The dynamic landscape of flexible workspaces took center stage at our recent FlexWorld Series 2024 conference held virtually on Tuesday, May 21st.

Over the past four years, since the conference’s inception, FlexWorld has become a premier event in the coworking industry that brings together thought leaders, industry professionals, and innovators to discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in the sector.

This year’s event ensured a global reach, allowing participants from across the globe to join in on the conversation.

Our elite panels worked together to convey some of the most notable changes and occurrences in coworking right now, offering the following sessions:

Let’s dive in to see what insights were brought to the table this year.

Growth vs Efficiency: Finding the Right Balance

One of the standout sessions at FlexWorld 2024 was the panel discussion, “Growth vs Efficiency: Finding the Right Balance.” This session brought together industry experts to explore the delicate equilibrium between expanding a flexible workspace business and maintaining operational efficiency.

Moderated by Samantha Kenney, CMO at OfficeRnD, the panel shed light on various strategies and real-world examples to highlight the challenges and opportunities in balancing growth with efficiency.

The expert lineup of panelists included:

Key Discussion Points

  • Defining growth and efficiency
  • What metrics do you look at for optimization?

Aside from the obvious metrics like office occupancy, hot-desk sales, and membership sales, metrics like sales activity, contracted revenue, and website sessions per site can also be extremely helpful.

In addition, revenue/sq. foot was found to be a data point disliked by many flex space operators. Member satisfaction and member retention are also commonly looked at to help project and determine ARR and revenue stability.

  • What tradeoffs or sacrifices have you made for optimization? Does being efficient mean you are sacrificing growth?

Efficiency is a precursor to growth. Ensure you have scalable operations and have built and implemented processes that serve your team and members. Automating systems to improve member onboarding and delivering on turn-key solutions so that members can come in and start operating within minutes.

Learn from experiences and implement changes based on findings. Each space is better than the last because you’re constantly learning and iterating

Check out this blog post for a more in-depth look at this insightful session and to learn more about the successful tactics the panelists apply to grow their spaces.

You can also watch the video recording of the session below:

Measure What Matters: Coworking KPIs, Benchmarks, and Industry Standards

During this session, our esteemed panel came together to explore the critical metrics that drive success in the coworking sector, and where the industry standard is falling short.

Attendees gained insights into what other industry leaders use for benchmarks and how they compare their spaces against top-performing outside counterparts and identify areas for growth.

Moderated by OfficeRnD’s Mihail Kyosev, the panel discussed solutions like using the “Rule of 40” and measuring your organization against “Blue Whale” organizations outside of the coworking industry.

The esteemed list of speakers included:

Key Discussion Points

  • How often are you using data to make decisions?

All panelists agreed that it’s vital to look at data that predicts the entire industry, not just what the snapshot is right now.

  • What are your top 3 KPIs that you look at everyday? Every month? Every year?

Cost of sales is a key data point – looking at where new deals are coming from and how much they cost the business. Also, using the Rule of 40 to measure your growth and profitability.

Retention rates are good to look at frequently. Member retention rates matter at the end of the day – getting a new customer is expensive, so retaining customers is the best way to grow.

Interestingly, looking at NPS scores daily gives you opportunities to take action and make a difference. If someone has concerns, you can spot the “problem” right away and address it

  • How do you evaluate whether your business performance metrics are meeting expectations? Do you benchmark against industry standards, historical data, or set specific targets?

You must have a north star and work towards something. Large, successful US corporations outside of coworking were studied and found to have 4 things in common: very strong parent-level EBITDA margins, steady and strong revenue growth, high net revenue retention, and low fixed cost as a percent of their revenue.

Surprisingly, coworking benchmarking and data tracking standards are low and not standardized.

Check out this article to learn more about the key insights shared during this session. You can also watch the video recording below:

Hospitality as a Competitive Edge

The all-star panel in this session included:

They sat down to discuss all things hospitality in coworking and the pivotal role it plays in distinguishing coworking spaces in a competitive market.

The discussion highlighted how exceptional service and a welcoming environment can attract and retain members, enhancing overall satisfaction and loyalty.

Speakers shared practical tips on incorporating hospitality best practices into daily operations, from personalized member interactions to creating a community-centric atmosphere.

