Author: Kristina Proffitt
18th June 2019
Recent years have seen the rise of coworking spaces for individuals and businesses.
For freelancers, coworking spaces offer them a reprieve from the loneliness that can come from working at home all the time.
For startups and small businesses, it gives them somewhere to work from without paying expensive city rents or needing to find an office the right size for their team – the space can scale as their team does.
Paying per desk is a much more affordable way for startup teams to benefit from office space and can dramatically reduce their overheads in the crucial formative years.
Renting out an office in a coworking space is another option for startups, which means that teams can get their own space while still benefitting from the meeting rooms, resources, and networking that can come from coworking spaces.
However, in coworking offices problems inevitably arise. How do you manage meeting rooms for hundreds of people? What about bookable resources? Or desks that are rented on an ad-hoc basis?
Creating calendars for these resources is one way around this, but it only solves half the problem. How do you add these calendars to a booking software and ensure that community members use these calendars in the right way?
Meeting room bookings
Meeting rooms are one of the main benefits of coworking spaces. Community members can reserve them for one-on-ones, retros, conference calls (if the right equipment is available), etc.
The easier it is for members to book these spaces, the more likely they are to do so and the less likely it is to cause any double-bookings or other scheduling issues.
Adding a calendar booking interface to your workspace management software is the easiest way to manage meeting rooms. Users can see what rooms are booked and when, allowing them to book a meeting room that suits their needs.
One of the big issues with this interface is that members often forget to cancel a booking if they don’t need it any more. One way around this is to require members to confirm their attendance at a meeting room, but it’s easy to forget to do this and end up with someone else booking the room and all sorts of scheduling conflicts arising.
Another option is to send members a meeting reminder shortly before, asking them to cancel the meeting if they don’t need it any more.
Alternatively, meeting room bookings can be added to their calendar. This is a place that they’re likely to use every day to manage their time. Their booking will therefore be right in front of them and they’ll think to cancel it if they don’t need it any more. This way of approaching meeting organization also means that there aren’t any duplicate calendar events in someone’s calendar. These duplicate events can cause confusion and lead to cluttered calendars.
Meeting room booking software that allows organizers to add attendees to the meeting makes it easier for teams to organize the meeting. They don’t have to book the room then create a separate calendar event to invite everyone; everything can be organized at the same time, creating a more streamlined process.
This function also means that meetings aren’t booked for rooms that are too small to hold the maximum number of attendees. Organizers can see exactly how many people the room can hold and add all of those people to the meeting without worry.
Resources are another important part of a coworking space. Conference equipment, projectors, and TV screens can make a huge difference to a meeting or talk. It’s therefore important that community members can access them easily.
Creating calendars for these is an often-overlooked way to manage communal equipment. It ensures that no two people will try to use the same piece of equipment at the same time and find themselves in a difficult situation if they can’t use the screen or conference equipment that they need.
These bookable resources are vital to helping community members run their businesses, so it’s important that it’s easy for them to access them.
Desks are the most important part of a coworking space. Without them, team members have nowhere to work from and no reason to give coworking spaces money. If it’s the kind of coworking space where members rent desks, not rooms, it’s important that there’s a good desk management process in place.
Not every desk will be occupied every day. Some members may only be there a handful of days a week.
Operating on a hot desking basis and allowing team members to pay as and when they need a desk opens up the space to be used by more people. This means that team members save money. Coworking spaces get the benefit of more people using their services, which helps to naturally spread the word and increase a coworking space’s reach.
People that use the space may also find that they need an extra desk or two sometimes for visiting colleagues or guests. An efficient desk management process means that space managers can see what desks are available and when for them to use. This makes it easier for them to allocate space and provide an easier booking process for everyone.
This can be achieved by creating calendars for each desk. Office managers can then see which desks are available and when. Connecting this to a coworking management software makes it even easier to organize these resources.
Running a coworking space is a challenging but rewarding undertaking. Managers get to see community members grow – and eventually outgrow – the space. In the meantime, they can provide companies with a friendly, welcoming environment that puts them in a great mood for the working day.
Small changes to workplace management solutions can dramatically improve the experience that customers receive.
Adding calendar sync to meeting room booking systems or coworking management software means that users can take advantage of the spaces to their fullest extent. Nobody will have to worry about two people booking the same meeting room for the same time. Everything will run automatically behind the scenes, leaving managers with more time to develop other areas of the coworking space.
Calendars for desks and other bookable resources further make everyone’s lives easier. Everyone can always see what resources are booked out and when, making it easier for them to schedule appointments where they’ll need equipment.
To find out more about adding calendar sync to your booking solution, get in touch.
Date: 18th June 2019 | Category: HR Tech