Shared Space Moving Up

The coworking industry is growing rapidly, encompassing 93.2 million square feet in the top 50 U.S. office markets and making inroads in suburban spaces as well. A new special report from Yardi Matrix portrays a practice that thrives in cities with large technology sectors and in markets with office vacancy rates significantly below the 13.5% national average, including Manhattan, N.Y., San Francisco, Seattle and Boston. Areas with vacancy rates in the high teens, among them Houston and Dallas, have much less coworking space as a percentage of total stock. While 47% of coworking space is concentrated in just six traditional primary commercial real estate markets—New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston and San Francisco—“we expect that coworking will rise in suburban office markets” as the industry matures, the report says. These areas tend to draw clients from home-based workers who want an office for work and socializing purposes and from large corporations that establish small satellite offices. While highly visible turmoil surrounding industry leader WeWork fosters the impression that the entire business model is at risk, “most signs point to coworking as a growth industry that remains in the early stages of development,” the report says. New business models, such as establishing coworking properties in shopping malls and other non-traditional settings, are emerging as well. Get up to speed on all of this dynamic segment’s moving parts, prospects for further growth and risk factors in the new Yardi Matrix special report,  “Shared Space: Coworking’s Rapid Growth Set to be...

Coworking Tech Success...

With shared space workplaces becoming ever more common, it’s important to have the right technology to ensure client success and happiness. Us&Co offers private offices and coworking space in London and Dublin and has a devised a successful model that serves professionals of all kinds. We spoke with Sylvi Wilamowska, head of operations at Us&Co, to find out how on-site tech fits into that experience. An experienced Industry professional, Wilamowska enjoys helping businesses grow and succeed by providing professional workspace they can be proud of, and by taking away the hassle of day to day building management of their own space. Tell us about Us&Co  and the company values, mission & objectives? Wilamowska: Us&Co seeks to provide beautifully designed, high-end, professional workspaces, with a variety of uses. We offer our clients space where they can grow and thrive, which is complimented by first class service, delivered by our onsite team and partners. We are strong on design and appeal to a wide variety of businesses. We major on quality furniture, good natural light and space. Whether our clients are from the financial or tech sectors, they expect excellent IT both in the offices and throughout our extensive break out areas. Client satisfaction and therefore retention is our main objective which we achieve through attentive service from our staff and the best systems available. How does Us&Co fit into that? Wilamowska: The market is expanding fast but so is demand. Some markets are becoming overly competitive and some operators are doing unsustainable deals which are creating challenging trading conditions. At Us&Co, we both own and operate our buildings which gives us stability. We want to expand in a measured and controlled way with a long-term horizon. Prior to the relationship with Medusa, what were the...

Shared Workspaces

Looking for a way to increase occupancy without slashing prices? Creative value-add amenities can distinguish your property from competitors. One such value-add feature is a coworking space. The demand for shared work spaces is on the rise. You can benefit from this by transforming an existing area into a coworking space for residents.  Coworking Spaces for Multifamily? Nationwide, there are more than 57.3 million freelancers. In corporate America,  55 percent of hiring managers believe telecommuting among full-time employees is becoming a staple in their business structure. That number is expected to rise. Employers responded that nearly 38 percent of their workforce will be telecommuting within the next decade. So where are all of these freelancers and remote employees getting their work done? Their homes and coffee shops, mostly. Fortunately for you, you can be both and attract the revenue for yourself. You can create a shared workspace on your property by converting an existing conference room or business office. Add some chairs and a coffee maker and you’re done! Almost .. here’s the next steps. Must-Have Coworking Space Features Coworking offices are profitable and you can benefit from their popularity and capacity to drive revenue. You will, however, need more than a coffee maker and some chairs to get the most out of the space’s earning potential. Here are five must-haves to make your space functional. High-speed connectivity is a must. You will need to decide whether wi-fi or cable connection is right for your building. Comfortable, customizable seating is just as important as connectivity. Workers must feel comfortable if you want them to return and perceive your workspace as a reason to sign or renew their lease. To increase comfort, equip your space with a combination of adjustable office chairs at desks and...

