Author: Jennifer Belk

LOOM Members’ Handbook

(7/2017)

We are glad to have you! This handbook will help you integrate into the community. We hope that you plug in and gain a sense of ownership of the coworking spaces. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask any of the owners/directors, or any other member, for help. See the LOOM Terms and Conditions for membership for information regarding liabilities and prohibited activities.

Prior to becoming a member, all prospective members must read this document as well as the LOOM Terms and Conditions, and signify by signing the log on site, prior to having their membership confirmed and their building access set up.

 

Membership

What the community expects of its members

  • Treat other members with courtesy and respect, understanding their primary role for being here.
  • Help to create a comfortable but professional environment.
  • Connect with other members.
  • Treat the space with respect especially to art exhibits!
  • Keep current with membership dues and keep payment methods up to date.
  • Contribute work for the good of community, including cleaning, marketing, and other activities that increase the livability of the space and financial viability of the community.
  • Please make sure that your guests recognize and be respectful of LOOM as a shared work space.

What the community expects of the leadership

  • Be open to suggestions from the members.
  • Actively communicate and connect with Members
  • Keep the space running so that it is functional and comfortable.

Culture

Our culture is important to us. We aim to make LOOM a welcoming, inspiring and friendly community, away from the professional distractions of household chores, kids, dogs, etc. We value openness, curiosity and collaboration; the key factors that drive success. Our hope is that you will naturally make friends, meet people, collaborate, and bring your positive energy and ideas to LOOM creating an innovative and exciting environment. Please make sure that you and your guests recognize and be respectful of LOOM as a shared work space.

We believe in work/life balance and positivity. When you are here, we ask everyone leave negative vibes, confrontational behavior and personal problems at the door.

Please look after our wonderful building and consider doing the following:

  • If you see something which is broken or not quite right, please let us know.
  • If you think something isn’t working as it should, or, could be better, please let us know.
  • Please help to keep the place clean and tidy. Make yourself at home in the space, but treat it with respect.
  • Please clean up after yourself and return items where you found them.
  • Please make visitors feel welcome, let them know who you are and what you do
  • If you notice anything out of the ordinary, please let us know.

We are a welcoming and friendly community. We do not accept discrimination in any way, shape or form. We also ask that publically acceptable language be used in business and social situations at all times for the respect of all members. If something is clearly inappropriate, please speak directly to us. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the property, around the main building or the studios.

Plans

Please see the website for details on membership levels. Your plan can be adjusted at any time.

Working, noise and using the space

Hot desk members can work anywhere within the space except a dedicated desk that has been assigned. We encourage you to work in different places throughout the day & sit by different people! Some dedicated desk members allow others to use their desks when they are not here. Check with the coordinator on this.

Those who need large equipment in addition to their laptop (such as a screen too large for one of our lockers) must become a dedicated desk member.

A shared environment will never be completely quiet (nor do we want it to be!), but all members are expected to be respectful of the needs of others. Noise needs to be kept at a reasonable level. Please be conscious of those around you and their need to focus on their work. Please consider to the guidelines below:

  • LOOM is not a library. Members should feel comfortable making the noise they need to get the work done!
  • Feel free to have voice/phone conversations in the space at a reasonable level just like in a regular office. Most members do take conference calls out in the work areas.
  • Go ahead and work with others – that’s what collaboration is all about! Longer and louder conversations can be moved to one of the back work areas, an open and unreserved meeting room, outside or perhaps a downtown restaurant!
  • Please keep phones on vibrate & don’t use speaker phones in main space.
  • Be conscious of cell-yelling. Most cell phones can handle a normal speaking voice!
  • Bluetooth headsets are encouraged for privacy and ergonomics.
  • If you need to focus & don’t want to be interrupted use the balls of yarn by placing it on your desk to signal to others you wish to be left alone (“don’t mess with me, I’m on a roll!”).
  • If a person doesn’t have a ball on their desk, it is assumed you are welcome to engage unless it is evident they are on a conference call.
  • Phone booths are used for more private conversations or for intense concentration for less than one hour unless no one is waiting. These do not have to be reserved … just jump in!
  • If there is an unexpected need for use of a speaker phone or an impromptu meeting and an unclaimed meeting room is available, members can duck in and use it or reserve it last minute.
  • The back work areas are yours to escape to for concentration, relaxation, etc.

