First things first, what does the job really entail?
Designations are a funny thing — the same position could mean an entirely different role depending on where you’re working at. Being the pesky, wide-eyed journalists like we are at Buro 24/7 Singapore, it didn’t take us long to get increasingly curious of the friendly folk managing the beautiful workspace we were previously at — The Co @ 99 Duxton Hill. While we’ve already left the posh white building, it wasn’t before we satisfied the burning questions we had for the staff working at The Co.
“So, what exactly do you do here?” “If you’re managing a co-working space, does that mean you don’t have an office?” “Does anyone working here own an office?"
While others might have shut the door in our faces, we were lucky enough to find 29-year-old Hansen Chong, community manager at The Co., who took time off his busy schedule to accommodate our intrusive questions. The amicable Malaysian native has been in this role for over a year now — 11 months at The Co. in Kuala Lumpur and two months here in Singapore.
His position is one that’s incredibly personable — managing existing members, introducing interested walk-ins to the workspace as well as assisting them in events if necessary. “The role is extremely diverse; I could be dealing with someone who’s here in town just for a day or connecting a member who’s looking for a web developer to someone whom I have worked with before. To me, every interaction doesn’t have to be strictly business — in fact it’s easier when you have a casual interaction with your clients and tenants. After all, here at The Co., we offer our members other perks from lifestyle-related vendors that come in with us. It’s almost like we’re a concierge and I’m the connector. My job is to enhance the overall experience for them,” says Chong.
While every day might look different for Chong, there are certain elements of his job that remain the same throughout. Here’s what a day in a life of a community manager looks like, as told by the man himself.
I take a bus down to Duxton Hill. Pumped, ready to conquer the day — I guess that’s what happens when you actually like your job. To kick it off, I order a hot mocha at Monument Lifestyle, just down at Duxton Road. Somehow, coffee tastes better when it’s spiked with chocolate. After that, I gather my team of community executives to brainstorm ideas for any upcoming events.
I meet with a prospective member from a small company who’s looking for a workspace for a few months. We hit it off, and the meeting ends with myself talking about my favourite beach in Malaysia.
My stomach is in a rage right now. I usually like to head to Crackerjack, but my boss Nim is craving Korean food today. He’s buying so I’m not complaining. We head to our regular spot, Todamgol, where we order a sharing platter for two. While we’re at it, I tell him I’ve secured another F&B vendor to come in with us. He’s pleased with the news and orders more meat. Score.
I grab coffee with an exising member who’s looking to renew her membership. She tells me she’s into yoga lately, which is perfect timing as we’re about to hold a beer yoga event sometime soon. We soon digress, chatting about our favourite drinking holes in the city.
Finally it’s time to check my emails… I have about 20 unread emails, from enquiries to requests to work at The Co., as well as from vendors that I’m currently working with for an upcoming event. Before I know it, the day is almost over.
Well, maybe not just yet. Today is one of those days where I have an event to plan for. I make sure everything is set up accordingly. Food, check. Drinks, check. Space demands, check. My client seems to be having a blast and that pretty much sums up what I aim to do here — another day done and dusted.