By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering
Running a successful coworking space presents many unique challenges. Not only does it come with the usual duties of managing a traditional office, there’s also a strong degree of uncertainty concerning patronage. It’s not always clear how many people will show up on any given day, how long they’ll stay, or what type of space they’ll need. Thankfully, workplace management software alleviates these uncertainties and challenges.
Workplace management software generates real-time occupancy information, streamlines communication, and provides a system of checks and balances to avoid coworking-specific problems like these:
- Overcrowding: There’s a difference between a packed house and an overcrowded workplace. Properly managing coworking space makes a difference. The right coworking software prevents overcrowding by ensuring maximum space utilization and proper space occupancy. This is particularly useful in managing open-air spaces that can accommodate a range of people, not just a standard 1:1 person-to-chair ratio. Real-time space utilization and occupancy metrics help prevent overcrowding and the resulting friction.
- Underutilized workspaces: Coworking facilities make money by filling seats (read more on what is coworking). Every empty workstation is an untapped revenue stream. Coworking management software, in its simplest capacity, helps managers see unused spaces and ensure they’re filled throughout the day. In addition to real-time utilization, workplace management software also produces historical data to show how often spaces go unused. This fuels pricing directives, marketing initiatives, revenue maximization.
- Poor space design: If a coworking facility doesn’t include the types of spaces people need, patronage will suffer. Using historical data from a workplace management platform, managers can see what types of spaces are most in-demand. Forcing change to comply with demand will improve workplace utilization, thus maximizing revenue from each workspace. Failing to recognize and offer the type of space people need is a recipe for failure.
- Overlapped booking: People come and go throughout the day. Coworking software is integral in tracking who’s present and what spaces are occupied and available. This prevents booking overlap, like assigning someone to a space that’s already occupied or over-promising certain types of spaces. Reducing booking conflicts not only standardizes a smooth customer experience, it creates potential for better total facility utilization.
- Miscommunication: A visit to a coworking space needs to be a complete continuum of satisfaction—otherwise, a patron might not come back. The secret is in setting a standard for good communication. Running all communication through a space management platform standardizes and streamlines information exchange, minimizing the risk of miscues. After check-in, a customer gets an email with information about their workspace. If they have questions, they message the system for automated and personalized responses. When they check out, they get a thank-you email with options for future visits. Coworking management software makes it succinct, controlled, and efficient.
- Improper cost analysis: How do you know if what you’re charging for a seat is enough to keep your coworking business model afloat? That’s where utilization data from workplace management software comes in. Algorithms break down hourly rates, individual space utilization trends, workplace capacity, and other metrics for a fiscal picture of current operations. It’s a great way to know if what you’re charging is enough—and if it’s not, what you need to charge to stay in business. Likewise, knowing your numbers may lead to discounts or special member pricing that keep patrons coming back.
- Missed customer opportunities: You may see familiar faces in your coworking space, but what about the people you only see once or twice? Why aren’t they regularly coming back? Finding the answers means understanding your audiences. Workplace management software can extract data that segments customers by labels like “recurring” or “one-off.” Then, you can maximize the value of each customer by offering return patrons with upsell packages or solicit feedback from a one-off visitor. Knowing and acting on your customer base is imperative.
Coworking spaces see success based on an ability to provide workers a comfortable, enjoyable, stress-free environment (read the benefits of coworking). Coworking’s main obstacles can be hurdled using workplace management software. Workplace managers have the tools and insights they need to keep up with demand, satisfy expectations, and avoid friction.
Keep reading: Why coworking space?