Creating a supportive community is an important goal at OneSpace, so we’re proud that our Workforce Development Manager Sam Whitaker has won the Vanilla Forums CMAD 2016 Award for his work with our freelance team. Sam recently spoke with Vanilla Forums about the OneSpace community.
Sam came to OneSpace in 2012 as a workforce experience intern, and he got to know many of our freelancers as he responded to emails from workforce members. Sam then accepted the role of Content Solutions Specialist and managed more than 7,000 freelance writers and editors working on content projects. Sam continued in project management until he transitioned to his current role as Workforce Development Manager in January 2015. Sam communicates with the freelance workforce through email and support tickets, but a major focus of his work is supporting the freelance community on the OneSpace forum.
Why the forum matters for OneSpace
Sam explains that the forum is crucial for the OneSpace team because freelancers are spread out in different cities and don’t necessarily get to meet each other in person the way coworkers in a traditional office space do. Through the forum, freelancers can talk to each other, share tips and ask for advice. The forum also lets OneSpace administrators share information with the freelance workforce, and freelancers are able to respond with constructive feedback.
An unexpected benefit
Sam says that in addition to the typical benefits of the freelance forum, one of the more rewarding results of forum interactions is that some freelancers put in extra effort to help each other. New freelancers often enter the forum with questions about how to get started or how the OneSpace platform works, and more experienced freelancers step up to answer their questions and act as informal mentors. This is helpful not only to the individual freelancers but also to OneSpace and the freelance workforce as a whole.
Sam’s advice for community managers
Sam suggests that community managers shouldn’t be discouraged by the few negative comments they encounter from time to time because it’s not realistic to expect all forum participants to completely agree with each other. He recommends that community managers persevere in advocating for their teams and finding solutions that most team members are happy with, even if there are a few dissenting voices.
Read the full interview on the Vanilla Forums blog. Congratulations, Sam!