Members should be considerate and clean their work areas when they are finished working each day. LOOM is not responsible for any personal items placed on desks or in any of the common areas although we do have a lost and found in the front entryway cabinet.  Assigned desk membership allows the members to leave their equipment at the assigned desk overnight and others are welcome to leave items out while they step out to meetings or lunch.

Access

Building access is supplied through the Vizpin app on the back right door. All new part-time and full-time members will be walked through this process. See last page for additional information.

The main entrance doors will typically be open between 8.00am and 4:00pm Monday to Friday although members are still asked to utilize the reader on the back rear door upon entering whenever possible.

  • Accessing LOOM is restricted to members, escorted guests and event attendees in the event space.
  • Do not allow strangers, non-members who are not your guest, pets or children in space during work hours.
  • Members and event hosts will have door access privileges, but may not share with others.
  • People associated with a private or after-hours event should not have access or be in the main coworking area unless they have prior approval.
  • For events, non-members will need to be greeted by their event host at the event door.
  • Returning to main coworking space, you will have to use the phone app to get back in, so don’t forget it.

Part time and Full time member access to the main building is from 7:00am-7pm Mon-Fri and 9:00am-3:00pm on Saturdays. Member access to the Studio building is from 5am-Midnight. Visitor and Day Pass Member access is from 8am-5pm.

As the work space is rarely utilized on Saturdays, members should be aware that there are often other events on Saturdays in the event space and occasionally in the lounge. Members are welcome to utilize the podcast studio, meeting room, and back work areas during these overlapping times if needed. Should you decide to come in on a Saturday or ever need use of the meeting room or podcast studio after hours, please let us know and we can give you alternate entry information.

Special events, meetings and classes take place here throughout the week so please check the online booking calendar to see if there is a function that would impede your use of the space. Otherwise, we encourage you to use the studios any time you need to work with a team member, have some heads down time, or spread out a big project!

Checking-in

When members arrive and log into the community internet, members are asked to also check in via Cobot. This information will be used to analyze member usage and for billing part-time member overages. This is as a backup to our staff documentation.

All members … at the end of each day please:

  • Make sure you have all your belongings
  • If it is your last visit for the week, take any of your leftovers or fridge contents
  • Ensure that your own dishes are clean
  • Return any moved furniture to its home
  • Make certain any guests have left before you do

If you are the last member to leave, please:

  • Check that the thermostat is set to 67 for heat and 80 for air conditioning
  • Make sure all lights are off throughout the space
  • Ensure that the coffee maker, sound machines, Alexa, etc. are off
  • Ensure the door closes and locks behind you, making sure that any of the opposing glass doors are also relatched.
  • If any door is unlocked and you can’t lock it, please call 803-548-5666

Guests

We encourage all members to invite friends and business associates to try out coworking as well as to host meetings in our facility with outside guests. Member incentives are in place for those who recruit new members!

If a visitor comes in for a trial day and the coordinator is absent, please feel free to set them up with guest access then let the coordinator or someone else in charge know.

All guests must be signed in at the front desk and must be guests of active members or trial day visitors. Please be aware of security within the building. Do not let guests (other than your own) in to work unless management is aware. If you notice anyone you don’t know who is not a member or with a member, please do say hello, give them appropriate information about our community (in foyer), and get their information for follow up.

Your membership covers your use of the space. We define a guest as someone who is actively meeting with a member in the event space or meeting room, but doesn’t maintain an active membership with us.

  • You may actively meet with guests throughout the space
  • For non-members who are not actively meeting with you, who are staying and working alongside of you for an extended period, or who are present when you aren’t, we require them to purchase either a day pass or become a member. The member who invites and gives access to non-members is responsible for their guest actions in both financial and legal capacities and should accompany them at all times.

Reserving conference room, podcast studio and the lab:

Members may reserve private spaces in advance by reserving the times they need them online through Cobot. We ask that members be reasonable and considerate of other members, especially during high use hours, and not use them excessively. Day pass members may reserve time in a conference room only on the same day they are at LOOM. Members are welcome to have non-confidential meetings with clients throughout the open areas or outside without reserving a space.

