Coworking is no longer an alien concept. It’s hard to ignore the buzz around coworking spaces and tech business tools — especially when the number of coworking members is expected to rise to 3.8 million by 2020.
Just a few years ago, the coworking concept emerged as a mere trend by millennials. It not only caught the attention of many small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), but it also struck the right chord with the remote workforce.
WHAT ARE COWORKING SPACES?
Simply put, a coworking space is a modern workspace concept that provides a productive infrastructure for the new and growing workforce who like to work whenever and however they want.
Interestingly, coworking spaces are also community centers and think-tanks where people can rent a desk or an office conveniently. These spaces often connect workers to a global network of professional peers who they can share ideas with and offer insights that they might not find working from home or in the corporate office.
Did you know?
In a recent survey, researchers found that approximately 1.1 million people are working in more than 14 thousand coworking spaces around the globe.
WHO USES COWORKING SPACES?
A common misconception is that coworking spaces are only for solo entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to interact with other people. However, this perception is completely wrong.
According to findings by Entrepreneur, many different types of remote workers utilize coworking spaces, including:
— 50 percent classified themselves as freelancers, solo workers, consultants, and telecommuters
— 40 percent were employees (i.e they were working for an employer)
— 10 percent of people surveyed were employers, business owners, and managers
A big reason for this shift is the fact that coworking means companies or remote workers no longer have to pay for separate office space and worry about basic amenities. Along with an office and furniture, technology is also an invaluable feature that people consider while choosing a coworking space.
Because most coworking members are working out of their homes and need basic technological devices and services to work in the best possible manner. In addition to this, community members also need up-to-date technology to collaborate and connect with others.
Here is a list of the most important technological needs and tools for coworking members:
— Advanced building access
The business world is becoming even simpler, with coworking spaces offering quick and seamless access to coworkers. Providing seamless building access control is a basic technological need in coworking spaces to stop anyone from entering the work premises.
These days, keyless access is possible with smart cards, magnetic stripe cards, proximity cards, Wiegand cards, key fobs, and even smartphones. The latest technology has made it possible for members and clients to enter their coworking space with no keys at all. As the space is accessible to a number of people, an advanced building access system is a must-have for coworking spaces.
— Uninterrupted power supply
Today’s world relies heavily on electricity. Without electricity, your whole business can come to a standstill with no running computers or other electronic devices. Thus, providing an uninterrupted power supply is probably the biggest prerequisite for coworking spaces.
Coworking members need a 24 x 7 power supply to maintain the continuity of operations. Make sure your space has a powerful electricity generation system that can come to the rescue in the event of a power failure or other problem.
— Fast internet connection
If you’ve ever been subjected to a slow internet connection, you know the struggle. Nothing is more agonizing and frustrating than an unstable internet connection — especially when you’re being charged for it.
If there’s something that holds every coworking space together, it’s a reliable and fast internet connection. It has to be at its peak all the time when it comes to speed, bandwidth, frequency, and security. The second it drops, the whole productive coworking setup turns into a lousy, grumbling place.
— Conference room bookings
Meetings happen all the time, whether you like them or not. Unlike traditional workplaces where you can access a conference anytime, you have to book a conference room in advance within coworking spaces.
As conference rooms are hot coworking properties, make sure you have at least three to four conference rooms of all sizes to avoid any hassle or double-bookings.
— Flat digital screens and tablets
Although people carry their own laptops to work, it’s still necessary to equip your meeting rooms and coworking space with enough tablets, screens, and overhead projectors, which play a crucial role in presentations and work meetings.
A lot of coworking spaces have installed tablets at their entrances that work as a concierge.
— Connected printers
Believe it or not, printers in coworking spaces are more important than coffee, as every coworking member is going to need it for business purposes. Luckily, modern-day printers aren’t that messy; they can be quickly connected to your intranet and users can start printing right away without any extra installations.
As a coworking space operator, you can always have better control by setting print limits, viewing print statistics, and even determining the cost per page.
— Work management tools
As coworking is becoming popular day by day, tech companies have started making tools and software to help coworking spaces thrive. Coworkify helps you with the basics like booking, invoicing, and memberships, while ProofHub helps you manage work, store documents, collaborate, and track time in one, centralized place .
— Apple TV and HDMI cables
Apple TV is a small network appliance and entertainment device that can receive digital data such as music or video from specific sources and stream it to a television or other video display. In coworking spaces, you can easily access crucial information or content you might need for meetings with Apple TV and HDMI cables.
— Digital payment system
Last but not least, technology-aided payment systems are something every coworking space must have. People no longer carry cash in their pockets. Digital payment systems are thus quite appropriate for coworking spaces, which can take care of bookings, billing, and payments in a hassle-free manner. A quick and easy swipe, and the transaction is as good as complete. Go paperless and take your billing and payment system digital.
We would love to know what technologies you all use in your coworking space to be more productive and stay on top of things. And, if you think that we’ve missed out some important technological needs in coworking space, let us know in the comments!