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10 Actionable Ways to Differentiate Your Coworking Space From Others

Aanya Rachel
10 Actionable Ways to Differentiate Your Coworking Space From Others

Competition is an unpalatable reality that almost every business faces, especially when the business model is successful. Even the first movers, despite the competitive advantage, are followed by the competitors who attempt to capitalize on their success and gain the market share.

The coworking industry is a testament to this. From freelancers’ shared spaces to one of the vast real estate markets, this chap has beheld phenomenal levels of growth. What initially was considered an idea viable for only entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs is now the right pick for prominent companies too.

Corporate biggies are moving into coworking spaces to free themselves from the headaches of managing operations of traditional offices and leverage the cost-effectiveness of coworking spaces.

Moreover, the millennial workforce recognizes the worth of its flexibility, collaboration, and shared assets. In short, the coworking space trend only seems to be on the rise.

Being such a fastest-growing segment, no wonder the competition is stiffening among the coworking players.

But as they say, competition only exists till you are doing the same thing as everyone else. Which leads us to a million-dollar question. As a coworking operator in a competitive market, how do you differentiate your space to stick out from the rest?

We shall come to that shortly but before that…

Why Care About Differentiating Your Coworking Space?

As per Statista, the number of coworking spaces worldwide is projected to increase from roughly 28,000 to 41, 975 by the end of 2024.

Amidst this noise, differentiation offers an easy answer to the question your potential coworking space tenants might have while choosing you over others. It helps you start on the right foot as well as solidify your market position by:

  • Carving differentiated services that make you irreplicable for its value-add.
  • Forging highly personalized member experiences.
  • Justifying your premium charges when players at below-market rates enter the area.
  • Elevating marketing efforts.

In a nutshell, differentiation is the key. But getting it right is even more critical. For instance, adding splashes of colors to the furniture and walls will certainly help you make a striking statement for the moment but will fail to add value to your members in the long run.

Ten Tips to Make Your Coworking Space Stand Out

coworking space

1. Craft a niche-specific identity

As coworking is becoming mainstream and being placed at a leading edge of workplace innovation, more and more niche seekers expect to meet their tribe here.

Niche-focused coworking spaces are more likely to dish out an experience targeted to meet audiences’ preferences and establish a deeper connection with them than what a “one-size-fits-all” coworking space would be able to provide.

Here are some of the global players who’ve carved out a well-defined niche-specific identity:

  • Law firm suites: For legal professionals
  • The Wing: For female entrepreneurs
  • My Salon Suit: For beauty professionals

The steps you can follow to decide which niche to serve are:

  • Understand the market gap and identify the opportunity to cater to the underserved group.
  • Conduct market research by looking at the indicators such as location, demand, competitive landscape, feasibility, and niche group size.
  • Important legislative or socioeconomic events may also open doors to discovering a unique coworking space niche.
  • Create superior offerings or additional resources than your competitors.

2. Spoil them with different options of working spaces

Coworking space is a world in its own right.

It has a loner in a quiet corner who inspires everyone to focus on the work. There is a fitness freak who likes to work from a standing desk. Also found is a team of overenthusiastic youngsters who are busy strategizing marketing plans for their newly launched start-up.

Thus, to differentiate your coworking space, consider outfitting it with various sitting arrangements that give your members the freedom to change their postures now and then. Plus, a mixed bag of sitting areas has something for everyone, regardless of the type of customers you serve. Mix and match these popular options:

  • Hot or Dedicated desks
  • Bean bags and comfy couches
  • Lounge areas
  • Café inspired seating
  • Group meeting spaces
  • Transition spaces
  • Roof terrace
  • Work pods
  • Standing workstation
  • Hammocks
  • Portable lap desks
  • Treadmill desks

3. Strike a bargain between visibility and privacy

An open plan as the central hub is great for maintaining vibrancy. Plus, with the spacious feel, the tenants are more comfortable with fewer square feet per person.

That said, your coworking space members will need some isolated time. Address this need  to  stand out in the following ways:

4. Cultivate a (real) community culture

Community is the heart and soul of a coworking space. But fostering and curating a cohesive community is no small feat. And if you can hit the right note, nothing can stop you from having the edge over others.