  • To schedule a room, you must use our go through the Cobot website at the “Booking Calendar” Tab.
  • In general, rooms should be booked two business days in advance to avoid potential last minute confusions. The rooms are designated places to meet with guests and other members, to have conversations in a more private setting, or when your activity might distract or disrupt others.
  • We prioritize the use of rooms to those who have scheduled a space with their membership hours or paid reservations. When the room is not reserved, any member may use the rooms for free if they are available.
  • If you are using a room, please check Cobot before your meeting to see when the next scheduled time is so you can be considerate of those who have booked the room. If you are using the room and it becomes someone’s scheduled time, please vacate the room, even if they have not arrived yet. Feel free to relocate to another available space.
  • Clean up after you use a room, returning chairs and tables to their proper places and dispose of trash.
  • If you reserve the podcast studio or the lab, get with management and we will coordinate equipment.

*Per member requests, we have set the private rooms to at allow as little as 30 minute to as much as 120 minute reservations and to allow members to cancel reservations with as little as 2 hours notice. Any other needs can be taken care of through coordinator.

Hosting events

In order to minimize disruption to LOOM, members can host events that are open and applicable to other community members during specific low use times (7:00-9:00 M-F; 5:00-7:00 M-F, 9:00-3:00 Sat and lunches when appropriate in the Gallery, any time in the Studios). Full-time members receive one hour of event space use (an $80 value) each month to use as they please! Private events must be during special event hours only. Members may not host events or have highly interactive meetings with multiple guests in the public areas prior to 5pm on weekdays as a courtesy to other members.

  • Please coordinate with the Programming Coordinator as members cannot book the event spaces directly (to avoid scheduling conflicts). Event organizers should include in their meeting notices all details including the audience, needed furniture arrangement and sponsors.
  • LOOM will assist in the social media promotion of all events open to the public!
  • A separate contract is used for event space rentals and uses.

Technology

  • All accounts, room reservations, and member profiles (keep updated!) are maintained through Cobot
  • All member communications are via Slack.com/App, Cobot and newsletters … PLEASE UTILIZE APP AND SET NOTIFICATIONS FOR EACH CHANNEL AS YOU LIKE!
  • The space has two methods of wi-fi access. Guests should use “Loom Coworking Guest” 

It is important that no one disturbs the I.T. equipment or the networking of the printer except the operations manager. If the internet goes down, just breathe. Contact the coordinator and a technician will be notified.

Printer/Scanner/Copier

LOOM has a printer/scanner/copier located in the workspace. No one is to reset the printer (as this will mess everyone else up). You can print to it over the network once you have added the printer to your choices. It has the ability to scan to a pdf. At this time there is no printer management and printing is on the honor system. Members are asked not to take advantage and only print a few pages per day. Should a member need to make multiple prints of an item, they should inform the director and log their prints on the provided form.

Thermostat

Should you need it cooler or warmer, please feel free to make minor adjustments to the thermostat but make sure to set back before you leave, especially in the studio as it is more sporadically used.

Equipment

Any equipment needed for a meeting or event (such as the mobile television) should be reserved via Cobot when the space is reserved. See director with questions.

Sustainability

We are committed to sustainable environmental practices:

  • Please reduce electricity consumption by switching off lights and electrical items when not in use.
  • Please reduce energy consumption by not being too varied with the thermostats.
  • Commuters are encouraged to consider cycling and walking to work as alternatives to private car travel.

Breakroom, Bathrooms and Supplies

In general, supplies are located where they are needed, based on whether event guests should have access to them. Do not hesitate to ask if you can’t find something. Please let us know if we run out of any basic office, restroom or breakroom supplies via the shopping list on the refrigerator.

LOOM has a kitchen area with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave that members can use.

