This article highlights the features, phases of implementation, and benefits of coworking management software for companies —particularly small to midsize enterprises (SMEs)— that could potentially help increase productivity.
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The world may be moving towards a hybrid work model, especially after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact —according to a report by Benefits Canada— 54% of Canadian companies are opting for hybrid work models.
A report by Coworking Resources states that the number of coworking spaces is estimated to surpass 40,000 globally by the end of 2024. The article also states that Canada is one of the top 10 countries when it comes to coworking spaces, with a 3% share towards the total global number. In such a scenario, it may be safe to say that the need to strategize coworking space management as per growing requirements could persist. In the next sections, let’s explore what coworking management software is and how SMEs can benefit from it.
What is coworking management software?
Coworking management software —also called space management software— could be used by employees to manage coworking space utilization in a better way. In order to ensure coordination between different departments, companies may consider opting for coworking management software. This tool could help them ensure the availability of sufficient workspace, which could offer productive results.
In Canada, there is an expansion of coworking and flexible work space, more so due to the pandemic, according to an article by Retail Insider. This may mean that more and more Canadians are open to the idea of shared spaces. In the next section, let’s explore the benefits of such software for small businesses.
Benefits of coworking management software for SMEs
Imagine you offer a commercial space for rent and have appointed a manager who could monitor the booking of the space on a daily basis. Coworking management software is similar to the manager that could help determine availability and manage workspace usage.
An article by The Globe and Mail presents a view of the coworking industry in Canada. It states that people are coming back to coworking spaces again after the pandemic. Many people are also contemplating working in a coworking space for the first time as they are adjusting to long-term remote work. The same article also states that after more than a year at home, individuals are looking for new ways to work, interact, and venture out. In this section, we will look at some benefits coworking management software has to offer for SMEs.
Helps with managing on-premise visitors
With the help of the visitor management feature of some such tools, managers can check and book workspaces for their employees or visitors either in advance or whenever it is available by using a coworking management dashboard. Moreover —according to PCMag— this feature could also allow companies to check the employees’ and vistors’ health status as per government guidelines before allocating them a slot, which is especially important in light of the pandemic. This could also potentially help companies ensure that there are no overlaps and help employees conveniently make their bookings.
Offers advanced hot desk reservation
Some coworking management software may also offer advanced reservation management features to employees that allow them to book a desk as per their workflow requirements. This feature could also allow employees to access information pertaining to the departments or employees who have used the desk previously, and check whether it is ready to use during the next scheduled slot.
Aids in better management of space
With the help of coworking management software, employees and departments can ensure that their workspace is prepared as per the operational requirements by using space preparation tools. They can review the historical data to analyze which spaces are being used more than the others and which ones are being underutilized in order to transform them into more useful ones. This tool could also help companies choose a suitable workspace floor layout that aligns with their operational needs.
Phases of implementing coworking management software
When it comes to implementing coworking space software, companies could potentially face challenges if the implementation is not strategically planned. Companies can follow some planned phases that could help in smooth execution. In this section, we have explored a few phases that could help you plan your coworking management better.
Step 1: Assessing real-time data
Before implementing coworking management software, collecting data from different departments regarding workspace requirements could potentially help companies understand whether there is a need for coworking tools. This can be done through tracking the use of coworking space by recording usage details on spreadsheets, communicating and understanding the need for workspaces individually with managers, circulating questionnaires, or conducting online polls.
Step 2: Identifying adequate workspace availability
After analyzing the requirement for workspaces, identifying adequate availability could potentially help companies understand if they need to buy additional space or whether they already have sufficient space to house their teams. This analysis could be done by checking the previously-collected and recorded data on space usage. Once this has been ascertained, companies could potentially identify suitable software that could help streamline space management among different departments.
Step 3: Meeting the identified requirements
In this phase, companies could potentially implement coworking management software based on the assessment of requirements and real-time data. After implementing the solution, companies can analyze if the needs of employees and departments are being met adequately by checking if there is any overlap in the schedules. Based on this data and feedback collected on the implementation of software, companies can gauge if opting for the software has been productive.
Step 4: Analyzing cost-effectiveness
Once the software is implemented, companies can conduct an analysis on the expected and actual outcome recorded through feedback. This can be done by cross-checking the feedback taken from employees and departments and comparing it with the actual expenditure and results. Based on the results, companies can analyze if it was a cost-effective investment or not.
While there are various pros and cons of using coworking management software, strategically planning its purchase could potentially help companies identify how cost-effective it could be for them. Moreover, researching some features beforehand could help companies understand if the software could meet their needs and accommodate their workflows. Businesses might also want to look for the potential benefits coworking software offer before picking the right one for their business, which may help them get better outcomes from the software.