Coworking businesses provide exceptional service, flexibility, and benefits to their members. Coworking management software offers these businesses the same advantages so they can easily manage their properties, collaborate efficiently, and exceed expectations.
The Need for Coworking
The coworking industry has been growing steadily over the past decade. From small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, the modern workplace needs to offer employees options for maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and employers adaptable structuring to meet their evolving business needs. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is further changing the face of the workplace with many businesses adopting remote work schemes that enable workers to complete tasks without coming into the office. If most businesses weren’t at least entertaining the idea of remote and co-working arrangements, then the upheaval caused by the global pandemic is forcing their hands as old ways of working are no longer safe or sustainable.
Coworking has only become possible recently due to advances in coworking software that ease the burden of management for dispersed teams across co-working and remote working environments. Many of the benefits that employers see due to implementing a coworking arrangement are made possible by coworking management software and property management systems (PMS) that make it easier to communicate digitally and allocate resources efficiently to the teams that need them. Cloud-based solutions are changing the way businesses large and small operate and creating opportunities that were unimaginable at the beginning of the century. While coworking has become most closely associated with businesses that offer workspace to multiple member businesses, the principles that govern these spaces are also being adopted by large corporations that are seeking to manage costs and streamline their businesses to compete with the more agile competition.
Coworking space software decentralizes and automates resource allocation making sure that employees have access to offices and conference rooms when necessary without needing a large team dedicated to scheduling. Additionally, coworking solutions offer digital alternatives to traditional methods of project management and communication that allow teams to embrace a decentralized office solution while increasing collaboration, management capabilities, and productivity. Businesses can lower overhead and reduce redundancies on resources and space by choosing a coworking work environment. Large businesses may adopt this mindset within their existing structures and see a reduced need for real estate compared to the past while coworking businesses offer these services to member businesses that pay a monthly or yearly fee to have the business manage and maintain the location. Regardless of the overall structure of your coworking arrangement, a PMS system is the engine that makes these benefits possible, and some can also call themselves coworking software that provides even more benefits to your corporation.
Benefits of Coworking
Coworking offers enormous benefits for both physical resource allocation and consistency of business processes that translate into improved workflows, increased production, and more satisfied employers and employees. Implementing a property management system alongside a coworking arrangement improves efficiencies and helps identify stress points that can be alleviated through protocols or increasing available resources. Coworking management software provides task management, communication, and powerful management tools together to centralize and optimize processes for a decentralized team.
Cloud-based platforms offer an ideal solution to how to communicate and manage any size team while offering flexible work arrangements that employees want. Beyond the increases in employee satisfaction and productivity, coworking software optimizes processes that traditionally may have been managed by large teams or third-parties. Streamlining these processes allows your team to dedicate more resources to your core business while improving operations. Allowing employees to manage their work arrangements gives them the freedom to get the job done in the most effective manner and decreases the need for an unnecessary organizational structure that does not contribute directly to customers’ perceived value of your company or product. Some of the areas where a comprehensive PMS system can help your business are space management, health and safety, resource allocation and cost optimization, while coworking software can improve invoice and contract management, process consistency, record keeping, and communication, as well as AI and digital solutions that further enhance your business processes.
Whether your company requires a few desks or 100,000 square feet of real estate, space management is all about maximizing the available footprint of your business so you have the space to get things done. Coworking space software does the heavy lifting for you by allowing you to manage all your properties from a centralized hub. This allows multiple people (whether clients or employees) to access and book the space they need and cloud-based solutions offer real-time updates to availability. Management can keep track of what spaces are being used and when in order to make informed decisions regarding property acquisition and scale their business appropriately with little to no idle real estate.
Leveraging an advanced booking engine that manages space provides employees with flexible work options that match their needs. Employees that have access to the right work environment suited to their tasks are more productive and happier. One of the main attractions to coworking arrangements is the increased productivity of workers paired with the decrease in necessary real estate, lowering costs while increasing output, and helping businesses to achieve more with already existing infrastructure.
Health and Safety
Implementing a property management system enables businesses to more effectively manage their shared workspaces too. With a real-time understanding of how space is being used, a PMS system can ensure that spaces are being cleaned and utilized safely. In a post-COVID-19 reality, businesses that can ensure health and safety will see greater returns on their investment in their employees and better outcomes. Tie cleaning procedures and room maintenance directly to usage so that facilities are being kept safe for all employees and cleaning schedules match real-world uses of space. Provide employees with peace of mind that their workspace is clean and well maintained increasing retention regardless of whether they are members at your coworking business space or partners in your business that has adopted a coworking strategy. A PMS can assist your business in managing health and safety above and beyond the expectations of your employees.
Often teams have similar needs for resources but don’t always need them on the same schedule. Coworking software makes resources available to all teams across the company, reducing redundancies. From conference rooms to meeting supplies, coworking partners can save on costs by effectively sharing these materials across departments. Implement rules that ensure consistent usage and availability so that your organization receives the full benefit of your investment into shared resources. As with real estate, managing these resources from a centralized hub gives management a bird’s eye view that allows them to track usage and recognize patterns leading to smart decisions for the expenditure of capital to grow the business. A coworking management system gives you all the tools you need to manage the resources your team needs to deliver consistent results.
Coworking solutions spread costs across multiple departments, teams, and/or organizations making large capital purchases more feasible and attractive and ensuring that all resources are being managed appropriately. Shared resources can be easily tracked, sourced, and reviewed from one platform so that teams have access to the tools they need. Recognize usage patterns to understand whether more resources are needed and feel confident that purchases are addressing a legitimate need and not a short-term supply issue. Buy with confidence knowing exactly how your business is using its existing resources and share costs across all users to maximize your ROI on capital purchases.
