What Multi-Site Operators Want to Know About Technology for Coworking Spaces

By Tom Welby
15.11.18 ·

Your workspace business enters a whole new world when you open up your second coworking site and beyond. If you weigh up the potential overhead of a multi-site flexible workspace business compared to a single site, the increased effort and costs can seem intimidating, especially when considering the right technology for your coworking spaces.

Whether you’re considering expanding your workspace portfolio, or just evaluating the perfect technology solution to help your business scale, there are plenty of things you’ll want to know. Below we take a look at some of the most prominent questions multi-site coworking operators ask us when they’re looking to implement mission-critical software and technology for coworking spaces to help make running their multi-site operation as simple as managing a single site.

How can I effectively scale but keep my overhead to a minimum?

Trying to keep overhead to a minimum is a key concern for any flexible workspace, so we’re sure it comes as no surprise that this is one of the first questions we’re asked by multi-site operators and is a focal driving point in discussions.

Your most important asset in keeping your overhead to a minimum is to ensure that you’re working with a single technology provider who can overlap all the different layers of technology that your workspace needs to thrive within a single package. This means your tech provider will oversee everything from your internet, phones, billing, workspace management and beyond. If you’re utilizing numerous partners for numerous services, the complexities of running even a single site can quickly become unnecessarily convoluted and expensive.

Furthermore, when it comes to adding new locations to your coworking portfolio, your technology partner – ideally specialized in flexible workspace technology – will be able to ensure a scalable approach to implementing technology that mirrors your existing locations so adding a workspace is as simple as the flick of a switch and isn’t limited based on locations. For example, if you’re planning to launch coworking sites in different states in the U.S., it’s crucial to replicate the network and security of that location so that your members can seamlessly access any of your locations throughout the country.

How do I build packages and products for multiple locations? 

If you’re dealing with multiple workspaces at once, it’s imperative that the technology for your coworking spaces is scalable. This means scalable bill runs, a scalable marketplace, scalable bandwidth capabilities and more. Cloud-based software-enabled infrastructure enables coworking operators to offer scalable products and services across multiple sites, helping to grow the business easily and natively with minimal intervention needed while driving more value to members. Also, with a single marketplace you will have the capabilities to mirror packages and products across your entire portfolio providing complete consistency and branding across your workspaces.

Software-enabled infrastructure allows you to build specific technology packages to only be available at relevant workspaces. For example, workspaces in tech-hub locations may have occupiers with higher bandwidth requirements. With smart and scalable technology, you can simply allocate a dedicated bandwidth package for these customers and manage their services from one platform and one log-in. 

Your products across multiple locations can also be directly assigned to your individual members. For example, if one member has connected to your secure Wi-Fi network at one location, once they enter another workspace within your network, they’ll instantly gain access to all their relevant products and amenities previously used such as a softphone without needing to request access or download again.

technology for coworking spaces

What are attractive technologies and features for landlords and property developers?

It’s important to remember to not run before you can walk. Getting your core services perfect is always going to be a highly attractive benchmark for landlords and developers. Before you start to think about advanced tech solutions for your coworking space, ensure that you’re able to deliver flawless internet, Wi-Fi, phones, and management software all with a completely frictionless experience.

Once you’ve nailed down the basics, then it’s time to guarantee that the technology you’re utilizing is helping maintain a high level of occupancy throughout your workspace and ensuring that your most valuable space assets are being used appropriately. For example, you can receive real time notifications if a tenant is having one or two additional member check ins each day, allowing you to notify them of a larger space available in the building, meaning your top value offices are being consistently let, significantly contributing to your overall MMR.

How can I keep track of all my suppliers and locations? 

Keeping track of numerous locations is always a struggle without the right technology in place. Trying to juggle the different needs and requirements of members spread across three or more sites quickly becomes daunting and leaves workspaces operating more ‘data aware’ than data-driven.

The simple solution is to have a complete, holistic view of all of your locations in one place with real time updates. With a robust dashboard, you’ll be able to make dynamic and smart decisions benefiting each of your locations. Cloud-based infrastructure and management software solutions enable multi-site flexible workspace operators with the tools required to deep dive into the data and performance of each site to more accurately monitor the status of your portfolio no matter where you’re currently based.

How can a technology platform help me secure funding? 

Technology for coworking spaces can be a strong catalyst in securing funding for numerous reasons. As previously noted, the right technology is going to provide you with a complete view of all locations in your portfolio. With this information you’re able to create robust business plans based on accurate data of how each of your workspaces are running on a daily basis. With all the information you require at your fingertips, incorporating detailed marketing, operations and financial plans into a complete business plan becomes a far more manageable objective.

Furthermore, with the market becoming increasingly saturated, investors are keenly looking out for coworking operators that are prepared to tackle the future. On our recent tech webinar, panelist, Antony Slumbers commented that “the workspace of tomorrow already exists today.” Ensuring that your workspace is fitted out with the right technology built for coworking spaces and is completely connected such as Bruntwood’s Neo will make your workspace and brand much more distinguishable from your competition.

Can technology for coworking spaces contribute to customer wellbeing? 

While a technology provider may not be able to deck your workspace out with yoga rooms, day care areas and sleeping pods, a good tech solution will operate with an open API, allowing you to integrate your workspace management software into your wellbeing amenities. One of the key benefits of integrating your technology with wellbeing isn’t just easier management, but also the ability to incorporate a seamless experience for your customers in which they experience all the benefits your workspace provides with a touch of a button. For example, if they’re walking past your yoga studio, you can push a notification directly to their smartphone allowing them to sign up for a class later on that day, allowing them to better manage their work-life balance.

Additionally, you’ll be provided with a full holistic view of the services your customers are utilizing, giving you a deeper understanding of their needs, desires and aspirations. With less time running in out and out of multiple comms room and making sure your sites are synced up, you have more time to provide your coworking community with the services and amenities that contribute to their overall wellness, which can be consistent across your various sites.

How can it help me roll out to a large number of locations in a single year?

Simply put – The right technology provider is going to have the capability of getting your new sites connected at the flick of a switch. That means once a new coworking space opens, your core services such as internet, Wi-Fi and management software are going to be up and running before you walk through the front door. This lets you take technology out of the equation when you’re expanding rapidly.

If you’re trying to accomplish this with numerous providers all tackling different aspects of the technology for your coworking spaces, you’ll find you’re hitting tough hurdles into your third or even second site. So, if you’re focused on ambitiously scaling, it’s imperative that you work with a technology partner who can match your ambition.