Workspace Technology in Coworking Spaces in 2016


[:en]Gone are the days when coworking spaces were defined by desk space and accessible Wi-Fi. Coworking has quickly become a hub for tech advancements in the work place and companies like Yardi Kube have a finger on the pulse.

With coworking consumers expecting more, the question for managers and operators of these modern spaces has become, “How can I better integrate technology into the every day experience?”

WUN CEO, Dale Hersowitz points to the trend of Internet of Things (IoT), as one of the leading movements in the coworking world. IoT stands for the network of physical objects that allow various systems to exchange data with one another. Lighting systems, elevators, and printers all speaking to one another with cloud connectivity. This trend has seen recent popularity in the home goods industry with systems like Nest which control security and temperature. Smart spaces are now using the IoT to give managers greater control of their spaces in a simple interface. The air conditioning unit can be programmed to turn on an hour before the building opens, elevators can account for rush hour and members can send documents to the cloud for print jobs instead of connecting to a printer physically.

“IoT increases efficiency and gives people who run spaces the option of unified reporting. As a member you get a better experience,” says Hersowitz.

WUN is a leading driver of bringing the IoT to shared spaces. Their new WUNHD platform offers a unified system connecting phone, Internet, data, door control and software together in a reliable and user-friendly interface.

Executive Director of Global Workspace Association, Jamie Russo is always well informed on industry trends both tech and otherwise. In 2016 IoT is top-of-mind at GWA.

Russo believes, “one of the toughest challenges to crack is finding easy-to-integrate technology to connect members in order to facilitate community engagement such as skill-sharing, referrals, social interaction, and a sense of belonging.”

Workers are looking for spaces that allow them to schedule desks, make conference room reservations and network with the space’s community. Anything to make the workday smoother. Easy access to these amenities has become a necessity for coworking spaces rather than a welcomed addition.

“It’s another wow factor for the user. Of course it benefits the operator of the space, but it also makes it more attractive to the end user,” says Hersowitz.

While workspaces with flashy features such as rock walls appeal to some, most are looking for services offered as a way to balance office culture, cost, and efficiency. On top of the tech advancements however, personal amenities have also gained popularity in recent months. Imagine workspaces that have contracted dry-cleaning and meal catering companies – services traditionally associated with high-level executives – available to all members.

“I think space design, membership design and technology will move towards a more service-oriented workspace,” says Russo.

All in all, coworkers are looking for full service spaces. Tech, support, work, play, it’s all a part of the experience that users are coming to expect more and more.

Want to learn more about technology in the workplace? Stay tuned for a podcast conversation between Yardi Kube CEO Dale Hersowitz and GWA Executive Director Jamie Russo coming soon.[:]