  • Label your stuff! Members frequently bring food in to share with other members and should be marked accordingly as well. Perishables and leftovers must be removed at the end of the week.
  • Anything left on the coffee counter or on top of the microwave is “fair game”!
  • Coffee and tea are free and the first person in the office is encouraged to make a pot of coffee to share. Please place a sticky note on the machine so folks know when it was made.
  • There is a list on the refrigerator for needed supplies (use the last of something? mark it!) or requests.
  • LOOM is BYOC … Bring Your Own Cup! We all have our favorite coffee mug with your team logo, inspirational message or sarcastic comment. Bring yours and claim it proudly. If you see someone with a solid generic cup, you know they are a newbie or a visitor and you will know to be super friendly!
  • Members are asked to wash their own dishes and clean up any spills they create. There is a basket in the kitchen for dirty wash cloths and a cabinet with extra paper products, cleaning supplies, etc.
  • Snacks and sodas are offered via honor system. A tally sheet is located on the refrigerator for you to mark with hashmarks. 25 cents per snack will be added to your bill at the end of the month unless otherwise requested.
  • There is also a cabinet in the bathroom for personal items. Feel free to bring a toiletry bag with essentials in it you might need for a mid-day freshen up. First aid kit is also located there.
  • Refill paper products are located in the file cabinet in the I.T. room and we try to keep some spare in each bathroom and in the breakroom.
  • The beer located in the refrigerator is available to members. However, we ask that members refrain from partaking until after normal business hours.

Storage

Locked storage available for rent.

Lunches

We encourage members to have lunch here with coworkers and even grab take out and bring business associates for lunch! There are several dining options where we get discounts. Generally, every Friday we go out for lunch so check SLACK on Friday morning for location and time. The social lunches are a great way to get to know other members.

Mail

Members may (for an additional cost) receive mail and packages at LOOM, use our address for business filings as well as use LOOM as your Google registration address. A minimum of 12-month commitment is required for this service. If you are expecting a package, please inform the Director. LOOM will not accept articles that must be signed for. If a virtual member comes by to pick up mail and the coordinator is absent, they know where to check.

Calendar

The LOOM community calendar is kept on the Facebook page. Should a member coordinate an event or need to add something to the calendar, they should do that through the Programming Coordinator. Quite a number of events happen at LOOM, some members-only, others public. Watch the Cobot Calendar for these events. Other events can be added to the calendar for everyone’s use by identifying them as an off-site event.  Events, collaboration opportunities, new members, etc. are announced on SLACK each week!

Member Promotion

Members are encouraged to:

  • Keep cards on the literature rack
  • Announce business promotions, awards, news, etc. via SLACK and share on social media
  • Use our space for any lunch and learns or other public events that benefit you and your business

Community partners

LOOM part-time and full-time members are encouraged to take advantage of the members-only discounts offered from local vendors and service providers. All you have to do is show your Vizpin access screen to claim your discount. As this is an ever evolving list, you should check the Partners and Sponsors link on the LOOM website.

Social Media

Members are encouraged to actively participate via social media networks by sharing articles and other helpful information and events by tagging LOOM on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We appreciate you checking-in at LOOM on social media when coming to work or attending events. Only professional and positive content please.

Community Parties

Generally, once a quarter there is a party (family game night, Christmas potluck, etc.) to allow families of members to get to know the community members. Feel free to suggest other social activities!

Library@LOOM

Within the space, you’ll find several bookshelves with books offered by the Members to share with one another. You’re welcome to browse and check them out for a max of 2 weeks (can be renewed), but please treat them with care. Note if you want “dibs”!

Fine Art

Throughout the year, LOOM will have rotating gallery exhibits in both the event and workspace. Members should take extra care not to disturb the pieces. Members are encouraged to be involved with the arts program by suggesting exhibits and assisting with curating or by submitting work for exhibit.

Parking

There are several options for free parking on our property and throughout the area. Please refer to LOOM parking plan for specifics. Utilize a sticker or dash board sign and let us know if you ever need to park overnight. Please keep the parking in front of the salon and photography studio clear.

Contact information:

Items below warrant immediate phone calls to 803-548-LOOM regardless of time or day of week (24/7).

Items with *call 911 first!

  • Fire* (Extinguishers located at exit doors)
  • Medical emergencies*
  • Flooding
  • Burglary or break in*
  • Not able to securely lock a door when leaving
  • Any other instance that threatens security or safety

The non-emergency number for the police is 803-547-2022 and do not hesitate to call!

VIZPIN Door Reader Access 

For members and event organizers to access the space, we grant access based via a phone app.  The app uses Bluetooth to trigger the door reader.  This way, you do not have to have a key or a key fob to carry around.

