Writing a visitor or guest policy is an essential part of a successful coworking community. It protects the space, the employees, and the coworking members. Visitor policy will ensure that you don’t lose money because of limitless guests. It will also keep your members informed and secured from unwanted visitors.
How you handle the visitor policy can determine the satisfaction of your members and evoke interest in guests to become members. Therefore, writing this policy demands a lot of thoughtfulness and detail. To help you write the best visitor policy, we have compiled a list of useful coworking tips that will give you some guidance.
Limit the Number of Guests per Member
Ensure that members don’t overstep the boundaries by limiting how many guests a member can have. This will decrease the security risk and the possibility of overcrowding the space.
Keep track of your guests at all times. Specify in the policy that a sign-in procedure is a must and state how many guests a member can bring in. Keep in mind that different rooms can have different limitations. For example, if you limit the guest number per member to 2, you will have to make an exception for members who reserve a 10-people conference room.
You can also limit the daily number of guests. If you use a coworking space software for reservation, once the capacity is filled set up the software that no more guests can make reservations for that day. The policy should include the limitations as well as a statement that the limitation exists for safety purposes.
Designate the Authority for Guest Approval
Decide and state who will be in charge of admitting guests. Some coworking spaces assign this responsibility to managers or receptionists, while others allow all staff members to authorize visitors. All in all, clarify who has the authority to approve entrance to guests and educate your employees about it.
The person who is responsible for guest approval needs to ask for proof of identification before the guests’ check-in. That person should also have the knowledge of how many guests are allowed to come in each day (if you have such restrictions). The policy needs state where the guests can sign in, that is, whom they should address to check them in.
Usually, the figure of authority who is in charge of guest approval is somewhere at the entrance so that the guests can spot them instantly. Having someone greet the guests right away will help you avoid the interruption and confusion.
Assign Mandatory Check-In
Keep track of every individual who comes in and walks out of the coworking space with visitor check-in and sign-out sheet. This will ensure that you have an overview of the situation in your coworking space. Some coworking spaces have different guest categories (visitors, family members, employees, partners, etc.) so if that’s the case with your space as well, include a section that asks for guests to state their purpose for visiting.
If you use a coworking app such for reservation, make sure that there is a check-in option for guests as well. The guests could have access to the app just as the members do. The check-in process will go smoother when they can look into availability before they reach the coworking space.
Another useful aspect of mandatory check-in is that you’ll have all the records for future reference. In case of any emergency, you can easily access the information about guests.
State the Amenities that Guests Can Use
Be clear about the perks that guests are entitled to. They can have a free drink, for example, or access to Wi-Fi connection. The reason why stating available amenities is helpful is that it will eliminate any possible confusion. Guests won’t be able to demand the amenities that members have when the visitor policy clearly defines what they can and cannot use.
Sean Duncan, a business writing expert, and writer at BestWritingAdvisor.com shared his experience as a guest in coworking spaces. “My work allows me to work remotely so I often visit coworking spaces in different countries. I find it very useful when I can see what amenities will be available to me. Then I can set my expectations and decide whether that coworking space is suitable for me,” said Sean.
Even if you have a designated room for visitors, they might get the wrong impression that they can use amenities outside of that room as well. State the specific amenities that guests will have at their disposal, and you won’t have to worry about it.
Include in the Policy the Room Access
Specify which rooms the guests can use. If you have a designated area for visitors (which would be very useful, especially security-wise), they can be allowed to spend time in that room only. Many top coworking spaces have adopted this method. Even if you don’t have such a room just yet, you can make some arrangements over time if your space allows you to.
Limiting access to certain rooms is important for making your members feel safe and secure. You don’t want to have guests roaming around all rooms and possibility interrupting someone’s meeting. If members bring guests to rooms that are only available to members, you could ask those visitors to sign a non-disclosure agreement and restrict them from taking photographs. Include all those points in the policy.
You might want to allow guests to use conference rooms, but you can limit access to back offices. The more details you include about the office access restrictions in the policy, the less you’ll have to stress about security.
Outline the Fees
In case a guest wants to use an extra amenity or use a room that is outside of guest availability, you can charge a certain fee. The fees can stop guests from taking advantage of visitors’ privileges. The visitor policy should include all fees that the guests may be responsible for.
For example, if the guest has one free beverage, state the price for extra beverages. If a guest has access to visitors’ room only, define the fee (per hour or per day) for using the main areas. Not only will the outline of the fees prevent the abuse of your hospitality, but it will also motivate the visitors to explore different aspects of your space. Having acceptable fees for additional amenities can encourage visitors to give them a try and possibility turn them into a member.
If you use a coworking space software and automated payment system, it is highly recommendable that you share these fees on your app. In that way, guests can inform themselves of the pricing when they create an account. They’ll have all relevant information about prices in the palm of their hand.
Share the Coworking Etiquette Rules
All the rules that members have to respect should also be respected by visitors. Define the coworking etiquette and share them in your visitor policy. Those rules can include respecting the privacy of others, keeping the noise to a minimum, making phone calls in designated areas, cleaning after yourself, etc. Most of these rules seem unnecessary to state, but you should protect your space by presenting them in the written form.
You might need some help with writing all those rules. Find a freelance writer or custom coursework writing service who can help you rephrase your thoughts in the best possible way. This is important because you don’t want to offend your guests and members by expressing yourself in the wrong way.
Emphasize that Members Are Responsible for the Guests They Bring
Members who bring guests need to be aware that they will be fully responsible for those guests’ actions. Having an awareness that their guests’ behavior can affect their membership will make the members more cautious. The penalty for poor guest’s behavior can be a termination of membership or charging fees.
If a member’s guest doesn’t respect the coworking etiquette or creates a mess, both the member and visitor are equally responsible. Why is this necessary? Because members can bring multiple guests due to a meeting. Your employees can’t watch over numerous guests, but members can be in charge of the people that come with them. They should be the ones who will inform them of appropriate behavior. Considering that you have members’ personal information, they won’t be able to avoid the fees.
The main reason for visitor policy might be security. However, it should also make the guests feel welcomed. The policy should inform the guests about how they can check-in, what they can expect from your space, and protect them as much as it protects the members.
With the above-mentioned tips, you’ll cover all relevant aspects related to visitors at your coworking space. Of course, you can add additional elements if your space demands them. Just focus on providing everyone with a pleasant experience once they visit your space.