It is no secret that the demand for flexible workspaces, whether coworking, business centres, serviced offices or hot-desking, is increasing as the hybrid working model continues to be favoured post-pandemic. There is much to be said for brand, design, amenities, customer service and price when differentiating your flex workspace.
However, in a saturated market with over 6,000 flex spaces UK-wide, at least 84% of these in Central London alone, occupiers must discover how they can differentiate against competitors and sustain occupancy rates through the use of technology.
At the recent Coworking London Conference organised by eOffice, Yardi’s Paul Orrock joined a panel of technology experts to discuss different technology solutions for the modern workplace.
The benefits of connected software
Orrock began by presenting the benefits of an end-to-end software solution in flex spaces to support operations and create a seamless, customer-centric experience.
Orrock stated, “The future of flex is looking at how you manage marketing, CRM, workflows and accounting and driving it into one single-stack solution, as opposed to integrating and managing several hybrid applications. Attaining a singular focus from an application point of view is quickly becoming desired by many operators in the market.”
By utilising a connected solution, you can manage prospects, members and operations from one platform. Solutions such as Yardi Kube Space Management can help automate daily tasks, including billing and maintenance requests, which are managed through user-friendly apps that link directly to one database.
Orrock explained, “Operators in flex space will often focus on the tasks they do once per month, rather than the tasks they do 1000 times per day. It is technology that will help streamline daily processes to ensure operators have time to focus on their tenants and services.”
Not only does a connected solution increase the operational efficiency of your teams but it also streamlines the tenant experience and facilitates revenue generation. Connected solutions, such as Yardi’s, allow prospects and members to complete transactions entirely online. With the help of real-time availability and the ability to reserve desk space and meeting rooms, tenants can take control of their bookings instantaneously.
Developing great partnerships
The success of a truly end-to-end solution derives from the fluidity of the onboarding process. During the panel session with industry experts, speculation rose around the challenges faced when implementing new software into an organisation.
The panellist agreed that technology on its own is simply not enough. It is fundamental that both the supplier and the organisation have training in place to facilitate the change of a new process.
“Implementing new technology into a flexible workspace comes with major process changes. It is up to us as suppliers to provide guidance and educational resources to the client so that teams can eventually take on the responsibilities themselves,” said Orrock.
Ultimately, successful implementation of technology derives from the process, the technology and the people. Through quality training, operational teams discover the technology, understand the process and benefits and learn to replicate the processes to deliver consistently high levels of service.
Technology for the future
The real estate industry continues to evolve with companies, such as John Lewis who are planning to convert 45% of their London flagship into office space. Landlords and building owners of neighbouring real estate markets are starting to explore the growing potential of flex and investing in office and coworking spaces. In his presentation, Orrock touched on the future of the real estate market and referenced what he anticipates will be ‘the building of the future’ – as shown below.
Orrock alluded to the idea that a common building block will ultimately become one mixed-use space, combining residential with coworking and retail for example.
“Investing in a single, end-to-end solution now means investing in technology for the future. Real estate markets will continue to marry up with one another in single buildings and it is technology such as Yardi’s cloud-based solutions, that will be the puzzle piece to connect all these elements.”Discover Yardi Kube, an end-to-end platform that allows you to automate your space with a flexible workspace management platform.
Photo credits: Yardi