2018 Year in Review

4 min read

With 2018 almost coming to a close, we’d love to highlight some trends from the year and share all the amazing things that happened in the world of coworking & technology.

2018 was the best year for the global coworking and flexible workspace community. The term ‘coworking’ even made it to the official dictionaries! The coworking movement is real and is bigger than ever. More and more freelancers, startups, small and medium-size companies, and enterprise teams are joining the Office-as-a-Service movement. The demand for coworking is growing exponentially, and so is the supply. The competition is growing too which only makes the services and offerings better for all of us. From large scale coworking to small ones, from niche operators to major landlords, there’s a good space for everyone.

2018 was the best year for OfficeRnD too. We released  87+ major new versions (yep, that’s a new release every 4 days!) of the platform. We expanded our global footprint by adding more than 200 new customers. We are now serving more than 50 000 awesome members in 40+ countries. As a result, our team grew from 11 to 27 across London, Sofia, and New Zealand.


In order to provide a great software solution, you have to start with a great team. And we’re proud of how great our team is as we approach the end of the year! We care about each other and we care about the industry. The OfficeRnD team is willing to sacrifice long hours of hard work in order to provide world-class service and great software. Something that is key and is the ethos of the Coworking hospitality.

In 2018, 14 amazing people joined our team to support our growing coworking community. Thank you, Stoyan, Ivan, Deyan, Beni, Vini, Peter, Isi, Vlad, Mihaela, Yuki, Blago, Monika, Martin, and Rado. You are the best!

In 2018, we also visited 10s of coworking spaces on 4 continents, supported 4 coworking conferences and met in person with hundreds of coworking managers.


Having great team and vision plus an amazing industry were the key factors in driving OfficeRnD to become one of the best coworking management solutions on the market.

  • We released 87 new versions and updates to the platform;
  • We resolved more than 900 stories – new features, bug fixes, and improvements. That’s about 6000 code commits. There is not a single day without a ‘commit’ to make the platform better, faster and more feature rich.

But although we accomplished a lot, our best intentions to build the perfect solution for coworking spaces in a year and stretch ourselves to the maximum still couldn’t catch up with our ambition. Still, we built a bit more than half of everything we wanted to build, and we’re even more determined and ambitious about our plans next year.

Following is the updated roadmap – in dark green are items that we managed to nail, in lighter green are bits that we made progress on but still need more love:

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Coworking Management Platform – the biggest part of the effort we put was toward solidifying the backend and adding more capabilities to it:
    • Tentative Bookings, Cancelation policies and many other advanced booking policies were added
    • Monetary-value credits
    • Advanced Contract management – types, templates, and other advanced improvements
    • Admin Permission Customizations
    • Multilocation management – advanced billing setup, multi-currency
    • Processing Fees and Discounts
    • IronWifi integration
    • Several new Reports and Dashboards
    • Many UI/UX improvements across the board
  • Member Portal:
    • Localization
    • Improved Member self-service
    • First bits of user analytics
    • Many booking improvements
  • Meeting Room tablet displays
    • We made it a Native app
    • We made it more beautiful
    • Check-in feature and auto-cancelation (be on the lookout for those in our next release in early Jan)

We’re looking forward to 2019 more excited than ever. There’s so much more to do. We will revamp the members portal, the mobile app and of course, we’ll add many new features to the backend management.

With your help, we will make coworking a more social, more mobile, more user-friendly experience for the members, more automated and integrated for the managers and more data-driven for the stakeholders. Stay tuned for our official 2019 Roadmap!

Happy Holidays to all our friends in the flexible workspace community! May 2019 be our best year yet!

second coworking location

Opening a Second Coworking Location: What to Consider and How to Deal with the Main Challenges

9 min read

There’s something even more thrilling than running your first coworking space and this is the moment when you start thinking about opening your second location.

But besides the excitement, there are also lots of concerns when you come to this stage of your business. Are you ready to expand? Does it make sense? How will you split your efforts between the two locations and still keep up with both?

And most of all – is it worth it?

Why open a second location?

If you’re still wondering whether or not this is a good step, here are a few reasons on why it might make sense:

Demand is rising. More and more professionals and companies are switching from traditional offices to coworking spaces. To meet the rising demand, you’ll need to provide more space once your first location reaches its full (or almost full) capacity.

