workshops, networking events, and mentorship programs, and what it would take to get these things up and running.

Determine the holes in your current learning ecosystem based on what you learned above about your members' wants and needs. Make a list of what you need to provide to accommodate your members. Later, you'll use this list to create detailed plans for each thing you want to implement.

But the next step is analyzing your technology suite before you do that.

Analyze Your Technology Suite

You can only go into coworking space if you see various tech tools. From desktop computers to printers to projectors, your coworking space likely has a technology suite available to members.

These tech tools support their work productivity and promote continuous learning. The key is ensuring your technology suite supports the learning ecosystem you’re trying to build.

What technology must you leverage to facilitate the learning experiences you're striving for within your coworking community?

How you improve your IT infrastructure will be unique to your coworking space and your members' needs. However, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Leverage cloud-based security solutions to enhance user and device protection;
  • Build network agility with Network as a Service (NaaS) to better support a distributed workforce;
  • Upskill some of your IT workers to ensure they're prepared to manage a modern IT infrastructure.

Do a complete audit of the technology you have in your coworking space. Pinpoint which hardware and software could benefit from an upgrade based on your vision for the learning ecosystem you're trying to create.

Go further and detail all that would happen to implement technology changes. The more detailed you are, the better. Especially since the next step is reviewing your budget.

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Review Your Budget

You want to do all these things to create a solid learning ecosystem in your coworking space. But can you afford it? Understanding the financial impact of building a learning ecosystem is crucial.

Your plans will cost money. That's why solidifying details about what you want to do is so important. You can price projects out more accurately and see if they're doable. You can also map out a timeline for completion based on what you can afford and when.

Meet with your financial team to lock down a budget for creating the learning ecosystem you're set on. List out expenses and ensure you allocate an amount in your budget for emergencies. Leaving no room in your budget for anything other than what you have planned sets you up for failure.

Also, detail what kind of profit you can expect in the future because of what you're implementing. Not only do you want to have enough to cover your projects, but you also want them to be revenue-producing changes.

Once you define your budget, develop an implementation plan.

Develop an Implementation Plan

Start with an overall implementation plan describing how you'll realize your vision.

For instance, you may need to remodel your coworking space first to open up space for childcare amenities. Next comes implementing a new suite of technology. After that, you need to train your staff on these technological additions. And finally, you need to plan the workshops, webinars, and events you plan to host.

Consider creating a strategy for each project along with an overall implementation plan. Keeping with the example above, you'll detail how your remodel will go and how you'll implement the new technology, train staff, and plan events.

Thorough planning will positively impact your ability to make the learning ecosystem you aim for.

Reveal Your Plans to Your Staff

Your staff is integral to how well your coworking space functions and grows. You have a much better chance of realizing your vision for your learning ecosystem when you're entire team is on board.

Every person has a role in bringing your vision to life. All it takes is one team member to resist change and not do their part for the entire project to fall apart. So, reveal your plans to your staff in a formal meeting.

Go over the implementation plan you created. Use visuals to illustrate your points and keep your team engaged throughout the presentation. Then, open up the meeting for questions. Answer as many as you can. And genuinely address the concerns your staff has.

Reassuring them that this will benefit them, the business, and your members will get them on board much quicker.

Train Your Staff Adequately Before Your Changes Go Live

You should train your staff before any changes you make go live. That way, they'll be well-prepared to help members navigate the transition.

Make a list of what you need to train your staff on, such as new technology, an updated check-in/checkout procedure, or how to incorporate events into each day. Document what you want to teach your staff for every listed item.

Then, create a training timeline. When will you tackle each training, and how long will it take? After that, you begin training sessions with your staff.

Let Your Members Know About the Upcoming Changes

In addition to your staff, let your members know about your upcoming changes.

Modifying and transitioning to new processes and systems without telling members could cause issues. Any changes you make affect how your patrons work in your space. If these shifts negatively impact their workflow and experience, they aren't likely to come back.

Send out an email blast to your members about your upcoming changes well in advance. This gives members a chance to prepare. Keep them informed throughout the process so they feel like they're a part of it.

Launch Your Learning Ecosystem

As you launch your learning ecosystem, go one step at a time. You must take on more at once to gauge whether your members genuinely take to the changes.

For example, you aim to introduce a new technology suite and start weekly workshops. Start with the new suite of technology. Let members get familiar with the tools and offer training to help them. Let some time go by, and then collect feedback to get more insight into what they like and don't. Make adjustments based on that feedback and let some more time go by.

Once you see members using the new technology regularly and enjoying it, move on to starting weekly workshops. You can also use your feedback to change your original technology suite launch.


Using this step-by-step guide, you can create the learning ecosystem you desire in your coworking space from the ground up. Keep in mind that creating this environment is an ongoing project as you work to meet ever-evolving learning and development needs. By taking things one at a time and listening to your members, you can further your patrons' development and help them grow and thrive in their respective professions.

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