- The right technology can give your coworking space a competitive advantage.
- Traditional solutions are more important than flashy gizmos.
- But connectivity is a vital attribute to maintain a space in today’s digitised climate.
Yet, you can’t ignore the importance of tech-enabled spaces, which is a top demand from today’s CRE tenants. However, a human-first approach is required, one where your technology enhances your members’ experience and doesn’t detract from your core ethos as a business.
So, putting all the hype to one side, let’s look at the top four types of technology you can implement now to optimise your coworking space.
1. Fast, reliable and secure internet
This really, really should go without saying. But in today’s uber-connected times, coworking spaces need to provide fast and reliable wireless internet connectivity to all its members, all the time! As you connect more technologies to your wireless network, you also need to protect that network with a range of robust cybersecurity measures.
According to a recent AllWork.Space post, James Shannon from essensys explained: “WiFi in public spaces typically uses an unencrypted network with the same password. You shouldn’t have any shared passwords across your space at all – we recommend that everyone operates from a segmented network with their own unique password for each WiFi network, as this prevents non-members having access to the network.”
However, the provision of seamless and secure wireless connectivity is often easier said than done. Your building may have a complex physical layout or you may be located in a remote area where fibre broadband isn’t an option, for example.
A range of established options now exists to help you achieve the connectivity your members now demand. These include ultrafast fibre broadband networks and 5G connectivity (if they are available in your area).
2. Building access
Flexibility is key for any coworking space, and this ethos should be reflected in how your members can access your space.
First, you need to look at how your members get into your building. There are plenty of tech solutions to allow you to open your doors on a 24/7 basis, which can boost your bottom line and give members the flexibility they want. Some tech-savvy solutions allow your members to gain access to your building using their smartphones.
Once inside your building, your access system could be extended to let members book and then use your meeting rooms, event space, and so on. This gives them the ability to make the best use of your space and provides you with metrics on how your space is used (more on that later).
3. Environmental control
From your workstation to your heating systems, members want greater control over their immediate environment and a range of smart technologies now exist to help you achieve this.
For example, sensors can monitor your air and water quality, light, temperature and noise levels. They could even sense when your printers are running low on ink, and automatically reorder some new cartridges in. Not only could such IoT-based solutions reduce your energy expenditure, but they could also boost members’ wellness levels.
4. Automated CRM
Contrary to opinion, automation is not the bogeyman of modern-day work. In fact, an automated Customer Relationship Management system could optimise your coworking space within an inch of its life.
Most CRM systems help you collect your member data, streamline your engagement and payment processes, and they can help you nurture connections with leads and existing customers. Automation is particularly useful when it comes to your sales workflow.
All this connected technology is also gathering a goldmine of data, which you can put to good use with the right data analytics tools in place to optimise your space. Many CRM solutions can also provide you with these valuable insights.