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A Day in the Life of a Community Manager

Thrive Editorial

THRIVE Community Managers enhance the work experience.

What does a Community Manager at THRIVE | Coworking do? We’re so glad you asked. Here’s how they make your workday better, plus our tips on the best ways to maximize your coworking experience.

By Kaytlin Cook

Question (not rhetorical) … is there anything better than the smell of coffee in the morning?

I guess tea drinkers might claim the smell of their steeping leaves has the same effect, but I am not so easily swayed. I’m no scientist, but I think the morning coffee smell is your nose’s way of alerting your body that the day has begun, and it is filled with possibility (as long as you drink that coffee first, of course.)

That’s why when I start my day as the Community Manager for THRIVE | Coworking in Greenville, SC, the first thing I do is start the coffee. The beginning of my day has a consistent, dependable rhythm: I fire up the coffee, turn on my favorite playlist (often heavily saturated with John Mayer), make sure snacks are stocked, cut lemons and limes for the fruit water, unload the dishwasher, and take my morning walk around the space.

THRIVE | Greenville Community Manager Kaytlin Cook. She says her job is a little bit soccer mom crossed with “front desk therapist.”

I walk past Micah and know he will already be immersed in whatever is in front of him. I play this game with myself where I see if I can go by slowly enough to get him to look up. (Have you seen people trying to get a reaction from those guards with the fuzzy hats in London? It’s like that.) I take a spin through the space and get to say good morning to people as they are starting their day. It means a lot to me to know that on one of these morning walks maybe I’ve had the opportunity to uplift someone who had a bad start to the morning. Or that my morning hello is a part of their morning routine, too.

So, What Do You Do?

I often have people ask me what I do in my role. Such a simple question … that sometimes stumps me. The truth is there are a lot of different answers. I could start by talking about the physical task of managing the space, the part of me that sometimes feels half soccer-mom, half student-housing Resident Advisor. When leaving for a recent work retreat, I jokingly instructed one of my members not to burn down the place while I was gone and was met back with a playful “whatever you say, mom.”

There is a lot of power to be had in being the procurer of the yummy snacks and sodas, the caller and coordinator of repair people, the keeper of the keys for the beer fridge, and the organizer of member events. What always surprises me is the amount of gratitude these tasks are often met with. What do you mean “thank you?” I am just doing my job! Whatever exactly that may be.

From Counselor to Sales Manager

“Front-Desk Therapist” is one term that came up when I asked current and former Community Managers to describe the role. In the day-to-day of work and life, I get to be a positive presence in the lives of my members. Sometimes I can tell when someone has something they need to vent about by the way they’ll linger slightly longer by my desk. “Here I am! Vent to me! I don’t know your good-for-nothing boyfriend, and whether or not it’s all his fault doesn’t matter, because I am just here to listen.” This is the part of my job that always pops up unexpectedly, and I often pause everything I am working on to attend to it. When it comes to people, the idea of a deadline is a little different.

“I am just here to listen,” says Kaytlin.

“Office Sales” is how Patrick, the THRIVE Community Manager in Asheville, NC, describes his position to those who know nothing of it. Walking around, showing off the space, it’s easy for me to feel like the ruler of the castle. Welcome to my kingdom! It may have taken a whole team of people to carefully curate this space, but I am the one here so I will gladly take all the admiration. But some days I have given my tour so many times that things start to blur together.

Who was wondering about our policy on hairless cats? And who wanted to know if they could lease out an office for half of its original price? At times I feel a few cosmetic surgeries and one Nick Cannon baby away from Selling Sunset, going back and forth between two potential buyers vying for the same office. This is one of many parts of my job that constantly keeps me on my toes, as often people will pop in eager and excited for a tour. Right then! At that moment! Regardless of what you’re doing! In a newly opened space, being ready to give your best tour to date at any and every moment is very important because you never know how that could change the trajectory of your space.

Welcome to … The Love Boat?

“I’m a cruise director … kind of like Julie McCoy on The Love Boat.” That’s what Storm, our Community Manager in Alpharetta, GA, says. I am not too proud to admit my Gen Z-self had to look up this character, but upon further research, the comparison is spot on. Just like a cruise director tries to keep their passengers active and engaged, the job of a community manager is to help people forget that today is just another day in the office. Because, truthfully, it’s not! Each day is full of new possibilities, new faces, and new events, and it’s our job to remind people of that in the space we curate. We also want to make sure our members find like-minded individuals to enjoy their time on our metaphorical cruise ship.

The only way to accomplish this is by knowing our members and creating those inroads. Oh, you both love shuffleboard? Have you considered being best friends forever? Planning member breakfasts, delicious (and often themed) happy hours, and office lunches makes up a big piece of this Community Manager pie (not a literal pie, that’s a little too Sweeney Todd … although I do love musical theater).

Planning and executing THRIVE’s networking events is a major responsibility for community managers.

We’re Here for You

Above everything, to me, the job of a Community Manager is to be unwaveringly in support of the people in my space. Whether that means finding the office/membership that best suits someone’s needs; assuring excellence through cleanliness and a great selection of snacks, drinks and events; answering the various questions and requests that come up throughout the day; putting out fires both metaphorical and literal; creating networking opportunities; facilitating the upkeep of the space; or providing a listening ear.

My job is to know that everyone has a heavier load than what meets the eye and to lighten it in any way I can. And the best part is that my members have — without even knowing it — returned this favor to me through their gratitude, their humanity, their humor, and their kindness. Who wouldn’t want that gig?

5 Ways to Maximize Your THRIVE | Coworking Experience

If anyone knows how to get the most out of coworking, it’s one of our CMs. Kaytlin offers her tips on how to rock your hybrid work experience.

  • Participate in Events. THRIVE hosts at least three events every month: a breakfast, lunch and happy hour. It’s a great opportunity to network (or at least get some delish food!).
  • Utilize Your 24/7 Access. Tired of the same old routine? Switch it up! Start your day at 7am or 7pm or 11am or whatever works best for you, with the flexibility of our 24/7 member access.
  • Interact on OfficeRnD. Use our member portal to share info about your business and get to know a bit about your neighbors. You never know what connections you could make and how it could inspire some collaboration.
  • If You See Something, Say Something. If there is ever anything interfering with your enjoyment of the space, always feel free to talk to your Community Manager. It’s what we’re here for!
  • Refer a Friend. Everything is better with friends and coworking is no exception. Refer a friend and get up to $500 off one month of your membership fee.

Written by Thrive Editorial

April 19, 2024

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