The session underscored the importance of fostering a culture of hospitality to drive member engagement and support business growth. Attendees left with actionable insight on leveraging hospitality to create a unique and compelling coworking experience.

Key Discussion Points

  • With diverse expectations at coworking spaces, could you describe how you define “hospitality” in your operations and how this has kept you competitive?

Hospitality is all in the welcome/greeting, “hi, how are you, how can we help?” The key is to focus on consistent touch points and be hungry to find solutions. You have to make sure everyone has the tools and resources they need to come to work every day and be successful.

  • Inspired by Will Guidara’s concept of “unreasonable hospitality,” can you share a specific example where going beyond expectations in your service delivery dramatically impacted your coworking space’s reputation or client loyalty?

You can try to create a playbook, but really what makes a space engaging and electric is people’s personalities coming out – let them be authentic. It’s paramount to have metrics that aren’t just revenue-based but also focus on building relationships with members

Check out this blog post to learn all practical tips and strategies shared by Ed Hobbs and Kenny Kane.

Alternatively, you can watch the video recording of the session below:

Navigating Tomorrow’s Technology Innovations

OfficeRnD’s Ivan Guberkov, VP of Product, flew solo during this session to showcase the future of technology in the coworking industry and what groundbreaking features OfficeRnD Flex will bring to the table.

This session offered a look back at recent accomplishments, as well as a sneak peek into upcoming product features and innovations designed to enhance coworking operations and member experiences.

Attendees learned about cutting-edge tools and software advancements aimed at streamlining administrative and payment processes, advancing the standard of benchmarking and data tracking, and fostering community engagement.

Check out this article for an in-depth look at OfficeRnD Flex’s product roadmap.

You can also watch a video of the session below:

In Conclusion

As we wrap up the OfficeRnD FlexWorld Series 2024 conference, we reflect on an inspiring journey through the latest trends and innovations in the coworking industry.

From mastering key performance indicators and harnessing the power of hospitality to navigating the forefront of technology, this series provided invaluable insights and actionable strategies for coworking operators worldwide.

We’re excited to see how these learnings will shape the future of flexible workspaces.

We’d like to again extend our gratitude and appreciation to all of our speakers, attendees, and team members for making this event a resounding success.

For more updates on FlexWorld Series 2024, don’t forget to follow the official website of the conference https://flexworld.io/.

You can also follow us on social media and read our blog to stay in the loop. Last but not least, continue to elevate your coworking experience with OfficeRnD!

Questions Asked in the Chat During the Conference

What’s your Most Effective Marketing Channel When it Comes to Promoting Private Offices?

Google Ads turn out to be the channel that drives the most success.

As we’re Trying to Develop Partnerships with Other Businesses to Improve Benefits for our Members, What’s your Approach to This?

Kenny Kane, CEO at Firmspace, uses a platform called Paylode to build business connections that have a direct impact on members.

How Can We Encourage Members to Come to the Office More Often? We’ve been Hosting Monthly Members Appreciation Events and In-house Events but it Doesn’t Help Much.

You can try offering various incentives such as discounted rates for frequent users and partnerships with local businesses for exclusive member discounts.

As for the events, always try new ones until you find the one that works the best. It’s a good idea to survey members on what types of events they prefer.

First and foremost, focus on creating a dynamic environment with appealing amenities and an attractive space layout. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

How do you Continuously Monitor NPS Without Bombarding Members?

Form authentic relationships and ask for open and honest feedback throughout the membership and at renewal times.

We Would Love to Use the Brivo Mobile App but Have Been Waiting for Apple to Approve our Developer Account for 4 Months. Any tips?

This is very case-specific but Apple usually gives a good amount of detail with regards to what the problem is and how to go about solving it. Do not hesitate to reach out and ask them for further details on what is exactly required. At the end of the day, there is a huge community out there dealing with the same set of requirements so most problems have already been discussed.

Asen Stoyanchev
Senior Content Marketing & SEO Specialist | OfficeRnD
Asen is passionate about flexible working and the future of work. He firmly believes that work flexibility directly impacts one's health and well-being. When he's not writing, Asen spends his time devouring business literature, hiking, and parenting.