You can find coworking spaces almost everywhere in the world. In 2007, there were no more than 14 coworking spaces around the globe. In 2017 their number exploded astronomically to 14 000 and counting. By 2025, there will be at least 26 000 of them on the planet.
Such a booming venture should have huge profits, yet most of the coworking spaces have great difficulties with profitability instead. A modern coworking center is a venture that stimulates the stable growth of an independent worker, praises flexibility, and claims itself to be a creative workplace for new talents. But what does it say about itself as a profitable business? I asked myself that very question and started digging into that aspect.
Here’s what I figured out.
There are different problems with management as well as with coworking activities but one true pain for almost each and every coworking space administrator is the chaos of the meeting room bookings.
Because of the limited space amount in a typical coworking environment, the main challenge is to use proper timing for working places, hot desks, conference rooms, and public coworking spaces. Lots of tasks create a real buzz for an administrator with a lack of space (and time) for a proper booking management system. Yet without it, it’s impossible to monitor meeting rooms for not being occupied for too long, not being overbooked or underbooked by residents and resident teams in coworking spaces.
Managing bookings at a coworking space can be a very stressful task none of your administrators would like to face on a daily basis. Such a mess with the booking process for meeting rooms can cost a fortune for a coworking reputation, take lots of time and effort for your administrators, and make members unhappy).
The great news is that there is certainly a way to change that.
What your hub needs is a well-functioning meeting room booking system. Problems with timing and bookings will repeat, and the workspace manager should face them while being prepared.
And this is the time to conquer the chaos in 5 steps:
- Check up your meeting rooms. It’s time to go—to go around and find out how many meeting rooms are available. Knowing that will help you schedule the meetings that will go on throughout the day. It can help with cutting down chaos with bookings. You should also connect your calendars to specific meeting rooms. Such integration can assist with scheduling and avoiding mismatches in your internal schedule.
- Check up the appliances. Such a check-up for various meeting rooms will help you assign different types of meetings in different types of spaces. If a meeting room has just a drawing board in it, you can’t hold a PowerPoint presentation there. And when a meeting room has a projector screen, laser pointer, Alexa or Google Home in it, it’s not rational to hold a brainstorm in there (because all you need for this is just a flipchart).
- Calculate the price of non-coworking members' rent for space. This helps you to estimate your billing for a non-resident per hour for booking a meeting room. This is necessary to avoid losing money on non-residential bookings of meeting rooms.
- Connect specific coworkers and their “Free Hours”. Knowing the “free hours” of each coworker will help you with pinpointing their meeting schedule. This is the way to avoid sending coworking residents into meeting rooms when they’re occupied. They only schedule meetings for their free hours. Knowing this also helps you to estimate who is in the meeting room presently and how much the present hour and the next hour will cost.
- Automate your routines. The whole world is going online with software and apps. Staying offline will bring you no good at all. So let’s automate and get the best automation has to offer. You should get meeting room booking software that will automate bookings at your coworking space.
Such a system acts as an assistant for community members and administrators and is very effective. It is widely being accepted that an automated booking system for meeting rooms helps with promoting coworking space management. It also allows efficient control of meeting rooms. This process becomes faster, easier and it can be done with a tap on your smartphone or laptop.
andcards is one of the application software that can help you to cope with such a task as booking automation for meeting rooms. This platform is integrated with digital smart locks and RFID readers to manage check-in/out for the doors at your workspace. It is used for coworking spaces and is built to help you if you want to automate management routines and boost member experience, especially booking procedure for meeting rooms.
andcards enables 1-click/tap bookings, which saves a lot of time and makes the process super simple. The solution works for both customers and managers.
- Creation of booking. Members easily check all the meeting rooms for their availability, equipment and next schedules via web or mobile apps. They pay with credits, bank cards, or invoices right inside the same app. No need to go round the meeting rooms or talk to a manager for scheduling and paying. For non-members, the process is just the same. All they need to book and pay for the room is a downloaded workspace app on their smartphones.
- Spotting available rooms at a distance. andcards meeting room booking system features meeting room display so that users can identify free rooms at a distance and check-in, without having to pull up a smartphone. They can also use QR codes shown on those displays to get to the booking page of a given room in an instant.
- Syncing calendars. This gives access to export the invite to Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, or iCal for everyone who is booking a meeting room. It helps to avoid a no-show, double bookings, and other errors that might occur.
- Notifications. Sometimes a member may forget which meeting room was booked, or when the certain booking ends. The system will automatically remind essential booking information by sending a push notification to customer’s mobile phone.
- Free hour allocation. A meeting room booking system fully automates free hours tracking for coworking space managers. An administrator can assign membership plans which contain monthly free hour allowance (credits) in just a few taps. What's especially useful is software ability to assign team credits, shared between team members. These credits are used by members as a payment method for meeting room bookings.
- Tracking. The software helps the management team with tracking each meeting room for booking by both members and non-members to ensure that there is no monopolization, under-utilization, and double booking of meeting rooms.
- Payments collection. Since customers book rooms and pay for them through the app, administrators are free from running payment records, creating invoices and charging the money. Depending on the payment method selected by the customer (credits, banking card, monthly invoice) at booking creation, the system will automatically process the payment.
- Data analysis. Meeting room booking system on andcards is connected to Analytics. It collects all data related to booking of each meting room at your workspace and visualizes it with the help of comprehensible interactive dashboards. This gives you valuable insights on meeting room usage at your workspace. You can easily spot the underperforming facilities, make changes, and improve the cashflow.
With meeting room booking software, there will be no such situations as an early check in, meeting space monopolization or underutilization, and booking a room only to find out that it is being used by another person that didn’t even book it.
The system automates bookings at a coworking space by enabling members make reservations through a self-service platform without the manager's assistance. This is the solution to cut down the chaos at a coworking space. And you can go fully automated to get the best out of the vibrant, creative, flexible, and steady independent workplace as a modern coworking is.
Hope this article was useful for you. If you have any further questions
about meeting room booking automation or desk booking automation, ask them our expert during a free demo call.