Competition is rising. The tremendous interest in coworking leads to a huge rise in the number of coworking spaces slowly but surely making coworking the new normal, hence more and more competitors will rise up and fight for the attention of your members. Expanding your capacity and building on top of your product will help you to stay competitive.

Your members scale and their needs change. Depending on how you’ve structured your product, your current space might be focused mainly on flex and dedicated desks, with a limited number of offices (or none whatsoever). If desks are suitable for most starting companies, when they grow they’ll start looking for a separate office. If you can’t offer them what they need, they’ll have to leave you.

Before you make the decision to expand

Opening a second location is not a piece of cake. It needs a lot of effort, time and resources. It’s good to be sure you’re ready and really willing to expand.

Answering the following question can help you figure out if you’re ready to scale:

How is your current coworking space performing?

Analyzing your current situation is key. Is your space full? Are your resources being used at their maximum (or close to maximum) capacity – e.g. desks, offices, meeting rooms? Are your revenue streams stable (e.g. having longer-term memberships)?

If the answer is yes, think about the successful practices that led to this success and if (and how) you can replicate them. Investigate the ones that need improvement or totally failed and try to find the reasons on why they didn’t perform well.

The ability to understand why certain things in your current space were successful and others were not is key to expanding.

second coworking location

Can your current coworking space operate without you?

Once you expand you’ll no longer be able to be “on-site” and as available as before if any issues arise. On top of that, your second location will require your time and attention much more than your first, especially in the beginning. It’ll be a full-time job added to your current duties.

Ask yourself:

  • Is there something in your current coworking space which constantly requires your presence? Can you somehow change that?
  • Are you willing and is it possible to delegate tasks? Here’s a good guide on how you can delegate task successfully.
  • Do you have a clear plan on who will handle the new tasks? Do you have the right people in your team? If not, can you hire them? We’ve listed some hiring tips below.

*You’re not limited to these questions alone, but answering them will give you a better understanding of your ability to expand at the current moment.

Do you want to focus on providing the same coworking space as a product?

If your current space is focused mainly on desks and open spaces, do you want to replicate that in your second location? Or do you want to change your model and target a different kind of audience? Do you want it to be in the same town or not?

Here are 3 success stories of coworking spaces opening their second location providing food for thought in terms of location and business model.

Besides exploring real-life examples, examine the market, do research on what the other spaces close to your next location provide and try to find information on what the coworking audience needs. Is there a demand for a coworking space with more offices? Or your town is a crossing point of coworking nomads who prefer quick access to a hot desk and meeting rooms?

This will give you valuable insights on what location you should search for, how to fit it out, how to plan and distribute the space between open space and offices, how to plan meeting rooms, what services to provide, etc.

📍Extra note: How do you assure your first location’s members won’t abandon it because of your second one?

That’s something you cannot fully control. The main factor for members in choosing a coworking space is the location and the amenities. So if your new coworking space fits your members’ needs better and reduces their commute time, they’ll most probably move. There’s not much you can do about this.

What you can do here to ensure your first space stays intact is to gradually improve and renovate where possible – from the fit-out to the amenities, the service management, etc.

second coworking location

Let’s consider you’ve already found the location, signed the lease, finished with the fit-out and you’re ready for the next step.

Here are some important aspects to consider, that should help you expand in the most efficient way possible.

Multilocation operations management

One of the main challenges is to replicate all the things you’re doing – the processes, the routines, etc.

Up until now, you’ve probably had all this in your head. Now you have to structure it somehow and make it accessible to the rest of your team. Sad but true – you can’t be in both locations at the same time so you’ll need someone to help you.

Getting all the operational procedures down on paper is a good first step. This will allow other people to take ownership of some of the countless responsibilities you have.

You’ll have your 2 locations operating separately, but having the same procedures and rules in both will allow you to operate more efficiently.

📍Bonus tip: Once you start writing down all the procedures, there’ll be a lot of information to be structured. It’ll be essential to stay organized and keep everything in order. Here’s a useful app: Notion, recommended by SharedSpace, a client of ours, who used it to manage tasks when they were opening up their second location.

Once you have all your processes written down, it’s important to have the right people to relay them to. Let’s look at the important things to consider when staffing your second location:

Staffing your second coworking location

Your team is incredibly important as it’s the core of a coworking space. It’s what enables you to offer the services you offer, to meet your members, to issue their invoices, to manage cash flows…in other words: to operate.

