Top 8 Collaborative Features to Look for in Coworking Software
The power of coworking is in a collaborative community.
According to Deskmag’s coworking survey, people choose a coworking space based on it having an enjoyable atmosphere (59%), to interact with others (56%), and to build a sense of community around themselves (55%).
Members come to a workspace because of other people, feel happy and inspired during the day, and end up with better business results.
According to GCUC’s survey, 84% of coworkers say working in a coworking hub makes them more motivated. Other responses show that 69% say they have obtained new skills and 68% say their existing skills have improved since joining a coworking office space.
Building a coworking community is an arduous task that requires not only managers' curation but technology support. We have already discussed applications that will help you stay connected to members as well as main coworking app activation and engagement improvement.
In this article, I am going to tell you about features a collaborative workspace technology must have. This information will help either choose the right software if you re still in the process, or look at the solutions your current system offers at another angle and start to use them more efficiently.
Members Directory or Community includes information about each member and company. The feature is useful both for members and managers. It lets you know who is who in your community and browse this info like a contact book.
Members build their profiles to showcase contacts and skills to other office tenants, while administrators easily manage members, their bookings, and subscriptions.
Collaborative benefits for members:
- The possibility to build beautiful contact profile pages with photos to browse other office members.
- Control over information privacy — choose who can see personal details.
- Find like-minded people — search throughout all fields, including bio.
Collaborative benefits for managers:
- Booking and payment history for every member at one place.
- The possibility to automate free hour credits with credit plans.
- Easily invite members individually or send multiple members invite at once, assign companies and credits in a few mouse clicks.
- Protect community privacy by limiting community page visibility to administrators only.
Both members and administrators can access the coworking community page anytime, anywhere, from their mobile devices.
Meeting room booking is probably one of the most frequent collaborative activities at a workspace. It's even safe to say that making reservations is a key feature that must be supported by coworking space software.
The meeting room booking system allows automating reservations at a workspace. It completely eliminates the need to ask for booking at the reception, call the community manager, or use Google Calendar.
Members can book meeting rooms remotely from their smartphones and pay with credits or card. Though, this collaborative feature of coworking space software is not only about member's comfort. It helps to address booking conflicts, abandoned bookings, and ensure fair and even meeting room utilization.
Coworking spaces connect their members via different channels. Some use Slack, others use social media. It's ok to use them all as long as you have a dedicated newsfeed and communication stream inside your workspace app.
We all got used to social media and there is no lack of good messengers but only a corporate communication channel can be considered a collaborative tool. It provides the highest level of visibility as members get messages that are related to the coworking community. Your essential information can't be lost or neglected, residents are always updated on workspace news and new members. They can react and comment on each thread, post images and videos, etc.
In fact, a Stream works similar to popular social media platforms but it supports your brand and includes only members of your community.
You can’t build a collaborative community without arranging networking events at your coworking space. However, managers usually think twice before starting preparations. Community events always involve so many activities. You need to make sure everyone knows about the gathering, issue passes, collect payments if the event is not free, etc.
Events management becomes million times easier if your coworking software already includes this collaborative feature.
Here are some of the moments you can benefit from:
- No need to pay for a third-party event management app and integrate it with your main coworking software.
- Attractive events feed with descriptions and photos is available for easy discovery by members across all your locations.
- Easy RSVP for free events.
- Set price and accept payments for paid events. Fast and easy checkout for members.
- Beautiful event passes that the organizer uses to easily verify attendance information.
- You can make your events visible to the general public for buying passes by anyone who logged into the app, even non-members.
- Guest lists for administrators and members to know who is coming.
- Restrictions by the number of attendees to meet sanitary and premise capacity specifications.
Accepting guests is another form of collaboration your members and team are involved in. Entrepreneurs need to run meetings with clients and partners to grow their businesses. They surely expect that those business meetings will run smoothly and their guests will leave the shared workspace with a positive feel.
If a flexible workspace has no visitor management system, the location manager is in trouble. They have to do everything manually: register guests, meet them at the reception, show where to go, and so on. No matter how prepossessing your community manager is, you will never make a superior impression on coworking space guests with such an outdated approach.
That’s why I would highly recommend acquiring coworking software with built-in visitor management among other collaborative features. This will save you from many headaches and give you plenty of advantages such as:
- Money savings as you don’t pay for additional third-party software to automate visitor management at your coworking space.
- Full integration with your existing workspace management platform. Administrators don’t have to maintain two separate databases and switch between multiple apps, everything is done within the same system.
- The ultimate convenience for members. Coworking space members preregister their guests for faster check in. They approve or reject a visit request in a tap and get guest arrival notifications on the same app they use for booking, communication, and events.
- Swift check in experience for guests. Preregistered visitors check in within seconds using a tablet at the reception desk while unannounced visitors self-register and get member’s approval immediately. No waiting, no asking for manager assistance.
- Hands-down visitor management for administrators. Managers are free from manual visitor management, logging check in and out times, notifying members of guest arrival — all processes are fully automated through self-service.
- Amazing first-touch brand experience. Visitors get a superior first impression of your brand, its high standards of hospitality, and advanced technology, which is extremely important for enhancing your positions in the market.
Customer support is critical for any business but for the hospitality industry, it's absolutely vital. The best solution here is to have a dedicated platform (such as Intercom or Zendesk) integrated with your main workspace management app. This way, members will get answers to their queries in seconds without even leaving their desks.
Well-tuned support is a brilliant tool for collaborating with members. You will always know if they are happy or not, what issues do they face, what should be fixed, etc. This is your chance to not only keep your workspace in order but improve the amenities day-by-day with the help of the coworking community.
You will never know how members use the collaborative space you offer until you analyze all data. I suggest you integrate your coworking software with a business intelligence tool, such as Google Data Studio, or better yet, choose a workspace management app that offers built-in Analytics among other features. The app will turn raw data into simple visual charts and graphs. This will save you and your managers lots of hours as the information is easy to understand and the finds can be applied immediately.
Optimizing occupancy of meeting rooms and other collaborative areas you will improve their experience and productivity. Workspace utilization is only one of multiple parameters that can be analyzed with BI tools. You will also get valuable data on most asked for services, most popular perks, etc. You can use this knowledge to provide members with the products they need the most.
In addition to built-in features, coworking software offers a bunch of serviceable integrations. For instance, a vendor may offer an integration with an access control solution such as Kisi or Salto KS.
The greatest thing about these additional collaborative features is that they incredibly extend the default functionality of your main system without making it complicated as you continue using separate apps integrated with one another. You enjoy professional solutions that let your members unlock the doors with a smartphone, print out files without any troubles with drivers installation, make payments, ask for support, and more, from one single platform.
We have just discussed the main collaborative features you would like to see in your coworking space software. It's difficult to imagine a big, thriving coworking network without members' apps. However, not every technology solution is focused on features that facilitate collaboration inside the coworking community.
In other words, your workspace management platform should serve as a roadmap for members enabling them to easily find, discover, and apply for all available services, benefits, and amenities. This is a sure way to make members' experience more enjoyable, and your community more collaborative.
Need more tips to choose proper software to manage your coworking space? Get them here: How to Choose the Best Software to Manage Your Coworking Space.