The COVID-19 crisis highlights why flexibility in business and your employees working structure is vital for success. Although flexible workers in coworking communities already understand this nomadic style of working, something we will have to find a way of dealing without for now is the community, gatherings, and in-person-conversations that makes coworking what it is.
As the world carefully navigates through various shutdown orders and business owners continue to work out appropriate solutions for their livelihoods, companies need to be empathetic to the needs of SMEs and startups in dealing with their situations.
Being an innovation-first coworking provider and community, Found8 has been kicked into our own version of innovation through the looming question: how do we continue to strengthen and foster connections without physical interactions?
“how do we continue to strengthen and foster connections without physical interactions?”
The question is not about how to build a NEW community - the foundation of innovation leaders who are engaged and motivated to connect with one another at Found8 community already exists within our members.
The question is how do we not only allow it to continue, but provide channels, opportunities and encouragement for the community to become comfortable virtually connecting, just as much as when they were physically together.
Collaboration and innovation hasn’t gone away and if anything, it is needed now more than ever. Our solution? Provide a seamless, engaging and powerful set of virtual channels that improves the lives, business outlook and support of our members and the innovation community.
Post-COVID, the coworking life will be a different world when we return to our spaces. Not to mention continued social distancing, temperature taking, and sanitisation measures for what looks like the next quarter at least. Our team has devoted this down time to figuring out how we can bring the best content and resources to support our community as its strength is being tested.
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With the spaces being closed, one of our first thoughts was how can we maintain the streams of engaging conversations between members and the Member Success team, our friendly CEs, each other, and the rest of the Found8 employees? We decided on creating a Found8 Community Slack Workspace, as Slack is how Found8 maintains our constant internal communications through check-ins and updates, keeping the steam in facilitation of events, working teams, and idea generation.
The Found8 Community Slack Workspace serves as a forum for community updates, networking opportunities, support, offers and more. It’s members’ one-stop-(digital)-shop for real-time collaboration, where we welcome everyone to grow together in this digital connection space - including us! The objective here is to have a community that is in sync, and ready to receive and deliver members’ contributions, both in and out of their Found8 offices.
Channels like #Members-Mingle, #Spreading-Innovation, #Announcements, #Shared-Events-Virtual, #Shared-Resources and many more serve as useful outlets. In the first week of launching our online community, we had over 200 members join in on the conversation, and over 1,500 messages sent across channels and private conversations. The interaction flow is regulated by Found8’s team, implementing an organised structure and curating daily activities such as Monday Motivation, Throwdown Tuesdays, Friday Frolics and so on to maintain engagement, encourage community building, and avoid isolation/loneliness.
Just because we’ve moved online doesn’t mean events are thrown out the window. Found8 loves hosting events and catching up with members! We’ve started off with our first virtual business networking event to be held on 30 April, 2020 for an intimate round table to connect with the Found8 community. RSPVs are flowing in as the date nears, with members taking advantage of this great opportunity to listen, share and discuss exciting projects, upcoming initiatives and find the help they need.
During this crisis, the power of community cannot be more strongly emphasized. We are surrounded by innovators, problem solvers, and game changers, so there’s no better time to band together and show support. Members and partners are offering discount perks, such as food providers like Grain, Sarnies, and Solo Ristorante. These promos sure make us feel happier and our tummies fuller in the comforts of our homes.
Undeterred by the physical barrier, we are using creative ways to make virtual coworking engaging and supportive. Found8 hosts weekly online coworking, game sessions, workout hours, teatime chats, and virtual hangouts throughout the entire duration of lockdown on Slack. Found8 is also the proud innovation partner of ongoing accelerators like Singapore Tourism Board’s STA where we co-hosted the Digital Demo Day in early April, and recently became a prize sponsor for Startup Weekend Singapore (SWSG) 2020 to offer winners access to our flexible coworking products, as well as all participants early access to our new and improved virtual membership.
As we respond to the movement of our members and the innovation community towards the smooth digitalization of our coworking space, it is important to keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic has inadvertently changed people’s behaviour and way of thinking forever.
Found8 prioritizes members’ health even more than before, and seeks to fulfil their underlying needs when they return. When the worst eventually tides over, entrepreneurs, business owners, and workers will need significant social networks and local connections to regain their footing.
Our new Virtual Membership provides so much more than just business address registration. Using OfficeRnD as our effective workspace management, members and the general public can book meeting rooms and discover more offerings. We’re aiming to provide all your digital office needs through one platform.
You’ll experience an entire extension of your at-home office, and more services as we provide digital HR through our select partners, access to exclusive and free events, and even day passes to conduct meetings. Give yourself a change of scenery every once in a while!
Interested to learn more about our new Virtual Membership? Email email@example.com to find out more.
When we get back our freedom to the outside world in a matter of time, let us feel refreshed and energised to stand up stronger than where COVID-19 had left us. While some businesses may not reopen, some entrepreneurial dreams defeated, community strength will be essential in helping people reconnect, build new networks, and support each other. That’s where you’ll find us, standing strong as a community hub, a vital source of innovative connections, the anchor in rebounding from this crisis.