Your team is the voice of your coworking space, brand, and its reputation.

Here’s an inside look of HR best practices for hiring for coworking spaces.

staffing second coworking location

Hiring an Operations/General Manager (or giving this role to someone of your existing team) would be your best first step. You’ll need someone to help you with all day-to-day tasks, answer calls, meet suppliers 

and help you with managing subcontractors, visitors, etc.

Eventually, when you already have your first members, you might think of expanding your team with a Community Manager.

If you’re wondering if you should hire new people or relocate part of your team to the new location, there’s no rule of thumb. Still, consider the following 3 most used practices and evaluate which one will fit your situation:

1/ You relocate team members from your first location to your second

The main benefit here is that you’ll have someone who’s already familiar with your processes and will manage to deal with tasks quite easy and fast. Also, it will be someone trusted and experienced, knowing your space, operations, and community.

In addition, you can provide some of your employees from the first location with the opportunity to grow professionally by taking ownership of additional responsibilities.

second coworking location

2/ You hire new staff for your second location

This will bring people with new ideas and will give a fresh start of your second location. Of course, they’ll need time to get familiar with the processes in your coworking space, to adapt and learn, but if you and the rest of your team spend enough time and dedication in training them, things will fall in place eventually.

Of course, it’s good to find people who have experience in the coworking industry, but it’s not mandatory. Someone who simply has the passion for coworking and is highly motivated and eager to learn can be a great fit for your team!

Also, it’s good to consider not only the professional expertise of the people you hire but if they are a good cultural fit for your coworking space as well. Do they resonate with the company vision and mission? Do you share the same values?

Hiring people who correspond to your mindset will build a strong and well-performing team.

3/ You hire new staff and rotate your team members between the two locations

This well-established among coworking spaces practice applies mainly for operations/community staff.

New and old employees rotate on a regular basis between spaces, so they can learn from one another and be familiar with the processes, the members, and the challenges of both locations.

Rotation can be done on a weekly or even a daily basis – it depends on you.

Scaling your community when expanding

You know how to reinforce the consistency of your brand in both locations with the design, the concept, the customer service of your space – you replicate them and implement the same procedures and practices.

But when it comes to community, how do you replicate that?

The truth is community emerges naturally. It can be neither replicated or forced, but you can try and imbue each “new community” with your vision and the same values that are driving you as a business.

second coworking location

For example, if one of your core differentiators is to be helpful with the service you offer and encourage your community members to grow, support that in your second location as well.

Probably you’ll end up with 2 separate communities which will be slightly different, but what’s important here is that they’ll share the same values. And that’s what gives the consistency of your brand.

Of course, it’s good to follow some essential best practices when fostering your community but have in mind a lot of it comes from you as a founder and your team. If everybody is on the same page about your vision and values, things should start developing on their own.

In the beginning, with a single coworking space, it’s quite easy to maintain this – your team spends almost all their time together – you communicate constantly with each other, you share tasks and activities, you gather for a beer after work, and everyone is involved in almost everything.

To keep that when expanding, hire the people who resonate with your values. Try to encourage the connection between team members. Think about how to have them involved in the processes that run in both spaces. Meet regularly – for sharing company updates and discussing important stuff, but for informal team gatherings as well.


Opening a second coworking location is a huge step. It’s a full-time job requiring a lot of dedication. During this journey, you’ll need focus on evaluating your first location’s performance, defining procedures, hiring the right people and ensuring your community stays authentic.

As long as you and your team have the right focus and well-established processes, and you share and spread the same values, things will start developing smoothly and allow you to grow successfully.

P.S.If you’ve enjoyed reading through this post content, don’t miss to sign up for our newsletter (subscribe button at the bottom of this page), so you can stay up to date with our coworking tips and insights! 

OfficeRnD Implementation Partner Opstech Services won BCA Partner of the Year

2 min read

The BCA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the needs of operators, partners, and customers of business centres, coworking spaces, serviced offices and virtual offices. The BCA promotes the sector to Government, local authorities and the wider business community.

Every year The BCA Annual Awards Gala Dinner is held in London where awards are presented to individuals, operators, and partners. This year’s ceremony was an amazing experience and we’re happy we had the chance to attend. What’s more – we’re so proud of our implementation partner Opstech Services, who was among the winners!

