smplr times 018 · The work in cowork

Hey there,

We’ve been doing a good bit of tours lately, and something that I’ve noticed is many people are surprised by how heads down members are. “It’s way more quiet than I expected”, or “I was concerned it would be very distracting” is something we hear often.

Let me paint a quick picture of our space. I don’t find it to be “quiet”. The way our space is laid out provides a couple unique environments. We use light white noise throughout the space. Some areas have a little music playing. The area by the kitchen tends to be a bit more social, because people congregate around the coffee. There’s also a couple nooks, or smaller areas to escape the larger open coworking spaces. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.

So what’s the deal? Coworking has always made a big push for community.

Come to this!

Participate in that!

Meet people!

We may have gone a little too far in this direction. The one thing that unifies pretty much all people within a coworking space is that they have work to do. Our job is to ensure people have a comfortable place to work. A place where they can be way more productive than home, which is free. That  should be our first focus as operators. Right?

So what can we do to ensure people are getting the right message about coworking? We’ve been moving hygge’s weekly member spotlight to be a week long affair that focuses more on how people are building something. Showcasing productive people working from your space is a great place to start. I’m not talking the fluffy stuff either. We’re telling more real life stories of how people in Charlotte get shit done, and it happens at hygge.

This is just one place we’re starting. We’ll be changing some of the messaging on our site, and facebook ads to be more focused on getting work done.

What are you doing to make sure your space is properly represented digitally? Are you worried that you might be putting the wrong things in the world?

Let’s discuss it over in the Wash Your Mugs community. And now, on to this weeks top articles.

🧠 From AllWork
Wellness Takes Centre Stage at GCUC UK
I’m on a pretty huge wellness kick this year. I’ve found a direct correlation between my improved wellness, and the quality of the work I’m doing. We’re currently working to pass these benefits to hygge members through hygge cares.

🙏 From Bisnow
Coworking Execs Foresee Industry Consolidation
Yup, It’s already happening. I can’t say much more than we were almost recently acquired by a large player looking to scale in the market. We declined the offer, and are pushing forward on our own. Keep an eye on this friends.

🛋️ From Quartz at Work
The Downside of Generous Company Perks
As we think about creating a space to get “work” done I thought this article was kinda relevant. A neat look at the culture around company perks, and how it’s negatively effected peoples work environment.

☕ From Technical.ly
Flow State Coffee Bar & Coworking Space
I’m always excited to come across spaces that are trying new things. This one is a smaller coffee shop looking to attract mobile workers with monthly memberships, and other amenities.

Now for a smpl update.
This week we released a number of performance improvements and bug fixes for smpl.  We also spent some time in the early stages of planning for upcoming feature work.   One sweet new enhancement we added this week: when someone purchases a day pass, their confirmation email will also contain an attachment with an all-day event reminder, compatible with Google and Apple calendars.Garrett

smplr times 017 · When’s the last time you vacationed?

Hey there,

This past weekend I unknowingly stepped into a 3-day, fully unplugged vacation. The venue for the wedding I attended doubles as a kids sleepaway camp. A camp that is technology free. That means no cell service and no WiFi, except for the owner’s cabin which was quite the walk from where we were staying.

👆This was unintended. Turns out, it was single handedly the most anxiety inducing thing and the best thing for me ever.

Since hygge opened about 3 years ago I’ve taken several trips outside of Charlotte, but I’ve always been in a place where I had access. I could take calls, respond to emails, and generally handle most business. This is by design. I’m not the type of person that likes to unplug. I work to live, and live to work. I absolutely love what I get to do at hygge, so in the moment when I realized I had zero connectivity my anxiety shot through the roof. How would hygge run without me?

I’m home now, and have spent the afternoon sorting through emails, and catching up on conversations. Hygge ran, and I’d almost say perfectly. Here’s why.

Brittany, my second in command, has been given a 100% transparent view of how hygge runs, from the financials through all systems we have in place. Rather than implementing things, and telling Brittany to use them I have included her in the entire process of building hygge. Why is this beneficial? Brittany has all the information, and know how to handle any situation no matter the size and scope. There’s no “what would Garrett do?”. It’s just this is how we do it.

A lot of spaces have community managers that are shielded from how the business truly operates, and major decision making. I’d encourage you to bring on people that you’re willing to show everything. It increases buy in. It empowers them. They’ll appreciate you more for it.

Lastly, I don’t recommend just disappearing. 😅This was not an ideal situation, and a debrief with the team before heading out of town would have been ideal. This would not only have given me a little peace of mind, but would have given me an opportunity to address anything pressing the team may have had.

Still unsure on how to take a vacation, and still operate your space? My coworking friend Angel wrote an article over on her blog DIY Coworking. Read it here.

Let’s discuss it over in the Wash Your Mugs community. And now, on to this weeks top articles.

🐘 From Bham Now
Meet Kim Lee – Founder of Forge
I met Kim a while back at GCUC, and have stayed in touch via email. She runs a space in Birmingham, Alabama and is crushing it. Learn about Kim, Forge, and how she’s taking Birmingham by storm.

🙏 From AUSTININNO
Dan Graham – From Changing an Industry to Reimagining Philanthropy and Coworking
I think all the time about being more socially conscious as a coworking space. I keep coming back to needing to embrace it 100% like Dan Graham has done. Building something intentional seems to be the only way. No 1/2 steps.

🌱 From AllWork
The 7 Best Low Maintenance Plants for the Workplace
We are just about the worst at keeping plans alive at hygge. If you’re lacking a green thumb too, here’s an article on low maintenance plants. 😅

Now for a smpl update. We spent a few days last week in Asheville, NC visiting coworking spaces, and really focusing on crushing all the smallest bugs. smpl is running smoother than ever. 🚫🐛

On top of that, quarterly billing is now an option when setting up your plans. We’re still hard at work on a calendar view, pay in person features, and more controls for your invoices. Stay tuned.

And just like that, we’re done. It’s over. Hope you have a simple week ahead of ya.

Until next time,
Garrett