  • First download the Vizpin app via the app store, the app is available for both android and iphone. On Android there are several versions, please be sure you select “VIZpin Smart”
  • Download the app and then open the app. The register screen will come up the first time you load the app.  All the lines are required for you to fill in.
  • For the phone number, use the number of your cell phone. You must fill out both lines, so enter your phone number twice, once in each field.  Make sure this is the same number you have associated with your member billing account. Scroll to the bottom once you’ve filled out the form and press the button.
  • Once you are registered you’ll have to confirm your cell phone via a text message. You’ll receive a text with a link.  Click that link and you’re registered. At that point, LOOM will have to authorize your phone for access.  Close the app and wait for our confirmation.
  • Once the account is set up, you will open the app and hit the refresh button in the top right. It may take a few refreshes to update the app with the “keys”.
  • When you walk up to the gallery back door or the studio door, open the app and select the appropriate key (you will only have one). If you are near the door (less than 5 feet) and the keys are still not highlighted (a very pale green) try refreshing the app by pressing the refresh button in the top right of the app.  A few refreshes may be required to get the keys to turn active (vivid green).
  • If the keys will not go active, try standing closer to the door, close the app completely and then open and refresh a few times again. If that does not work, verify you have internet access via your phone’s cell provider or via wifi.  If the issue persists, please give us a call at (803) 548-LOOM.

 

 

Community – Pubs, Partners, Pride

Hobo’s Grill

Downtown Fort Mill

Coming into Fort Mill’s downtown from the south, you come over the train tracks to a beautiful park. Just across from the park is a gem of a restaurant, with the fitting name Hobo’s. As a beautiful place to listen and watch trains, Hobo’s pulls on the southern hospitality of comfort food while offering modern takes on the food of the generation that rode the rails, The Hobos. Read more

Kids out of school? Home office just turn into Grand Central Station?

GREAT NEWS! SUMMER IS HERE!

Bad news …. Summer is here

Summer can be a wonderful break for kids … a way to refresh themselves and prep for the fall. However, it can be a very stressful time for the 1/3rd of us who are independent, remote or mobile workers. The place that may have been our haven now makes us the go-to person for entertainment and information for bored offspring. You want to spend time with them, but you still have a job, and now that job has become harder to do.

When you are working, you feel guilty about (and distracted by) having to shoo away the kids. When you are with the kids, you are constantly plugged-in because you feel you didn’t get everything done for work. Coworkers and family don’t know what your “office hours” are because they don’t exist. The line between home time and work time eventually disappears.

Do yourself and your children a favor …

 

Set and maintain expectations

During the school year, kids don’t expect you to be available constantly and they don’t care because they themselves are busy and juggling. However, in the summer they can’t understand that their responsibility level change but yours doesn’t.

Take heart … kids thrive when they have consistency and predictability. When they know what to expect, they aren’t frustrated as frequently. The flux of summer break can be unusually stressful for kids, especially if they expect total freedom, flexibility and availability on your part. Discussing each weekend what the next week has in store (as far as camps, workload, travel, etc.) can alleviate many disappointments and help kids take an active role in entertaining themselves.

Find a balance

It is important to understand that summer isn’t just for kids. Everyone needs a break to not only rest but to reflect on the past year and set priorities for the next (14 years teaching makes me think of years from summer to summer, not January to December). Finding a balance of work and play during the summer can help you realize that 50 weeks of working with your hair on fire isn’t erased by 2 weeks of vacation, any more than 50 weeks of eating nachos and hotdogs isn’t erased by a major juice cleanse!

Question …. could your summer work be consolidated into 3 dense days of productive work, allowing you to take many long weekends with the family? Continuing to work while kids are out of school, but doing it on an adjusted basis, can give mom and dad the best of both worlds.

Make the goal to be present with your work and your family

Whether you can take a lot or just a little time with the family over the summer, make it count! Being physically there doesn’t benefit the kids if your head is always in the laptop and your eyes are always on your phone. The dining room table should be covered with food, drink and Apples-to-Apples cards, not electrical cords and sticky notes. Seek ways to keep work at work and home at home, especially if you are an entrepreneur or a mobile professional.

 

But how do you do that?

One way is to connect with a local coworking community. These are collaborative, flexible office spaces where people (like you!) can go to have fully productive days, allowing them to pack up and go home and create that boundary between work and family that many independent workers have found to be elusive.

