- Coworking data software has begun to see more usage: information gathered from motion and heat sensors, cameras and more reveal how busy a space is, what time people arrive and leave, and what area of a building is most frequented.
- Landlords and operators want to use this data to understand how best to maximize revenue based on occupancy, grow into new markets and improve member experience.
- Ben Tannenbaum, co-founder of CoworkIntel, explains how and why flex operators are utilizing these data platforms.
The turmoil over the last few years has impacted nearly every industry in a massive way, and businesses — and their physical offices — have had to adjust to keep up with an evolving economy.
During lockdowns, many businesses closed, or their workforces went entirely remote, leaving office spaces empty or sporadically utilized. These spaces and their landlords lost untold revenues, and none are keen to lose more.
Knowing when to keep a lease, move an office or use space differently is key to remaining successful, and new tech has emerged to help make those decisions easier, especially for coworking spaces.
As coworking becomes more popular during the era of remote working, companies have started creating software specifically to help coworking spaces measure data, be successful, and cultivate the best experience for their members.
The benefits of tracking space use
In order to stay afloat, some coworking operators have implemented data platforms and are using software that tracks the capacity and usage of their spaces. These platforms can tell an operator what hours the space is busiest, what time people arrive and leave, and what area of the building is most frequented.
Some of the tools used in spaces to monitor data include motion and heat sensors, cameras and cell phone data.
Operators want to use this data to understand whether they can maximize revenue by pricing based on market trends in prices and occupancy — as well as grow into new markets.
This is all essential data for coworking spaces to be aware of so that operators can make informed decisions, such as determining whether to expand or close down spaces.
Using data to understand how people interact within a space can also help with site selection and negotiations.
What companies are using this tech?
Coworking giant WeWork utilizes this type of tracking software and data to make decisions about its spaces, as do Instant and IWG.
At the end of last year, the Instant Group invested into CoworkIntel — a data platform company for coworking spaces.
CoworkIntel allows both coworking operators and landlords to track movement within their space to make informed business decisions.
Users of CoworkIntel are also able to analyze activity within their region and compare it against their business model to better understand what occupants may desire from their space.
According to Ben Tannenbaum, co-founder of CoworkIntel, these are the main stats operators want to know, and that this software will tell them:
- Average desk rate
- Subscription length
- Average sq. ft. rate
Essentially, businesses need to track these metrics in order to understand how they can maximize revenue within existing locations, as well as find room for growth.
Lessons from the data
“We’ve sort of set up to become the track record of the flex industry, essentially — gathering key data like occupancy and prices and just making it available to the operators,” Tannenbaum said in a conversation with Allwork.Space.
One major challenge for flex space operators is trying to figure out the margin structure, which has a lot to do with the flexibility premium of different marketplaces.
“At the moment for an operator, it’s really interesting to see their competitors’ prices because they can really benchmark their pricing. But if you want to look at it from the industry perspective, you need the margin, basically,” Tannenbaum said.
CoworkIntel isn’t the only platform of its kind, and more traffic and occupant tracking systems are sure to emerge in the future of work.