Coworking Marketing

As the coworking and shared space industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s becoming much more evident that profitability is not only viable, there are ways to maximize and continue to grow your profits as an operator. Let’s dive into the best coworking marketing strategy for maximum growth. Host Events You’ve likely heard about the potential for fantastic events at coworking spaces. One of the major keys to building your brand is to hold events that are open to the local community. It’s free advertising! People who would otherwise have never stepped foot in your space get firsthand access to all the benefits your space provides. Even if they are not coworking candidates, word of mouth is one of your biggest assets. The more people know about your location, have been inside and can speak to its benefits, the better for you of course. Here are some ideas for events that you could organize within your space: Community panel discussions ‘Breakfast and Learn’ / happy hours Singles’ meetup events Yoga classes Also, keep in mind, if your space does not have 24/7 access, a great way to increase revenue is to host private events after hours. Whether it’s birthday parties, receptions, sporting event watch parties, or just about anything else that you have the room for and would take place past typical working hours. Last year’s Global Coworking Survey revealed that 21% of operators found organizing events to be a top challenge for them, and 50% said attracting new members was a top challenge. These events, whether during or after hours, will solve for a large part of both of those obstacles. Want to learn more about coworking marketing strategies? Check out the rest of this post on the Yardi Kube...

Coworking Outlook

Editor’s note: this coworking perspective piece was authored by Justin Harley, regional director of coworking for Yardi, in association with Property Week. Harley was a co-founder of the flexible workspace management software Hubcreate. He joined the Yardi UK team in May. Having spent most of my career in the flexible workspace sector, I could not be more enthusiastic about how bright the future is for coworking and flexspace, and furthermore I am delighted to see technology and software leaders such as Yardi investing heavily in technology to fuel the growth and development of the sector. I have been privileged to see the coworking and flexspace sector grow from a few London-based serviced offices to what it is today, one of the fastest-growing parts of the real estate world. That said, it still only accounts for 4% of all deals in London, according to the latest research from Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers International. While real estate continues to develop an understanding of the coworking market, the industry is still a little shell-shocked about how it has crept up on them. That part of the real estate sector often misses the point when they debate coworking. I hear “we are not coworking, coworking doesn’t make money – when will the bubble burst?” Larger operators account for less than 13% of the market in the UK and the flexspace and coworking community is made up of businesses that care about innovation, member experience and the effect of their service on worker wellness. In short, it’s all about the customers and what makes them happy. Their obsession for customer service is what drives the industry. A happy client is a loyal client and, despite being on a flexible license, will stay for a long time. It is...

GCUC Recap

Last month, Yardi Kube was introduced to the coworking world at the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC). The U.S. edition of the annual event was held in Denver from April 15-18. This popular coworking industry gathering provides attendees with extensive in-depth sessions with experts in the coworking space, educating them on financing, technology, community building, and branding. The first day of the event was a deep dive into especially hot topics for the coworking industry. Industry hot topics: making money Led by Jerome Chang of Blankspaces, the finance discussion focused on the number one way to make money as a coworking operator – through lease incentives. Fundraising methods for shared space startups include venture capital funding, personal loans, investment from friends and family members, and other avenues, but Chang shared that SBA loans for such businesses are unlikely. The average traditional office space will have about 165-185 square feet per employee. In a coworking space it could be as low as 50-70 square feet. Coworking operators can book common areas at up to 150 percent capacity, because your space won’t always be full (this uses the same logic as a gym membership: it’s possible to overbook because not everyone works out simultaneously). The biggest moneymaker, however, will be meeting rooms. They’re priced higher per hour than any other amenity or space in and should be rentable to the general public, as well as members. Virtual memberships provide a low-cost entry to members wanting to try out the industry. While individually, these memberships won’t be a primary source of income, it is a source of unlimited potential with no space restrictions. The Blankspaces model allocates 35-50 percent of space to private offices, Chang shared. And it’s important to make over 70 percent of your total available square footage...

