Community can be hard to describe because so much of it is a feeling.
It’s the feeling of your first day at a new building figuring out where to go. It’s being invited to an upcoming event or having a familiar face to wave to when you come in. It’s being able to fully focus on work because you’re in an environment that inspires you.
From signing up as a member to accessing the space, we’ve designed a coworking experience that lets you work the way you want to work. Placemaking starts with understanding what people need and how they work to be able to create a seamless, flexible solution to the ever changing idea of a workplace.
What we’ve designed at Catalyst Commons has been intentional, but is also thanks to our incredible members who share feedback, spark new ideas, and contribute to the supportive community we have today.
In that spirit, we want to share three simple ways we’re building community together and what it looks and feels like at Catalyst Commons.
Regular events that spark connections
Networking can be awkward! We get it. But we also hear from members that they love chances to get to know each other. So what better way to meet than over waffles, strawberry sauce and whip cream?
Waffle Wednesdays are one of our most popular events. We get to have breakfast together and members can meet their neighbours. Our monthly social events have included a sandwich bar, a wine & cheese happy hour, and Lunch & Learn events where members share their knowledge. Our best events give people the opportunity to chat with the person standing next to you, with less pressure.
Sometimes overcoming awkwardness and making connections happens in the simplest of ways: from grabbing your morning coffee, to waiting for fresh hot waffles, to being greeted by our Dogs of Commons in the reception areas.
A piece of home in shared spaces
The Personal Mug Wall is where members can bring in their own favourite mug from home. They range from locally made ceramics, to ones it The Office quotes, to souvenir mugs from past trips.
When you bring a part of you to a new community, even something as small as a mug, it opens up conversation and connection.
There are always unwritten norms in any shared space that can be tricky to figure out. We give tours to new members to explain how things work and answer any burning questions (like what mugs to use, and a demo of our fancy espresso machine!). We all play a part in keeping the space feeling clean, welcoming and supportive and clear expectations upfront empowers our members to feel included in that.
Celebrating member’s businesses
Many of our members here are entrepreneurs and want to learn and share with like-minded people. When you don’t have a set team of coworkers of your own, a coworking space is a way to create a new kind of team. Your coworking family becomes your community and professional network – people that will spread the news about your business.
We love to make introductions and create the environment for great connections and conversations. In our dedicated desk area, we have many entrepreneur members that we feature on our Member Wall with their photo, bio and contact information.
Sarah Martin, one of our dedicated desk members and founder of Optimal Affect, said “having other people around me who also have their own businesses here reminds me to be taking care of myself.”
Everything is better with friends – especially work
As I sit at a Hot Desk today, on National Coworking Day, I’m surrounded by so many bright and wonderful faces. I’m so proud of our Community, and what we’ve built here. I’m struck by this feeling of warmth and connection. A feeling that grows with every new face we meet.
Don’t be shy(or be shy, we love introverts too). We’re here to support you through the awkward stage of being new. If you’re interested in checking out the space, book a tour and we hope to see you soon!Build the community you want to join