The ‘rough and ready’ coworking space is making way for a premium product underpinned by smart space design, superior amenities and state-of-the-art technology, says Yardi’s Neal Gemassmer.
“What began as a small percentage of people looking for a working environment beyond the cubicle or café has become an unstoppable force as multinational corporations take up desks in coworking suites,” says Gemassmer, Yardi’s vice president of international.
According to Colliers International, which published its latest Flexible Workspace Outlook report in June, Sydney's coworking market increased by 47 per cent in 2018 as another 208,000 sqm was added to the books.
International operators moving into Melbourne's market snapped up 135,000 sqm. And Brisbane, which added another 47,000 sqm of flexible space to the mix in 2018, is now the coworking capital.
“Coworking and flexible workspaces are disrupting how we work, just as Uber disrupted mobility and Facebook disrupted how we communicate with friends,” Gemassmer says. He points to three “success secrets” to shared office space in 2019.
“One of the most exciting aspects of the coworking boom is seeing how different individual spaces can look and feel while maintaining high levels of productivity,” Gemassmer says.
While coworking spaces are known for their slippery dips, swings and soccer tables, many of the most on-trend coworking spaces are more like five-star hotels than playgrounds, he adds.
“Upscale coworking facilities around the world are bridging the gap between the hospitality and workplace sectors. Luxurious design paired with the best technology is attractive to a growing network of business travellers, entrepreneurs and high-flying corporates.”
“Flexible workspace is blurring the lines between office space and amenities – and this brings opportunities for building owners to pioneer new products and uncover new value.”
Many shared office spaces now provide a host of additional services – from babysitting and pet minding to yoga classes and chartered accountant services for start-ups.
“The best coworking operators understand they are offering space as a service and look for unique ways to add value to their customers,” Gemassmer explains. He says the niche coworking trend – where facilities are designed to suit a small segment of the market, like female entrepreneurs, data analysts or artists – illustrate the customer-centric philosophy.
From access cards to space management software, automated invoicing to time trackers, coworking technology is advancing at a rapid pace.
“Yardi’s technology enhances the shared space experience for both operators and users by bringing marketing, accounting, billing, reservations, member services, voice services, data and Wi-Fi together in one fully integrated platform,” Gemassmer says.
“The right workspace management platform can automate countless manual processes – no more spreadsheets, no more calculators and no more hassle. Yardi allows coworking operators to get on with what they do best – building community,” Gemassmer concludes.
Find out how Yardi can help to optimise your coworkspace for the best results.