Shifting Spaces

While industry fundamentals are healthy and the economy is strong, the U.S. office sector faces pressures that could fundamentally alter its business model. Jeff Adler and Jack Kern, vice president and director of institutional research, respectively, for Yardi Matrix, provided an update on a sector in transition in a recent webinar. After a shaky fourth quarter of 2018, the U.S. economy has rebounded into “really good shape,” Adler said, with a rising stock market and inflation that is largely held in check by increased domestic oil production. The labor market is very tight—the best in 50 years, he said—with office-using sectors outpacing overall job and wage growth over the past five years and most markets absorbing available office space. Metros such as Dallas, Houston and Atlanta are growing fast and adding office-using jobs. Other locations with job growth and low unemployment, such as Orlando, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., San Francisco and the nearby Bay Area, have to import workers to meet staffing needs. Most markets still have room to absorb office space. In short, the industry is in a good place, and if the federal government’s pro-growth policies outweigh its anti-growth ones, “the party goes on,” Adler said. So what are the challenges? One of the main secular (long-term) factors is coworking, which pulls 1-3% of market demand from traditional office leases and keeps growing as companies expand beyond their primary locations. The practice is growing everywhere and won’t likely go away anytime soon, Adler said. Per-employee square footage is decreasing, particularly in central business districts and high-cost metros. With a tight labor market, companies are luring talent by making office “an experience-driven sector,” similar to what has happened in retail, incorporating design elements and attractions such as new technology, spaces for relaxation, natural light,...

Flexible Workspace

Yardi assembled a panel of flexible office experts to discuss the importance of a service ethos, how workspace providers can stand out from the competition and why the sector looks well placed to weather a possible recession. Panelists Gareth Evans, chief executive of BizSpace Katrina Larkin, co-founder of Fora Cal Lee, founder of WorkThere William Newton, president of Wiredscore Katie Whell, managing director at Pure Offices Tony Freeth, director of coworking at Yardi Simon Creasey, features editor at Property Week (chair) Flexible workspaces have been hailed as the future of offices, but as the business model continues to mature many questions arise about what this future might look like. To debate what lies ahead for flexible workspaces, Yardi put together a panel of some of the industry’s heavyweights. SC: How important is customer service for the coworking industry? GE: Customer service is what it’s all about. It’s quite interesting as a concept because one person’s customer service is another person’s lack of service. It depends on where you are regionally, what kind of centre you’re in and what people’s needs are. You can provide frothy coffee or whatever, but if that’s not what the customer wants then you’re not providing good customer service. KL: Myself and [Fora co-founder] Enrico [Sanna] come from a hospitality background, not from a workplace background. So, for us, customer service is absolutely key. We have worked with one of the top hospitality schools in Switzerland to attract the best people from the hospitality industry. WN: Before WiredScore moved into WeWork, we were with a provider who clearly hadn’t yet got what service meant. Their front of house people were security people trying to prevent people getting into the building who shouldn’t be there rather than welcoming in guests who...

Introducing Yardi Kube

Yardi Kube™, a single platform solution for coworking and shared workspace operators, is now available. Introduced this week at the GCUC conference in Denver, Yardi Kube is designed to help coworking operators successfully grow their businesses, eliminate third party integrations, save time and offer competitive member services. With the powerful Yardi Voyager property management platform as its foundation, Yardi Kube combines accounts payable, general ledger, merchant services and more in one easy-to-use technology suite. Yardi Kube includes comprehensive accounting, online marketing integration and powerful reporting capabilities. Users will be able to easily report to owners and investors and market to new clients, all from within the platform. The member portal gives coworking members the ability to manage their profile, connect with other members, pay bills, purchase services and book space with one click. Yardi Kube can also handle management of Wi-Fi and VOIP systems. “We chose Yardi Kube because of its robust capabilities to manage our businesses. The fact that Yardi was behind the development gave us confidence in its reliability and development path,” said Willie Gutierrez, COO and CFO of Premier Workspaces, a nationwide shared workspace provider. “Yardi Kube is the long-awaited technology solution that will allow shared workspaces to scale and grow with ease,” said Dale Hersowitz, vice president of coworking at Yardi. “It maximizes efficiency, eliminates leakage and allows for real-time reporting, all in a single platform.” GCUC, which concludes tomorrow, is the world’s largest coworking event, with conferences held in five continents. About 300 attendees convened in Colorado for the event. At GCUC, the Yardi Kube team has been conducting demos of the new platform and sharing the product’s exciting features, including the accounting platform, internet listing service and prospect lifecycle tracking. “We look forward to showing the extent of Yardi’s commitment to coworking, what the future looks like for Yardi Kube, and how the platform separates itself from the competition,” said Dale Hersowitz, vice president of coworking at Yardi. GCUC attendees are invited to come by the Yardi Kube booth, #10-11, to see Yardi Kube in action. Visit yardikube.com to learn more about the benefits of an all-in-one coworking management solution for shared...

