Did you just hear the news on TOI about the price of a micro home in Mumbai, India? Well.. well..well. As of 24th April 2018, these 189 sq ft flats are being valued at approximately USD 100,000. This fact is just another example of space scarcity consequences, which is a global issue irrespective of commercial or private property requirements.
What are Coworking Spaces and why they are in demand?
According to Intuit, 40% of the workforce will be freelancers, temps, independent contractors, and solopreneurs by 2020.
It is indeed a promising sign to see the wave of startups flooding through every industry. However, a workspace is a scarce resource which has caused the ridiculous boom in property prices which majority of the startups cannot afford. As a consequence, the concept of ‘Coworking Space’ is in demand and many startups and small companies are using it. A co-working space is nothing but a shared environment for the semi-professionals or professionals where they meet, work, share ideas and work together on their projects.
Not only startups and freelancers, shared workspace concept is also attracting the large corporates as well recently. As an example, WeWork is providing coworking spaces through which KPMG employees at WeWork are involved with business advice to startups without managing real estate and other costs.
IoT in Workspace Management
With increasing expectations of coworking space visitors and consumers about the amenities and environment, it is a challenge for managers to integrate the best technologies which can help managers to have a better control and vision over the workspaces while improving the consumer experience.
Hence, considering these facts and reasons, it is extremely important to use the space that is self-owned or available in the most advanced and efficient manner. Here comes the role of IoT solutions helping the facility management to provide best-in-class shared workspaces to the members like never before.
IoT Applications transforming Shared Workspace Management
Leveraging IoT and by integrating other technologies, multiple solutions can be offered to transform coworking spaces into smarter, dynamic and interactive workplaces. From synchronized calendars which allow users to look at the available workspaces through a dashboard to end solutions like controlling the environment of a workplace, technology has its own role in seamless operations for the managers through a single interface.
Similar to Smart Home Automation concept, IoT is playing an immense role in shared workspace segment and has set forth its steps within this realm.
1. Smart Bio-metrics based Entry and Exits
Once the workspace or desk has been allotted to a consumer, the first thing that comes into consideration is the access control. Many technologies like RFID, Barcode or Beacon technology can be used to automate the entry-exit process. Bluetooth beacons and a keyless entry custom mobile application is the most used automation application for keyless entries in shared workspaces which users are loving.
The new workspace experience can start right from the entrance where you no longer need to tap or swipe your ID card.
2. Energy Consumption and Utilization
IoT provides an instant value in terms of cost savings which can be big enough to return positive ROI upon your IoT investment.
Everyday Lighting and Climate Control
Motion sensors are used to control the lighting in the shared offices. IoT and sensors give the ability to regulate the lighting in an area on the basis of the movement. IoT automation can allow us to remotely regulate the curtains whenever they are needed to open or close. It allows us to coordinate with the motion sensors to keep the lights off when the shared workspaces are not in use. Moreover, it is also possible to get real-time alerts if any bulb goes out.
Smart HVAC Power Consumption Control
IoT technology can help the HVAC systems to coordinate with the real-time weather to provide the optimum conditions to work in offices. Air-conditioning and heating systems can be used in an efficient manner to maintain a temperature in any office area independent to the other areas according to usage. Motion sensors are being used as well to turn off the systems when the room is in no use. It is also possible to turn the HVAC units ON in advance before the workspace area is going to be used by the consumers.
Shared workspace management can have real-time notifications in case of high load power consumption so that they can check the respective issue and get it resolved. Smart meters are also used to detect the loss of electricity in distribution.
3. Consistent Air Quality with Smart Plant
Smart HVAC installation not only helps in power efficiency and cost reduction but it also helps in maintaining the air quality in the coworking space. Smart plant technology leveraging IoT also helps in keeping the air quality to desired levels. Sensors such as light and humidity sensors in the plant can communicate using wireless technology with a web-based application or mobile app when any of the plants are running out of water, fertilizers or sunlight.
4. Smart Security Cameras
Always keep a protective eye on sensitive areas in your coworking space. Wireless IP security cameras can be installed at shared workplaces to keep an eye for unauthorized access. Motion detectors can also be used which lets camera start recording only when there is a motion. These recordings in the form of images or a video can be sent directly to manager’s mobile phone.
Real-time Tracking to identify Valuable Consumers
A manager of a shared workspace should always take care of identifying the valuable customers. Real-time tracking helps in tracking the incoming of consumers along with the amount of time they spend in the workspace. This helps the shared workspace owners or managers to identify their most valuable consumers in order to serve better.
5. Smart Cashless Payment System
Consumers of coworking space will be using many services seat usage, meeting room usage, food and beverages, printing, concierge services or attending a paid event. Some of these services fall into Book and Go, while some services will be Use on the Go.
Leveraging RFID technology, Smart card will work as an access control card and Payment card too. Coworking space can provide a mobile app or web-based platform through which consumers can top up money to these smart cards which can be used to make payments within the coworking space. The workspace management can also send reports of payments details monthly to the users for the services they may have used.
Cashless payment process helps shared workspace management to ensure easy payment process for members which improves their experience by not carrying extra cards or cash for in-house offering they wish to purchase.
Benefits of Smart Coworking Spaces powered by IoT
- Custom calendar management dashboard
- Improved asset utilization
- Reduced costs due to effective power and energy consumption
- Remote and Real-time tracking for security and asset utilization
- To identify your valuable members
- A cashless digital in-house payment process