Coworking allows moms and dads to connect with other adults who can relate to the need for balance. Many coworking communities, like LOOM, offer part-time plans and month to month flexibility so that parents can use the work environment as a supportive resource as little and as much as needed.

Summer should be something we all look forward to! Not feeling it because you are thinking you can’t balance parenting and professional productivity? See how coworking can help!

 

Live in or around Fort Mill and not sure about the whole coworking thing? Give it a try for free!

Call us at 803-548-5666 a come have a trial day on us!

Is coworking a game changer independent workers?

I recently read an article, “Coworking— a game changer in office space” and thought it addressed a lot of the questions people have about coworking. Personally, I feel the community and educational amenities (lunch and learns, collaboration and consultation opportunities, etc.) are the foundation of coworking. This explains that as well as some of the more economical aspects.

DSC_1203Here are some of the most relevant sound bites:

 

• “Only 50% of the coworking business is the space, the other 50% is the community,”
• “Coworking is like the Uber of office space. You only pay for what you use for as long as you need the space.”
• As a coworking space operator, we assume the real estate risks. But we derisk the real estate holding costs for the users (members)
• “I started Collective Works because I saw isolation being one of the major challenges of small businesses and found a way of fixing it,”
• “I knew I wasn’t alone. I kept meeting people … who are entrepreneurs, but they weren’t quite prepared to make that jump from a home office to a proper office space as the risk was huge, especially if they had other financial commitments — for instance, children and a mortgage.”
• “Coworking is ideal for small high-growth companies like ours,” says Vasu. “We want to focus on growing our business and not managing an office.”
• “We chose coworking because we think that in the future, everybody will work in such spaces,”
• Murphy likens coworking to a gym membership. “In the future, a coworking membership will be like a gym membership…It will make life a lot easier and will definitely be the workplace of the future.”
• “It definitely opens up a new market segment, … where the government is encouraging entrepreneurship.”
• “There’s a misconception that coworking is only for start-ups,”

See entire article here
By Cecilia Chow / The Edge Property | April 8, 2016

Learn more about what LOOM Coworking, Gallery and Event Space is doing for professionals in the Fort Mill business community!

Read more

Keeping Company with Those Smarter Than Yourself – A Look at the Shared Economy

Michael (my other half) has always said of his job “I don’t have to know everything, I just have to know the smart people”.

Back in the day, when a paycheck was earned by manual labor and hard work, it truly did “take a village” to raise a family and survive. When the original mill villages in Fort Mill were built, each house (no bigger than 3-4 rooms) was placed on a lot just large enough for that structure and a little bit extra to grow or raise SOMETHING … but not EVERYTHING. One person might have a small vegetable garden while another might have a chicken house. One might have an animal while another might own the plow for that animal to pull…. but no one had everything. If you wanted to feed your family, you depended on the skills, resources and the willingness of those around you.

This is just like us today. We are capable in our time and mental proficiency to do SOME of the things we need to do to become successful entrepreneurs or to keep a business going, but certainly not EVERYTHING.

DSC_1164Personally, I can handle making website updates but I will admit that I don’t know enough to start one from scratch. I can maintain our accounts and reservation systems online but I depend on the advice of those much more experienced than I am on what software to use to do it. Planning professional development events might be my superhero power, but I can’t do it without the sponsorships and support of local vendors.

Some people call this honesty being vulnerable, admitting you can’t handle everything. I call it being
realistic and smart. Why should we all feel like we have to be everything (marketer, planner, manager, designer, author, etc.) to our clients and our community when there are resources, our neighbors, all around us that can do it quicker and better than we can and make our local economy better in the process?

This also solidifies my belief that having a Coworking community in downtown Fort Mill has been a progressive step towards fostering the symbiotic relationships essential for innovation, fulfillment and success …. professionally and personally. Today’s Coworking communities, a representation of our shared economy, are not just about sharing products and space, but also rather sharing contacts, skills and knowledge. I believe there is nothing wrong with needing others. In fact, that is how we were made. That is how our community, the beautiful Fort Mill, was made … and why it will continue to thrive, if we help it.

So, you think I am smart? You should see who I keep company with!