8 MAJOR TRENDS IN THE CO-WORKING INDUSTRY | CO-WORKING
Startupbnb.com was recently invited to talk about the big trends of the coworking industry by a major national coworking chain during their annual retreat. Now we make our list available to everyone.
As venture capital funds invest more and more money in the industry, as independent entrepreneurs enter the market and more and more technology tools serve shared workspaces, we are at the forefront of watch over a major disruption of commercial real estate.
1: Real estate is now an experience on demand
Many frequently encountered companies move every 18 to 24 months. Ten-year leases make less sense for young businesses and agencies that rely on their ability to be agile and flexible in every respect. Businesses are looking for quick fixes and there is no more visible trend than real estate that adapts to business needs – not the other way around. Real estate is now a product on demand.
2: Coworking is a modern facility management
Coworking has often been considered a lifestyle choice or a passing fad by its detractors. Our research shows exactly the opposite. Large coworkers are building prime locations in cities and moving them away from other real estate companies. The small space required for coworking sites and lucrative underwriting models that attract a wide range of clients offer a competitive advantage.
3: Technology can create a 5-star experience
For a coworking space, a management team of 20 people is both impractical and useless for each site. With the right technologies and software integrations at the right points of your business, you can easily automate the work that would normally require a team of people in a traditional office. Plus, innovative technology creates a superior experience for members and can reduce overhead costs for you. More and more coworking spaces offer their customers a high-tech environment without having to cover these fixed costs themselves.
4: Businesses embrace coworking concepts
We saw outposts of big companies that started working in smaller coworking spaces. But this reveals a hidden and extremely important trend: when big companies started planning new installations, they started to integrate coworking into their basic concept, as opposed to building huge real estate complexes. The fact that large companies are adopting a leasing model initially intended for small businesses shows that flexible offices have enormous potential in all sectors.
5: Large coworking spaces require advanced technology
Most coworking tools have been built for spaces of 20 to 200 members. If, for example, you are running 10 spaces with 400 members each, you will need to rethink your existing infrastructure. Managing your members in Salesforce may seem more logical and you can not keep your Apple Airport Express forever; at some point, you will need to upgrade the Cisco routers.
6: Forget the competition. Focus on the community
If you have researched and tested multiple coworking spaces in one city, it is clear that your own space does not need to compete for the best real estate or bring the largest number of members. The industry has shown that the most successful coworking companies are distinguished by their ability to respond to a specific audience and sometimes even niche. The popularity and proven loyalty of customers in this niche market and more industry-specific spaces have shown that there are enough potential members for everyone. Therefore, instead of focusing on competition, creating a tight-knit community is probably a better way to focus your energy as a coworking space manager.
7: Technology determines how quickly you can evolve
If you are hiring a large operations team to solve every little problem, it is likely that you will encounter difficulties in evolving this model. Automate your integration and unsubscription as much as possible with dedicated coworking management tools while maintaining the quality of your members’ experience. This will reflect the speed with which your business will be able to evolve (without too many team additions).
8: An engineer is essential for your team
Coworking spaces are defined by their innovations and technological equipment. To attract the right customers, these spaces often need the latest software management tools, security systems, reservation software, WiFi- compatible devices and cloud, etc. The list goes on and on! (Not to mention a stellar kitchen …) All these amenities need more than a traditional office manager for the business to work well. Someone needs to connect all the APIs, configure the IT infrastructure, make sure the space is secure and protect your own data. To do this, you need a star office automation engineer who can meet all of these needs and take your central operations team to the next level.