How to Build Diverse and Inclusive Coworking Spaces

January 30, 2023

According to a McKinsey study, organizations with the highest levels of gender and racial diversity are 12% more likely to outperform their peers. This suggests that putting effort into increasing diversity will pay dividends in the shape of improved financial results. The rise of freelancing and entrepreneurs means a massive market for coworking spaces exists. With this vast market comes the pressure to create a more attractive space than your competition. But what’s appealing to one person may not work for another.

Melbourne Property Valuers Metro has years of experience working with tiny workspace operators and large coworking giants. With their past and present experience, they can advise you on creating a diverse space that will appeal to everyone, from call center workers to millennial developers. Read to learn how to build diverse and inclusive coworking office spaces.

How Can a Flexible Office Support the Minority Workspace?

The biggest challenge facing minority workspace owners is the lack of mentorship and education. Owners often feel isolated, which can be detrimental to their success. They need a support network, a community of other leaders who understand their struggles and have overcome them.

It could include providing them with an experienced coworking space owner who will act as a mentor or hosting workshops on how to run an effective, flexible office.

Another thing is to ensure enough resources are available for these new companies. For example, if there aren’t enough funds available for startup costs, it may be difficult for these companies to get off the ground.

Can Community Managers Build an Inclusive  Coworking Space?

Community managers are the glue that holds together a space. They ensure that everyone feels welcome and included and that new members immediately feel they’re part of the community.

Community managers can build an inclusive coworking space by:

  • Engaging with the community and helping members feel comfortable sharing their stories. Community managers should ask questions like “how do you feel about [topic]?” or “what has been your experience with [topic]?” They can also direct members to resources or articles to help them get involved with the community.
  • Build relationships with members outside the platform by finding out if they have businesses or hobbies they’re involved in! Ask them if they know anyone else who might be interested in joining your space.
  • Encourage members to connect with others outside the platform (such as on social media) to build relationships with real people instead of just digital profiles.
  • Ensure the coworking space is comfortable for everyone, including people with disabilities. It means providing resources like assistive technology or physical accommodations that make it easier for people with disabilities to be included in events at the coworking space.
  • Host a networking day for minority businesses, which can help these businesses gain exposure and access new markets. 
  • Community managers should also offer different price tiers for memberships and special rates for low-income individuals so that everyone can participate in the coworking space.
  • Develop a code of conduct that includes all members. It can include language usage, behavior expectations, reporting procedures for harassment or abuse, and more. 
  • Educate their community about the importance of being inclusive and how to be inclusive. 

In Workspace Marketing, Should Minority Businesses Be a Target?

Yes. Minority-owned businesses are more likely to hire other minorities than non-minority businesses. Hiring employees from these businesses will make your company more diverse, which can help you reach out to a wider audience and expand your customer base.

In addition, most consumers prefer to do business with socially conscious companies—and hiring from minority-owned businesses is a great way to show that you care about diversity and inclusion.

Inclusivity is about ensuring that your workplace welcomes and accommodates people who may have a mental or physical disability or identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.

Inclusivity is making spaces inclusive for everyone, regardless of background or identity. It can mean ensuring that your marketing materials are accessible to people with visual impairments or that your website is accessible to those who use screen readers. It can also mean using language that’s inclusive to all genders and orientations (such as “partner” instead of “boyfriend”).

For inclusivity, goodwill should come from the local community and their willingness and desire to support these coworking spaces. These actions could be as simple and easy as going out of the way for someone who may not look like you or taking your time to talk with them before rushing onto your next fire.

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