Invoicing and Contract Management
Tracking invoices and contracts can quickly become convoluted as your organization grows. Coworking businesses need to keep track of separate client members while larger organizations often have to juggle multiple cost centers, parent and child companies, and third-parties. Coworking management software streamlines all these processes by creating a platform that manages invoices and contracts centrally. Cloud-based software offers a secure hub to create, disseminate, track, and store contracts and invoices, streamlining all aspects of managing relationships within your business. Quickly inform all relevant parties when there is a change that needs their attention or signature. Know what accounts are outstanding and be able to follow up for payment. Automate processes so that you spend less time tracking people down and more time on value-add initiatives. Either directly tied to your PMS to correctly bill members of different organizations that utilize your coworking space or to use internally for accurate accounting across your organizational structure and drive decision-making based on departmental, cost center, or hierarchical usage, being able to track and centralize invoicing and contract data will save you and your employees hours of time compared to traditional methods.
Consistency of Processes
Coworking space software offers solutions beyond physical resource management. As mentioned, digital solutions can be used to streamline processes such as invoicing and contract management. These solutions can be extended to almost all aspects of your workflow creating a reliable pipeline for project completion with checks and balances, as well as opportunities for feedback and reiteration, that meet your corporate culture. Task management software can assist in reminders for recurring procedures and keep your team on track. Larger projects can develop processes that lead to solid deliverables and clear timelines. Management has access to an array of tools that customize project reporting that suits how teams work. Require supervisor approval at key milestones or allow teams to iterate and deliver feedback so a project grows more organically with everyone’s input. Either way, coworking software offers a familiar platform where all team members can report and track progress, communicate with other team members no matter where they are located, and deliver exceptional results. Work seamlessly in a digital workspace regardless of where team members are located by leveraging powerful tools designed with coworking businesses in mind.
System of Record and Usage
Managing projects from a centralized hub have even more benefits for management when it comes to having a system of record and usage. Know exactly who contributed what to a project, when key decisions were implemented, and note how projected timelines matched real-world application. Project management tools eliminate the need to track down emails or other communications, all relevant discussion of the project can be centralized in the hub and provide a high-level view for management to understand how their teams are working and where they can focus their efforts to support their team and achieve concrete outcomes. Streamline project management to increase efficiency and improve results.
Getting the right information to the right people at the right time can make all the difference. Many people worry about a coworking arrangement that allows employees too much flexibility for this reason, but the digital revolution that has made coworking possible eliminates the need for this worry. Coworkers that implement a property management system with real-time cloud-based solutions have immediate access to locate coworkers if they need to find them in person, and coworking space software supplements communications so that team members can quickly communicate through various channels. As the modern workplace evolves and external pressures require a more flexible work-life environment, businesses that rely on the old way of work might see themselves start to fall behind. Digital tools that enable communication to teams working across the office or across the world empower organizations to work efficiently regardless of location.
AI Assistance and Integration
When data has centralized the possibilities of how to leverage it becomes almost endless. As more and more work moves into the digital space artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics will revolutionize how people work. Repetitive tasks, even those with some level of complexity, can be automated. Project management can track and report progress without a team member losing days work just to update leaders on what has already been accomplished. Teams across organizations can centralize customer data and AI can offer insights based on the shared data—an insight gained by a customer service representative can lead to an automated campaign developed by the marketing team. The same processes can enhance internal communications whether among coworking members or within an organization to make sure that relevant information is sent to the people who need to know it. Digital solutions can guide employees to easier and consistent solutions that improve workflows and ensure consistent deliverables across all entities.
Choosing a platform that offers easy integrations expands the power of your PMS system beyond resource allocation and communication tools. Platforms such as Salesforce’s AppExchange offer an almost limitless number of apps and integrations that can improve business performance across your entire business. Find digital solutions that can accomplish tasks that used to take entire teams to manage. Leverage the power of your centralized platform and data to achieve truly remarkable business results.
The unprecedented changes that have occurred in 2020 are accelerating trends in the business world toward coworking and flexible work arrangements. Businesses that grab the reins and evolve their business in the face of these changes will see better results moving forward and will have the flexibility and institutional knowledge to adapt to future pressures that they may not be able to control.
While coworking arrangements can make your business more agile in response to changing business conditions they also improve employee satisfaction and productivity, improving results, and increasing revenues. When paired with tools that enhance coworking arrangements such as PMS systems that provide coworking spaces with a digital solution, businesses see more opportunities to optimize their processes driving productivity and results. In fact, without the right solutions to improve management and communication, a coworking arrangement can prove detrimental to a business. Without the right tools to empower employees and managers to collaborate in a coworking environment, businesses can see less success and may revert to older processes. Both external factors like COVID-19 and a changing business culture mean that companies that don’t adapt will face more difficulty attracting and retaining employees that can find such arrangements elsewhere.
Fortunately, solutions are available for organizations of any size, with scalable platforms that offer both property management and coworking tools that suit the needs of any company. Cloud-based digital solutions like Booking Ninjas offer centralized platforms to manage large and small properties with integrated tools that enhance communication, project management, and almost any aspect of your business. Companies of any size can maximize their coworking space with a powerful booking engine, coworking management systems, enhanced and automated communication tools, and can scale the platform to their business needs. Choosing the right solution for your business can make all the difference for the success of your coworking business or when adopting a coworking strategy within your organization. With many businesses switching their work arrangements to meet the shifting landscape it is important that all companies consider how they can find the right digital solutions to keep them ahead of the competition, both as an agile competitor that can maintain operations throughout global crises and as an attractive employer for the modern worker.