By Katherine Schwartz
Demand Generation Specialist
The rise of the agile workplace has shed light on the need for facility managers to control as many variables related to workspaces as possible. The more you control, the easier it is to coordinate spaces in real-time, at the drop of a hat. Nothing exemplifies this better than coworking spaces. Through coworking space management software, workplace managers can take a highly flexible workspace concept and seamlessly accommodate a diverse group of workers—all while maintaining the independent work habits of each person.
The secret to identifying and controlling broad workplace variables? Software. Space management software contrives and delivers the insights decision-makers need to operate facilities effectively.
What is space management software?
Space management software provides a top-down view of important metrics concerning real estate, including:
- How and when it’s used
- Space delegation and type
- Static and real-time capacity
- Space accommodations and capabilities
- Space location within a broad floor plan
- What the cost of ownership is
The purpose of space management software is to combine all these variables into actionable insights a facility manager can use to optimize space. Space management software helps fulfill specific objectives, such as a goal to improve space utilization or an initiative to optimize a floor plan based on utilization.
What is coworking software?
Coworking software is space management software specifically designed for coworking spaces. It offers features to manage a highly dynamic workforce and the broad ebb and flow of patronage that comes with a membership-style business model. It’s also configured to manage multiple different types of spaces and different variables like available seating and preset time limits. It’s effectively space management software designed for extremely agile workspaces, where people constantly come and go.
How do you manage a coworking space?
This is the $64,000 question, isn’t it? On the surface, a coworking space can seem impossible to manage purely based on the intended function of these spaces. If coworking is free-flowing and dynamic with loose infrastructure and gentle oversight, how can you bring order and organization to operations?
The answer comes in the form of behind-the-scenes infrastructure, powered by coworking space management software. Here are some basic examples that lend themselves to coworking oversight.
- Membership management. Asking people to check in before they enter a coworking space is the simplest form of management there is. Whether it’s entering a member ID on a tablet, swiping a card, or checking in at a desk, this form of access control is essential for managing elements like capacity, culture, and safety.
- Space management. Delegate different areas of your total floor plan to different types of desking arrangements. You can even do this based on check-in metrics by asking people what type of space they prefer. Benching, individual workspaces, group spaces, and experiential spaces are all valuable and subject to scalability in a coworking space.
- Time management. Some coworking spaces opt to cap time for visitors—usually at half-day (four-hour) and full-day (eight-hour) increments. This simple time management practice offers controls for occupancy levels and space utilization, with the ability to plan effectively to accommodate groups or an influx of workers on a specific day or time.
- Analytics management. Tracking the effective use of a coworking space is important for broad management purposes. What days are you busiest? What time of day is busiest? What desk types are most-used and least-used? This data and more informs the general management practices that keep a coworking space efficient and effective.
- Occupancy management. Is there room in your coworking facility right now for a group of four? How many unoccupied seats are typically available at 4pm on a Friday afternoon? When you understand occupancy, you understand the most basic nuances of how to delegate and optimize space, as well as control the flow of workers in it.
None of these management practices are possible without coworking space management software. Software delivers the insights, controls, and organization required to bring order and oversight to coworking: a concept that’s built on offering people the inherent freedom to work how and when they want.
Coworking shouldn’t be chaotic
Coworking is a versatile, efficient way to accommodate different types of employees and their various work habits within a single space. But with this high level of diversity comes high demand for oversight. Coworking can’t be a chaotic experience or it’ll invalidate the many benefits offered to occupants. Instead, it needs to be a smooth, organized experience that offers flexibility to occupants within the framework of greater controls.
Think of coworking management as a give and take. You can choose any desk you want, but you can only occupy it for four hours at a time. You can come at any time you want, but the type of desk you want is subject to current occupancy. These variables are all in flux, but carefully managed by a facility manager through coworking space management software. The result is the freedom to work as you please, within the context of a controlled environment.
Keep reading: Who Uses Coworking Spaces?