London, Friday, November 30th, 2018: Opstech Services, the London-based OfficeRnD implementation partner, won the BCA Partner of the Year award, a major recognition for the exceptional work of Inga Taylor and her team.


Opstech Services provide strategic advice and support to business owners and operators within the Flexible Workspace sector.

Over the past 2 years, they’ve worked with new entrants to the market as they open new workspaces on all elements from space planning and fit out to the systems that manage clients and billing.

They’ve also implemented change projects with operators who needed a technology refresh and provided training in a number of areas including Operational Process and Compliance.


Over the last 2 years, the Opstech team implemented successfully the OfficeRnD platform in multiple flexible workspace operators with 10s of locations. The team provided enormous support, built many integrations and worked hard toward providing a complete, well-round, easy to use software package for the Flexible Workspace industry.

The BCA Partner of the Year award is a well-deserved recognition for the excellent work of the entire Opstech team.

Big Congratulations and Thank you from the entire OfficeRnD Team!
We are delighted to be on this journey together!

For those of you that need a better flexible workspace management platform, implemented with exceptional attention to detail, and a team that will train your staff on site, please reach out to sales@officernd.com or info@opstechservices.com.


How to Track and Improve Meeting Rooms Usage in Coworking Spaces

6 min read

Meeting rooms are a handy amenity that can help you attract prospects to your space or increase your alternative revenue stream while offering a valuable resource to people from within your community.

You’ve succeeded in the challenge of planning your meeting rooms and have already chosen the right ones for your coworking space.

Now the question is: Are you making the most out of your meeting rooms? How do you measure their usage? Can you increase bookings somehow?

Finding answers to these questions will give you valuable insights on how well your meeting rooms are performing, so you can use this information to evaluate and improve their usage.

There’s a number of key metrics you can monitor to measure meeting rooms usage including how often they’re booked, for how long, which meeting rooms are used the most, average bookings per day, week or month, peak or quiet hours, etc.

The steps you can take to improve the areas which underperform depends on your business model – do members pay additionally for using meeting rooms or they are included in the plans you offer?

Improving usage of paid meeting rooms

Paid meeting rooms are usually popular in Serviced Offices (Executive Suites) and in some Coworking spaces. Two main factors lead to this:

  1. This happens in places where a lot of business meetings happen. Usually, members meet clients, partners, future investors and making the right impression is really important.
  2. Business meetings happen sporadically. Paying for a meeting room when the necessity comes fits your member’s needs (and wallets!) better than adding to their plans meeting rooms credits which, sometimes, they might not need.

Here’s what you can do to improve the usage of paid meeting rooms:

Attract external audiences


A successful approach to improve usage is to market your meeting rooms to the public. There are plenty of reasons why meeting rooms in coworking spaces are better than in hotels so there’s a natural interest towards them. 

One idea is to take advantage of marketplaces where you can list your meeting rooms. Of course, you would also like to optimize your website for search engines and fill it up with enough information and great photos to present your service properly.

Providing an option for online booking that shows live availability is another way you can attract more customers.

Read more about how to market meeting rooms: 6 Tips on How To Market Your Coworking Space Meeting Rooms.

Identify underutilized time slots and offer promotions

Time slots in the range of 2-5 pm are in most cases fully booked. It’s the time when most meetings happen – both internally and with external partners/clients.

Of course, every flex space is different, so you should find out what the trend is in your space. An analysis of usage will again require a dedicated solution, but it will be invaluable to have this data so you can know where to focus your efforts:


Once you identify the periods which are underutilized in your coworking space, you can think about offering discounts during those times.

Also, think about allowing bookings during non-business hours and setting lower price rates for them. After all, one of the coolest things about coworking is its flexibility, so giving your community members the opportunity the use your meeting rooms whenever they need, is an excellent thing to do.

Bundle free credits in recurring memberships

If your members have a membership plan, but they have to pay additionally for meeting rooms, there’s a real chance they’ll sometimes avoid it and go to the near cafe or use the open area in case they have an informal meetup.

However, if you bundle free credits for meeting rooms in their membership plan, they’ll be more willing to book and use a meeting room, as they won’t need to pay additionally for it.

At the end of the day, they do pay for it, but it’s the psychological aspect that’s important here.

Think about (discounted) prepaid credit bundles

Offer bundles of credits and give them at a lower price if people prepay for them.

It’s a win-win situation – your members receive a discount, you get a commitment for another 5 hours, for example.


