At the confluence of a newly mobile, freelance workforce and the massive growth of the sharing economy, coworking spaces are exploding in popularity—coworking spaces now number 2,500 globally, with 83% growth occurring between 2012 and 2013 alone. In fact, it’s estimated that new coworking spaces are opening at a clip of 4.5 per day. With the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating that by 2020 40% of the total workforce (to the tune of 65 million Americans) will exist as ‘freelancers, temps, independent contractors and solopreneurs’, it’s a safe bet that flexible workspaces with all the amenities (and none of the cubicles) of traditional offices are going to continue to pop up to address this vast and rapidly expanding market.
But while coworking venues and the coworking workforce (or coworkforce, if you will) have come a long way, the software that venue managers use to control and operate workspaces have not—most still employ a klugey setup consisting of Excel, Outlook, Gmail, or even Hotmail (gas!p), and an invoicing system. This most often leads to double-bookings of meeting rooms, desks, and amenities—much to the chagrin of members, and with a detrimental effect on your member retention. What if there was a better way?
Surprise! There is. A new breed of solutions offer holistic platforms focused on addressing the very specific needs of workspaces. By incorporating online booking, billing, payments, plan management and calendaring within one modernized, cloud-based solution, workspace management software can make a complex task like managing a coworking office a seamless experience from booking to billing. Here’s how it can help:
Email is so 2000. Don’t get me started on phones. Never mind the fact that for both you have to employ someone (or invest your own time) to manage every booking request, check for scheduling conflicts, and plug it into the calendar. If you’re using a webform for bookings and you’re not responsive enough, your member may have already moved on to another location by the time you get back to them.
With a workspace management system, availability is updated on your website in real time (no accidental double-booking!), and members can book effortlessly from either web or mobile, reducing abandoned bookings.
Billing and Payments
Throw your cash register away.
Go paperless (with both invoices and money) and take your billing and payment system digital. Quickly and easily invoice your members for their automatically tracked bookings and let them pay via PayPal. Set up automatic recurring bills for your regulars—all with no more effort than a few clicks of a button.
Data and Analytics
Do you have the insights necessary to optimize your business and space?
You do now. Managing a coworking space is more involved than just putting people in desks and rooms—and a good workspace management app should provide your members and staff a new experience, and tools they will actually use. A more engaged community will give you the information to help you to tailor your offerings and drive more business.
Modern coworking spaces demand modern solutions that are as flexible and multifaceted as their client base. We designed and built ShareDesk Optix with this specifically in mind—so that workspace managers can unify all the features they need under one umbrella and give their space a competitive edge as the coworking space continues to heat up
Looking for a solution that helps you manage your members and space?
Give ShareDesk Optix® a try for 30-days, for free.