By Reagan Nickl
Enterprise Customer Success Senior Manager
In theory, coworking spaces are a breeding ground for chaos. Unpredictable demand, unidentified user base, variable needs, and desire for autonomy all work against productivity and organization. But the reality of coworking is quite the opposite. Most coworking spaces are well-run, efficient businesses. The secret—and the line between chaos and order—is often coworking software (learn more, what is coworking and what does the future hold).
Coworking software is the foundation for operating a coworking space. To understand why, it’s important to think about coworking not as real estate, but as logistics. There’s always the same number workspaces and static square footage. Coworking software is about controlling the unknown variables and bring order to your operation.
Take a look at seven ways coworking software creates a framework for organization and how it lends itself to proper coworking space management.
1. Space management
The primary purpose of coworking software is to provide insight. This means presenting available workspace from a top-down view. How many single workspaces are in the facility? Group spaces? Conference rooms? Knowing the static variables helps you plan for the unknown.
Coworking space management software helps you make definitive conclusions about your space. By reviewing data, you can see if there is too much focus on one type of space over another. Such insights help optimize controllable variables: namely how to use space.
2. Consistency of processes
Using coworking software as the starting point for coworking space management processes breeds consistency. From guest check-in to emailing reservation confirmations, processes through a central platform are standardized and automated. This brings even more order to workspace management.
Consistent processes also make training easier. Coworking management staff are all on the same page when processes are uniform and standardized.
3. System of record
There’s a certain anonymity to coworking users, even when they give you their information to reserve a spot. You don’t actually know this person: who they are, what they’re like, why their using your space, etc. Booking them through coworking software creates a system of record that may be valuable in getting to know your customers.
Through a system of record, you can see that Jim reserves a coworking space twice weekly. Kevin books a conference room once a month. Pam reserved a full-day space once and hasn’t been back since. These insights are powerful. They help optimize the business, whether through re-marketing efforts or feedback-driven initiatives.
4. Historical usage data
With daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly snapshots of space usage, workspace management software makes it easy to execute on different strategies. Coworking space owners can target micro and macro data points to fine-tune their businesses and bring even more stability to how they purpose space.
For example: Average space utilization is down 34% on Mondays, while 44% of conference room spaces go unused on Fridays. The last week of the month has the highest number of space reservations. Simple data points like these identify opportunities for maximizing space utilization and revenue.
5. Real-time occupancy monitoring
One of the biggest obstacles in managing coworking space is handling demand in real-time. While most spaces sell subscriptions, being able to accommodate on-the-spot requests adds a new logistical challenge.
Coworking software paints a real-time picture of what spaces are open and where. It can also display data about how long spaces are occupied and what upcoming reservations are on the schedule. Coworking software is the difference between turning away a paying customer and saying “There’s space available.” or “There will be space available in 10 minutes.”
6. Centralized resources
Coworking software adds the much-needed benefit of consolidated task management to workspace oversight. No matter what patrons, staff, or space needs there are, they’re easily addressed with the right management software.
Handling customer requests and reservations or examining data and planning resources is central to the software. The right platform will provide the necessary tools to manage a coworking business. It consolidates the number of people or time and effort it takes to do so.
7. Cost optimization
There’s pricing power in knowing demand for your coworking spaces. Having a collective understanding of your space, how often it’s used, who’s using it, and why allows you to set prices that are advantageous for growth. Space management software highlights the variables you need to exercise pricing power.
More than maximizing what you charge for workspaces, good management data can also shine a light on where you’re losing money, wasting effort, or over-allocating. Reviewing financial data informs operational strategy, which feeds back into better financials.
There’s no substitute for space management software when running a coworking space. These seven benefits are enough to drive a space continually toward success. They bring order to a business model prone to chaos and add certainty to the unpredictability of a non-traditional workforce. Best of all, coworking software gives rise to the space-as-a-service model fueling the shift in how we work today.
Keep reading: coworking space benefits and the workplace evolution.