Key Features

As an operator of a coworking space, you’ll have many choices when selecting a management platform to power your shared workspace. Compare pros and cons and check what features each choice provide, but make sure these five features are included in your software. Robust Accounting Accounting is a vital component to the operation of your space. You may choose a software that integrates with third party applications such as Quickbooks, FreshBooks, or others. That is a significant step up from manual labor. In a perfect world however, your management platform would have all accounting solutions built in. This will eliminate third party apps for accounts payable, payment processing, merchant services, and reconciliation, among other functions. ILS There are numerous benefits to having an ILS (internet listing service) built into your coworking management software. List your space and eliminate marketing time and dollars. Potential members can check out your space at a glance, and improve the quality of your leads. In addition, you will greatly benefit from the ability to sell your services online in real time. Offer spaces, services, and just about anything else you can list. Keep track of sales and revenue live. Real-time Reporting Real-time reporting goes beyond just statistics. Being able to track data and results live will help you track sales, revenue, space usage, and many more driving factors of the success of your space. At the end of the day, the goal is to increase your revenue and provide better service to your members and guests. Real time reporting is at the core of all those goals, as you’ll have visibility to change membership plans, designs, and service based on tracking data over periods of time. Learn more about the benefits of CRM and automated booking in your coworking management software on the...

Member Personas

One of the most critical aspects to properly marketing your coworking space is building member personas. You could be doing tons of hard work and spending time and dollars on marketing, but if you’re not aiming at the right target, it could be all for nothing. Let’s take a look at how and why to build member personas. What are member personas? Imagine creating your ideal member, in detail. Consider what characteristics, habits, demographics, and many other factors formulate the member you would most associate with your space. For example, you could say ‘Tom’ is an entrepreneur, based in Miami, age 34, losing creative spark due to isolation, and needs to work a flexible schedule due to other demands. Tom is your target customer. This guide is a good way to check off the questions you need answered, so that you’re not just marketing to “everyone.” But why can’t you just target a wide scope and range of potential members? You’re bound to hit on some of them, yes, but for the most part this isn’t a prudent strategy. You’re going to be wasting your efforts targeting lots of personas that simply don’t match with what your space is all about. If your scope is too wide, your space will be too formal for some, too informal for others. It may be too large or too small. It may be out of driving distance. It may be out of budget. An important note from coworking marketing expert Cat Johnson is that your potential member can get a desk and Wi-Fi in many places. Make sure you are targeting someone who needs more than that, be it intangible features like community and collaboration, or tangible benefits like conference rooms and after hours access. Learn how to create...

Must-Have 2019 Tech

While the coworking industry continues to expand, its important to keep up with the best new technology. Let’s take a look at some of the most latest critical tech components for coworking spaces. CRM Every coworking space should absolutely have a CRM in place. It is truly one of the most integral components to a modern thriving workspace. Not only does it assist in lead tracking, but a CRM will improve your relationships with your current and prospective members. A CRM will streamline lead entry, customer life cycle tracking, vendor relationship management, and many other operational tasks. It drives efficiency and will enhance productivity, and directly leads to greater profitability. The technology-driven corporate world we live in today demands a CRM. According to a study by Gartner, CRM will be the single largest revenue area of spending in enterprise software by the year 2021. Not only is the CRM going to be a core tool for sales and marketing, but it will also benefit customer service. Since your members are reaching out via social media, phone, chat, email, and any other method they can find, it’s important to consolidate all their interactions in one place. The uses of a robust CRM are virtually limitless for all aspects of a successful coworking space. Automated Billing Whether you operate one space or multiple locations, automated billing is a vital component for success. Consider the time you’re spending balancing and reconciling your books. Consider the outsourced cost if you hire a bookkeeper. With the market becoming more competitive,  shared space supply is increasing, and organized operators can run more efficiently. In many cases, operators streamlining their business with automated billing (among other tech solutions) can offer the same product at a more competitive cost. Standout softwares combine an accounting package with merchant services. Yardi KUBE...

