How to Future-Proof Your Coworking Space with Technology
Discover how to future-proof your coworking space, and make sure your business is agile and flexible enough to fight the mounting pressures that a scaling business typically fights.
Prior to joining us, Michael served as President and Co-founder of SharedSpace—a high-tech workspace and client of ours, focused on serving local communities in the Atlanta suburbs. Since opening in 2016 SharedSpace has grown to 3 locations with over 300 members, and recently opened its newest location in Augusta, Georgia.
Michael has always been passionate about our product and about technology in general. He shares he has always wanted to be in the software industry because of the speed of change and scalability of actions across the organization.
“Joining the OfficeRnD team was a great opportunity to use the knowledge that I’ve learned from the industry to help build a software that will empower owners across the world with the best tech and tools to run their spaces”
Prior to OfficeRnD and SharedSpace, Michael worked in the audio-visual industry where he designed and built collaboration spaces for large corporations across the southern US.
Read more about Mike and his experience as a coworking operator:
When asked about the specifics of the US coworking market, Mike shares it’s very service and hospitality oriented.
“US coworking spaces have a huge hospitality focus. They work super hard to make sure people have almost a hotel experience when they walk into a coworking space.”
“Another trend, we’ve started to see, is niche spaces focused on a particular type of industry. For example, there’s a space in Atlanta that focuses specifically on lawyers, and another one – on professionals from the filming industry. We’re going to see more and more of those niche spaces in the years to come.”
In terms of size and distribution, Mike shares that we observe a trend towards bigger spaces with more private offices.
“People are realizing that with a building of 2,000-3,000 square feet space, they’re not going to get a good return on investment with just coworking. Private offices generate the most revenue per square foot for coworking spaces ”
“We’re starting to see spaces grow a little bit larger, with a tendency of changing the ratio between private offices and open space towards maximum utilization of private offices because that’s where the profits are.”
“We’re also starting to see a trend with smaller micro offices for just a person or two. That’s kind of a new product for the industry.”
“Leases for traditional real estate are getting shorter and shorter every single year because they know they have to compete with coworking spaces. Over the next years, we’ll continue to see the decline of long-term leases, I truly believe in that.”
“Landlords (there’re like 5 million commercial real estate buildings in the US) see how effective coworking is to retain customers and grow revenue. More and more of them will jump into coworking by chipping away some areas of their buildings and turning them into flexible workspace areas.”
“By making that choice, they’ll have to decide if they want to hire an existing operator that has experience with coworking or if they want to run such a business themselves.”
“A lot of them are trying to do the latter. Some of them are not having much success because they’re more focused on what they have done in the past with traditional real estate — maximizing profitability with little concern for user experience. On the other side, the ones that are focusing on the community and the brand, are the spaces that are seeing the most success and growth.”
“Another trend that we are seeing is large corporations starting to learn about coworking and building small remote headquarters in coworking spaces because it’s so easy and convenient for them. Why would a corporation spend months or years planning for a new office when they could spend a fraction of the time getting a new location set up with all the amenities they need within a coworking space?”
“Education is what the industry needs right now. Luckily the big players like WeWork are starting to do more of this for us. You’d be surprised – but if you were to ask a hundred people on the streets of Atlanta, only a handful would even be able to tell you what coworking and flexible office are. This will change as coworking becomes the new office norm and a good reason for why there’s a huge potential for growth for the industry.”
“Having been there myself, I know how stressful it is to open and manage a new coworking location and I’m so thrilled to work with owners to help make the process easier.”
“The plan for the next year is to build a small team in the US to better serve our customers and be closer to them. Having boots stateside really helps with the time difference for sales, onboarding, and support.”
“I’m also in the process of planning a road trip later this year to visit as many of our customers on-site and talk to them in person to learn more about their business to see how we can better support them. Having a friendly face in the US helps our operators know that we’re close by and ready to help.”
If you want to reach out to Mike, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop him a line on LinkedIn.
He’s also a main content contributor in our free eBook “The Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Coworking Space” —don’t miss to check it out!
This post was part of a series of content pieces, that will showcase who we are and why we believe in what we’re doing.
We’ve always been inspired by our amazing clients and their success, and by the scope and speed of the workspace transformation. This has been a dominant motivator on our way of providing a management solution that helps flexible workspace operators scale their business.
We realized that there’s another essential ingredient in the mix that worths being mentioned, and that’s our team, the major engine that stays behind the OfficeRnD brand—from the product to the experience, to the support, the communication, you name it…
We have the honor to work with great teammates—exceptional professionals and amazing people, who truly believe in our mission of making coworking the way of working.
And we want to put our team in the spotlight and share with you our story.
Don’t miss to check our first post of the series:
To be continued…
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