Here are a few ways:

  • Create a sense of belonging through a common identity and shared value (remember niche!).
  • Give them the chance to mingle through community events, games, lunch, and activities centered around learning.
  • Get a knowledge-sharing tool that'll keep everyone in a loop by providing essential company information and sharing the most relevant knowledge with each other.
  • Plan adventures, such as trips, bike-ride, and excursions outside of the work to bring members closer.
  • Check out some more actionable tips on ways to nurture community culture.

5. Get your brand-positioning right

Brand differentiation through great brand positioning is the unique way you aim to be seen in the noisy coworking market.

While strong brand positioning is critical for any business, it’s increasingly becoming relevant to coworking due to the sheer number of competitors fighting for your members.

This shall help:

  • Have a key idea that unites people around your space.
  • Be sure of the clients you are targeting and the ones you are ready to lose.
  • Try to solve a particular problem better than others.
  • Pay attention to current technologies to keep innovating.

6. Design to narrate your stories

Your space design can be a solid value-addition with the ability to project a distinctive identity. So, consider viewing design in the light of creative solutions to serve evolving needs of members rather than mere aesthetics. The winning combination of visual appeal and powerful amenities can set you apart from competitors.

But before that, ask these questions:

  • How can my design influence the collaborative nature of coworking space?
  • How can my design forge a sense of belonging amongst co-workers?
  • How does the physical layout offer the solutions to the practical problems of my members at the smallest scale?
  • Does the design make the tenants look at the workplace as the extension of their own personality instead of a mere commodity?

7. Make them feel productive

There is reasonable concern amongst coworking prospects about maintaining optimal productivity while working in an environment full of interaction.

Here is how you can enhance members’ productivity:

  • Offer varied seating options that give your members the ultimate power to stay productive based on the task at hand, mood, and the surrounding noise level.
  • According to a survey, optimizing natural light in the office environment significantly improves health and wellness among the workers, leading to a boost in their productivity. Hence, wherever feasible, ensure to make way for natural light and outdoor view with the help of large windows, glass walls, transparent roofs, etc.
  • Raise the fun quotient with ping pong tables, board games, and other unwinding spots.

8. Have a cyber security lock-on

With the flexibility of open-air desks and Bring Your Own Device policy, come a host of security threats. Your members need to feel that their data, belongings, and themselves are safe in your coworking space at any hour of the day and night. Anything that makes them feel otherwise can jeopardize your credibility in the market.

  • Have a centralized, cloud-based access control system.
  • Switch to mobile access control that lets your members access the space without compromising its security.
  • Cover up gaps using unique login credentials, individualized private networks, 2FA authentication, etc.
  • Ensure efficient visitor management and employee monitoring.

9. Hook them with the technology-driven environment

Technology has dual benefits—it improves member experience and streamlines your workflow. To make your coworking space an attractive workplace, it’s imperative to blend the latest technology with your services.

Here’s how:

  • Integrate IoT and AI to transform into seamlessly connected dynamic space.
  • Touch-free facial recognition for building access.
  • Smart networking, video conferencing, security, and access control system
  • Engage your community with the latest communication apps and tools like Slack.

Revolutionize your coworking space with an easy-to-use coworking space management platform designed for both members and staff

10. Run virtual coworking spaces

With a virtual office, you’ll be able to cater to the class of members who work from the home office but need a professional address to look more credible to their clients. Virtual office perks like physical address, mail receipt and forwarding, access to meeting rooms, directory listing, and receptionist services enable your members to get a sense of community while working from wherever they are.

Wrapping Up

Acknowledge the importance of evolving with your members' needs, implement these strategies, mix them up to find a concrete answer to what works best to distinguish your coworking brand and give your competitors a run for their money.

The article was written by Aanya Rachel, the Content Manager at The Address coworking space in Vadodara, Gujarat. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge, experience, and extensive research in this field. She writes on a wide range of topics related to coworking, growth of remote workers, startups and real estate.

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