Yardi KUBE Preview

Ed. Note: WUN KUBE has joined the family of Yardi property management software. KUBE provides a suite of technology products for coworking and shared space management. This piece on the new platform originally appeared on the KUBE Blog. As we approach the much anticipated release of the new Yardi KUBE platform, we conducted a client-exclusive Q&A session to address a variety of topics. The response was overwhelmingly positive and we cannot wait to debut the new KUBE. We will beta launch in January 2019, and full roll-out is set for April. Below, we’re going to summarize some of the main talking points from the recent webinar. What are  the main changes for KUBE? It’s tough to put into words exactly the incredible extent to which Yardi is impacting our platform, but we tried to do so again in the webinar. Dale Hersowitz, our VP of Coworking, explained that Yardi is best known for building software for the real estate industry, from commercial to multiunit to many other facets. They are now fully diving into the Coworking world with the acquisition of WUN last year. The most important change for KUBE is essentially putting together a single stack. What does that mean? Yardi has a full general ledger suite, an accounting package, they’re also a merchant, they offer a vendor procurement solution, they are an e-broker, and KUBE will continue to provide the operational component to power your day to day functions of your space. No more third-party integrations. Yardi will encompass 7 modules in one tightly integrated solution. Everything in a single platform allows for greater efficiency, cost savings, prevents leakage, and enables operators to scale effectively. Enhancements and New Features The attendees asked several questions regarding the enhancements of the new platform. Yardi has a...

Relocation Incentives...

Locales across the United States are using relocation packages to siphon talent from larger cities. The deals include everything from free rent to cash allowances and home appliances. The trend can mean notable government contracts for co-working spaces, multifamily and single-family housing providers. Each program is different, but many share common threads. Their marketing messages often aim to attract newcomers from cities where significant portions of income are directed towards housing. Several locales appeal to professionals in technology and science-based fields. One program has gained significant attention in recent weeks. Your New Home: Tulsa, Oklahoma The George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) is currently accepting applications for its remote employee relocation program, Tulsa Remote. The Foundation is offering $10,000 cash, a rent-free furnished apartment, and a desk at 36 Degrees North, a local coworking space. In exchange, recipients must live in Tulsa full-time for at least one year. Recipients are also encouraged to participate in community events. Many of these social opportunities are created especially for program participants. Tulsa Remote recipients are invited to exclusive wine tastings, group outings, and neighborhood panel discussions. The hope, says GKFF’s executive director Ken Levitt, is that the transplants will establish a local community and decide to stay beyond the required year. In theory, the remote employees will not only bring cash into Tulsa. They will show local young professionals that they don’t have to leave their small-town home to be successful, suggests Sara Sutton, the CEO of FlexJobs, a remote job search engine. Tulsa Remote and similar programs remove the stigma from telecommuting, which some believe is not a “legitimate thing.” But telecommuting is quite a legitimate thing. A 2017 Gallup poll revealed that 43 percent of employed Americans have worked remotely in some capacity. The figure is...

Sharing Disruption

Coworking isn’t new, but its recent growth and prominence in the U.S. office market space is. A new special report from Yardi Matrix, titled “Shared Space: Disrupting the Traditional Office,” outlines the dramatic increase in shared spaces over the past year, driven by a growing “gig economy” and employers’ desire to deploy more workers remotely, attract talent and gain more flexibility for their space. In researching 20 metros, Yardi Matrix found that 43.5 million square feet of office space was being rented as of the fourth quarter of 2018. This represented a 62% increase in shared space over the previous year and 1.7% of the total inventory. The business model for shared space is evolving to match the practice’s growth, with landlords and brokerage firms offering more amenities and flexible lease arrangements. Coworking has gained footholds in both urban markets (2.2% of stock) and suburban submarkets (1.2%). The practice is “growing as a percentage of office stock in all areas, but it is a more natural fit in urban settings due to the proximity to a greater number of workers, easier commute to urban locations and greater availability of small rental spaces in suburban areas,” the report says. “The sector is in a nascent phase, so the pace of growth is likely to pick up in coming years.” Manhattan, N.Y., ranked first in both overall amount of shared space with 13.7 million square feet, with Los Angeles second with 4.7 million square feet. The borough also had the most shared space as a percentage of total stock, 3%, with Portland, Ore., Miami, San Francisco and Austin, Texas, totaling 2.5%, 2.4%, 2.3% and 2.2%, respectively. Read the full Yardi Matrix special...