Add discounts based on booking length

A great thing to do is to lower the price rate for longer bookings. An example structure would be to provide members with discounts for half-day bookings, full-day bookings, etc.

Of course, such flexibility will add some additional complexity to your everyday operations. You can eliminate such complexity with the help of Meeting Room Management solutions such as OfficeRnD.


Improving the usage of free meeting rooms

Free meeting rooms for coworking members are widely popular in coworking spaces for various reasons.

It might be that your space is located in the suburbs of bigger and smaller cities and is not exposed to huge business traffic, so your members would usually have regular internal meetings (and making them paid will just be an inconvenience for them).

Or you might be focusing on memberships and increasing the amount of time a team or a member stays with you, and bundling in a free meeting room is a key differentiator.

But when members do not pay additionally for using a meeting room, there’s often a difference between what’s been booked and what’s been actually used.

How’s “booked” different from “used”?

improve-meeting-room-usageSometimes people book a meeting room but eventually don’t show up. Such ghost bookings can be very expensive for your coworking space. Another scenario you would like to avoid is rooms that aren’t used at their full capacity or are used for a shorter period than was actually booked.

Once you build a certain customer base, monitoring that on your own will be too much overhead, so you might think about turning to technology for help.

Make sure that the solution you pick has an easy to handle process both for you and your members – for example, allowing them to self-service themselves and control their bookings. Here are some ideas you could consider:

Member check-in to confirm a booking

This can be achieved with a tablet or a dashboard located at the entrance of a meeting room. If no one checks in 15 minutes, the app will automatically remove the booking from the system, so other members can use the room.

Notifications and reminders

Use some kind of push notifications/reminder to the mobile app, which pings members before the meeting. Sometimes people forget to remove a booking when their meeting has been canceled. Sending them a push notification right before the booking with an easy way to cancel it is a possible approach.

Take advantage of IoT

Installing beacons in your meeting rooms which track movement, for example, is a good way to track what’s the actual usage of your meeting rooms (not only if people come, but how long they actually stay there).

Again the same logic can apply here if you connect such beacons with your booking software – it can automatically delete a booking if no one shows up in 15 minutes.


Meeting rooms are one of the most important assets of your coworking space, regardless if you require people to pay for them or you offer them for free. But to make the most of them, effort should be invested in maximizing their usage.

It’s important to have the right data. This will give you valuable insights into how well your meeting rooms are currently performing, which will help you understand where to focus efforts to improve their usage, member satisfaction and eventually – your revenue.

marketing coworking space meeting rooms

6 Tips on How To Market Your Coworking Space Meeting Rooms

7 min read

Meeting rooms in your coworking space are not only a necessity but also the second largest revenue stream after rent!

After you’ve planned how much and what types to have in your space, it’s important to know that, if well marketed, meeting rooms can increase your coworking space’s income.

marketing coworking space meeting rooms income streams

Credits: Cushman & Wakefield’s Coworking 2018 report

To successfully market your coworking space’s meeting rooms it’s crucial to invest efforts in several areas – from digital marketing to presentation, to maintenance, to promotion…the list goes on.

In this blog post, we’ll cover 6 points that will help you attract more customers to your meeting rooms.

But first, there’s an important distinction we want to make: your promotional efforts should be different if you’re focusing on people which are part of your community, or people outside of it.

Marketing meeting rooms to your coworking members require fewer efforts as you’ve basically succeeded in the main challenge – you’ve brought these people to your space and they are already using them.

Tracking and improving the usage of meeting rooms in your coworking space is a good way to encourage bookings and improve members satisfaction. You can add meeting room credits to membership plans, or offer discounts on conference rooms to virtual members. Also, it’s important to remove any friction from the process of booking, accessing and utilizing.

Marketing to the public is a challenge and it requires plenty of efforts. Here are our top 6 tips:

1/ Take advantage of marketplaces

Marketplaces like DaVinci, Liquid Space, and Meetingrooms allow you to reach more people than by relying solely on your own channels.

These websites generate tons of traffic on a daily basis so they can connect you with lots of potential customers.

They have filters like location, capacity, amenities, etc, so people can get results that match their needs.

The presentation here’s important. Make sure you’ve included enough information so people can understand what you offer, and photos, so you can stand out among all others on the list.

2/ Optimize your website for search engines AND people!

marketing coworking website

The majority of people will initially reach you via your website.

