The coworking and flexible space trend has taken off in recent years but will need to evolve with new technology to remain relevant, says Yardi’s vice president of International, Neal Gemassmer. What’s next for coworking and flexible space?
Analysts predict that coworking and flexible space will account for 25 to 30 percent of the commercial office market by 2030, and Gemassmer says several advanced technologies are behind the trend.
1. IoT Acceleration
The Internet of Things – a vast network of appliances, sensors, vehicles, electronics and gadgets connected to the internet – is growing exponentially. Gartner forecasts that 14.2 billion devices will be in use by the end of 2019, with the total expected to reach 25 billion by 2021.
Gemassmer says this technology alone will reinvent our workplaces by “building community and connections”.
Co-working spaces can be shared, scheduled and equipped through a company-wide dashboard. People can pinpoint the location of their colleagues with a click. Navigation in large offices is made easy. Kitchens, bathrooms and shared spaces can be kept clean and stocked.
“IoT powers meeting spaces, supports predictive maintenance, controls keyless access systems, promotes energy saving and much more. The uses of IoT are endless and only growing,” he says.
2. Virtual Reality Unplugged
Virtual reality has been a mainstay of gaming for more than a decade, but it is now moving into the coworking space.
“VR technology allows for more and more virtual meetings. Workers with access to a VR headset can feel like they are sitting next to their colleagues, even when they are on the other side of the world.”
In the future, expect VR to allow people to customise their own space – whether that’s a tranquil rainforest or a seascape, a buzzing city street or beach.
“It’s only a matter of time before VR-devices are part of every co-working package,” Gemassmer adds.
3. The Magic of Mobility
Humans have always lived through technological change – but this is happening faster than ever before. McKinsey estimates that change is happening 10 times faster than during the Industrial Revolution – and at 3,000 times the impact.
“Twenty years ago, less than three per cent of the world’s population had a mobile phone. Today, two thirds of us have one. Coworking spaces are hotspots of collaboration, and demonstrate how mobile technology can help drive business innovation anytime, anywhere,” Gemassmer explains.
Mobile technology isn’t just supporting demand for co-working.
“The day-to-day operations of a co-working space can be handled with the help of a mobile phone, which allows operators to work on marketing, building partnerships and expansion.”
Gemassmer says Yardi’s Kube and Medusa coworking platform streamlines day-to-day operations, including billing, booking, lead management, voice and data, community engagement and more.
“The right workspace management platform can automate countless manual processes in one complete solution. No more spreadsheets, no more calculators and no more hassle. Yardi Kube allows coworking operators to get on with what they do best – building community,” Gemassmer
Established in 1984, Yardi develops and supports industry-leading investment and property management software for all types and sizes of real estate companies. Learn more: www.yardi.com/asia