Coworking Revolution

Increasingly, companies don’t have a five-or 10-year vision based around a particular space with a particular staff mix. They want short-term arrangements where they can flex their head count and floorspace up or down depending on need. This applies to businesses both large and small. While coworking once meant an office for four to six people, today deals are being signed for spaces that will accommodate 25, 50 or even 100 staff. Coworking also helps firms to retain the best employees by providing them with a stimulating and collaborative working environment. Sitting behind all of this is new technology which means that operating or using a coworking space is more streamlined than ever before. But with so many coworking spaces springing up, competition is getting ever more intense. So what can operators do to make their schemes are a success? Businesses today are looking for more than just a desk, a telephone and an internet connection – they want a level of service on a par with what you would expect in a high-end hotel. Years ago, we used to call the people sitting in the entrance ‘receptionists’, but today we refer to them as ‘front-of-house.’ In a successful coworking space they should engage with members, know them by name and be on hand to manage all aspects of the customer experience. Technology is a big part of this. A fast, reliable internet connection is crucial to most businesses and Yardi’s software means access to spaces is seamless, so when a member enters a coworking space they are instantly recognised and connected to the wifi. This can even work across multiple coworking locations. Unlike more traditional companies where most staff leave the building between 5pm and 6pm, some companies operating out of coworking spaces...

5 Tips for Client Retention

Today’s entrepreneurs and remote employees have several workspace options, often including the comfort of their own homes. To attract and maintain clients, transform your coworking space into a unique destination with a welcoming community. Offer Top-Notch Security Clients want their shared workspace to feel safer than their local coffee shop or home office. 7 Tips for Improved Security can help you establish a place where clients, their possessions, and their data are secure. Ensure that your security software is accompanied by human backup. For example, post a phone number that clients can contact if the door access control is ever on the fritz. Such measures will help clients feel supported in an increasingly automated world. Continuing Education Experience-driven spaces are the latest in office design. Continuing education events offer new experiences for clients. The classes also double as a value-added service. You may want to: Host how-to workshops for popular software programs Invite experts to facilitate theme-based seminars, such as marketing and project planning Create member forums where clients can network Seminars on work-life balance techniques and relaxation methods Create Thoughtful Ambiance Thoughtful design pays off. Your design can inspire your clients, enhance the atmosphere, and promote client wellbeing. Each feature defines your space as a desirable and valuable destination. Add indoor plants to help cleanse the air while combatting the sterile office vibe Opt for sustainable office supplies, which are popular with young professionals Mix up your seating with a combination of conference-style tables as well as private nooks Create different work environments with varied lighting in different rooms or regions of the workspace Consider placing white noise machines in conference rooms for privacy   Build Community through Experiences Many clients will opt for a shared workspace because of the potential for social interaction. Fulfill their expectations with community-building tools and activities. Consider: Games, both digital and real-world Indoor rock climbing Yoga classes Live music Mini massages and acupuncture Sports tournaments The right activities for your community depend on how your space is divided. Use your best judgement to establish an engaging yet professional atmosphere. For new workspaces, it may be difficult to gauge your clients’ interests. Consider polling members on what activities they’d like to have on site. Satisfy Bellies In addition to coffee, get creative with your treats! Some clients use snacks as a way to take a break. Others will snack when they can’t take a break for a real meal. Save the day by offering a combination of fun, quick, and nourishing treats. Hot cocoa bars with a variety of toppings Cupcake stations add cheer (and a sugar rush) to any slow afternoon Build-your-own trail mix bars are a simple and healthy way to jazz up the snack scene Quick, customizable lunches (think hotdogs and burgers) are an inexpensive and easy way to show client appreciatio Built-in Marketing These suggestions can transform your coworking space into a unique destination with a welcoming community. They come with an additional bonus: free marketing. Fun features create opportunities for clients to post photos on social media. Be sure to have your social media handles posted throughout the office so that they can tag your...

