Technology is changing every aspect of the corporate world but few are aware of its impact on managing workspaces in the real estate market. For some, when we speak of the impact of technology on workspace management the first thing that comes to mind is the ability to provide Wi-Fi and other simple tech-related services.
However, workspace managers have, over the last few years, moved fast to capitalize on technological advances in a bid to improve their service delivery. Managers are now using various technologies to create what has been dubbed as 'workspace communities'. This has particularly been popularized by the growth of coworking in the corporate sector, as companies move to cut costs on office space.
Companies are now placing their employees in coworking spaces rather than renting their own, in what many consider to be a shrewd move in the part of cost management. To make their occupancy as conducive as possible, workspace managers have introduced cloud-based services like document sharing to facilitate the exchange of information between colleagues.
According to WUN Systems, a workspace management platform for coworking and shared spaces, workers are more attracted to workspaces that facilitate desk scheduling, boardroom reservations, and community networking as they seek to engage in social interactions and skill-sharing.
On the part of the workspace managers, utilizing IoT (Internet of Things) allows them to run things from a single interface in what WUN Systems CEO, Dale Hersowitz, refers to as unified reporting. 'IoT increases efficiency and gives people who run spaces the option of unified reporting. As a member you get a better experience,' said Hersowitz, according to an article on the company’s website.
Some workspace managers have even gone a level higher to automate most of their services including elevator and air conditioning. Air conditioning units are now programmable meaning they can be turned on an hour or even just minutes before the building opens, whilst elevators can be tuned to account for rush hour.
This all-inclusive service delivery by workspace managers has attracted different parties, especially those drawn from the technology industry. Because the driving force behind the growth of the modern workspace is coworking, most workers tend to come from sectors that do not involve inventory management. These workspaces are also common in highly populated cities where office space is extremely expensive.
For instance, getting an office space in London or New York city costs a lot more than what a worker or a company would pay for an office space in Manchester or in Renton, Seattle. This also explains why many Workspace Managers in these cities tend to have coworking or shared office space as an option amongst their services. For instance, Prime Office Space, a UK-based workspace management company has shared workstations as one of the main products as it seeks to accommodate diverse types of customers.
The London Office Space blog, another UK-based commercial workspace agency reports that most workers who seek coworking space come from the information technology, media, and Fintech markets. Clearly, companies operating in these markets do not manage any inventory like you would find in the retail and manufacturing industries, and this explains why they are very common in coworking spaces.
Another factor that is driving the modernization of working spaces is competition and the desire to increase profitability. In today’s markets, businesses are started with the intention to grow exponentially. To grow, some businesses may require expanding their footprint to other markets or regions. This will require getting an office space, or at least a satellite office.
Workspace managers are out to get as much as they can from customers looking for office space and thus, most will often be required to pay goodwill when signing up the lease agreement. This can be very costly for companies. However, when it comes to coworking, such prerequisites and down payments are not required, which makes things a lot cheaper.
Therefore, for businesses and individuals that do not have an inventory to manage, it all makes sense to get a coworking space rather than rent an office. This results in massive cost cuts related to rental and administrative expenses.
In summary, the modern workspace has changed significantly from what it used to be a decade ago. Workspace managers are now moving for simplicity as they seek to deliver comprehensive, yet customized packages to workers.
On the other hand, businesses and individuals are increasingly embracing the evolved modern workspaces, which include coworking spaces that are equipped with network communities and information sharing channels to encourage social interactions and skill-sharing.
Network technologies such as the Internet of Things are also playing their part with workspace managers using them to facilitate cloud computing services that enable colleagues to exchange information seamlessly and remotely.