UK Think Tank

The evolution of the flexible office sector has shaken up the real estate industry and has arguably changed it for the better. Yardi recently brought together a panel of experts in the UK to discuss the many segments of flexible offices and what lies in store for the sector. Mary Finnigan, head of transactions, real estate, WeWork Chris Pieroni, operations director, Workspace Group Adrian Goldney, co-founder, Flexible Office Space John Williams, head of marketing, Instant Group Joff Sharpe, head of operations, British Land Tony Freeth, director coworking, Yardi Europe Liz Hamson, editor, Property Week – chair   LH: With all the different definitions out there, what should we be calling the sector? Should there be a standard definition or does it really matter? CP: All the definitions out there are very different – hybrid, coworking, flexible, service – and then you’ve got all sorts of issues around whether they are an operator or a landlord and then you’ve got all sorts of issues about what sort of services are offered; whether they are exclusive or not. And it’s really complicated to pull all the data together and try to get an understanding. I’ve got my own view on where we stand in the flexible office market and we didn’t fit into any of the definitions. We’ve decided to just look at the flexible market.   LH: So what do you define flexible as? CP: So we had three different categories – something under three months, and then we stopped at over 12 months. But actually, I think now as larger corporates want flexibility, you might be saying flexibility for them is three years. So I don’t know, but we stopped at over 12 months. JS: I don’t think the starting point is flexibility; it’s...

Coworking Security

As the manager of a coworking space, you walk a fine line. Your site must offer security while helping members and guests feel welcome. The following seven tips promote digital and physical security without interrupting ease-of-use. Create a Warm, Automated Welcome Automated attendance trackers deliver convenient yet controlled access to your shared workspace. Combine Kisi and KUBE door access systems to manage member and visitor logs as well as billing details. There is no need to have users register and pay for common use areas in advance. Users pay as they go, minimizing cancellations and billing disputes. As an added convenience, any user with a mobile device can begin working automatically. With access and billing aside, your reception staff can focus on welcoming clients, answering questions, and placemaking. Offer Private Wi-Fi As an alternative to shared wi-fi networks, private networks provide excellent digital security. Each user receives a unique code that doesn’t overlap with fellow users’ access. Consider linking access with membership. A single code issued to all members and guests does not provide the protection you need. Link access codes to users’ unique membership level as an additional layer of security. Have that code expire with the membership or expire after a certain duration of time for guests. Switch Up Guest Access If individualized wi-fi credentials for guests seems tedious, consider a simple guest wi-fi network and password. For added security, update log-ins at least every quarter, if not every month. Encourage Privacy with Filters Install an IP filtering system that can minimize undesirable data sharing and burdensome traffic loads. Not all data theft occurs digitally. Applying privacy screen filters on your in-house computer monitors limits the access of wandering eyes. Benefit from Member Education Education is key to risk mitigation. During new...

New Coworking Trends Jul24

New Coworking Trends

When it comes to shared workspaces, we know technology is a major driving force. Today we look at some of the most important workspace technology trends shaping the coworking industry. The Internet of Things What is the IoT? Basically it is the connected amenities we use daily to send and receive data. The IoT includes physical devices such as virtual assistants, vehicles, appliances, smartphones, and just about anything else you can think of. Like this Forbes article suggested nearly 4 years ago, anything that can be connected, will be connected. What do we want in a coworking space? Smart connections. Building community. Enhancing relationships. The IoT improves the atmosphere and the benefits of a shared workspace. IoT powers meeting spaces, runs automated coffee machines, controls keyless access systems, promotes energy saving and much more. The uses of IoT are endless and only growing. By 2020, the number of connected ‘things’ is expected to reach 50 billion, and an estimated 99% of those ‘things’ can be further optimized. 94% of offices that chose to implement the IoT have already seen a return on investment. The future is only going to bring wider implementation of the IoT in shared workspaces. Mobilization Just about anything can be done via a mobile device today. And in the very near future, that ‘just about anything’ will become ‘literally everything’. Mobilization of our world is happening faster than any other aspect of our business lives. You can successfully run your coworking space from anywhere in the world via mobile phone, laptops, tablets, and more. This is allowing operators to work on expansion, design concepts, marketing, and many other aspects of running a workspace while the day to day running of the space basically runs itself. There’s so many coworking-relevant apps that it can be hard...