So, how do you make sure it’s easily discoverable?

In its core, this consists of optimizing your website so it appears when people search for specific keywords and phrases (e.g. “meeting rooms”). Here are a few tips:

Follow the general SEO practices

Working on your page content, page speed, URLs, meta descriptions, etc is the foundation. Here’s a good article giving a brief explanation (and a nice video included) on the SEO essentials it’s good to focus on.

📍 Bonus tip: Focusing on local SEO is an awesome idea, as web searches for meeting rooms in almost all cases include a specific location like “meeting rooms in London”.

We’re not diving into this specifically in this post, but here’s a good guide on what local SEO is and how to take advantage of it.

Use content to boost your SEO

There are several reasons to invest time in creating a content strategy like reaching your target groups and driving traffic to your website.

Blogs are just one of the tools that can do that job. Tips, how-tos and any other information that’s useful for the people you want to attract to your space have a great impact not only on optimizing for search engines but on your overall brand reputation.

Make your website mobile friendly

marketing coworking website

We spend a significant time on our mobile devices, so the chances people will visit your website from their smartphone are high. Mobile friendly websites are ranked higher by Google and provide visitors with a better experience while browsing.

Besides for search engines, optimize for people!

Include on your website all the information a potential customer would need to make a decision. After all, if they don’t know what you sell, they’ll won’t buy.

Make sure to include location, rates, meeting facilities, room capacity, even parking/public transport instructions! If you offer additional services or amenities, make sure to point that out.

3/ Make meeting rooms easily bookable through your website

Your potential customers will probably have the following digital journey:

Search in Google → Come to your website → Receive enough information → Make a decision to book a meeting room

Eliminating any friction in the booking process is key to increase chances people will eventually book. Make booking easy, intuitive and quick!

It’s a good idea to make bookings possible at any time. Sometimes people need to book a meeting room urgently or it’s late in the evening and they need a room for the next morning.

A good way to achieve this is to expose the live availability of your meeting rooms to the public and allow people to directly make a booking.

You can do that with a number of scheduling tools, including OfficRnD’s meeting rooms management component (example screenshot below).

coworking meeting rooms booking software

4/ Present your meeting rooms interactively

The famous quote “A picture is worth a thousand words” totally applies here!

The idea here is to give a detailed presentation of your meeting rooms, so people can get a better and more complete feeling of them while browsing your online images.

Make sure you have great, high-quality photos. Hiring a professional photographer is a good idea. He/she will know how to capture the space from the right angle, with the proper lighting.

The more interactive you go, the better. Think about making 360°photos, videos or virtual tours. They require more money and efforts, but they are totally worth it because they present your meeting rooms in necessary detail.

📍Bonus tip: Including people in the photos/videos will create a better, more human feeling when your website visitors browse your gallery.

5/ Treat meeting rooms as a separate service

marketing coworking space meeting rooms

Provide exceptional service

Everything from cleanliness, to amenities, to properly working multimedia/ventilation! You don’t want to ruin a business meeting because of a lost HDMI cable or broken AC during a heatwave.

Listen to people and respond to their needs.

Maybe a need for soft drinks has popped up in the last minute. Or they’ll need an additional flipchart. Let people know they can reach out to you if they need something.

Even if they need a service that you don’t usually provide, it’s still worth it to go the extra mile. Probably it’ll be much easier for you than for them to organize their catering (as you probably know good suppliers from different events you’ve hosted). People will appreciate that gesture.

Take it personally.

Make sure to welcome your external guests when they arrive or pre-arrange access if they’re using your space after hours.

They don’t know your space so make sure they know which areas they have access to, and how to find things like the kitchen or bathrooms.

It’s also handy to be clear they know if they do or don’t have access to the community tea/coffee/snacks.

📍Bonus tip: Get to know the people who are coming to your meeting rooms. A quick chat with them about who they are and what they do is always a good way to learn how you can help each other in the future.

6/ Public events, promotions and pro-bono

marketing coworking space meeting rooms

The more people come to your meeting rooms, the bigger the chance they’ll think of you when their next meeting/event is coming up. Hosting public events can help you a lot!

Think about what kind of event your target audience would be interested in and organize them.

Giving discounts to people/professional organizations or even offering a room for free sometimes is another good way to promote your meeting rooms or just a great way to help out a local organization.


Meeting rooms and event spaces are a great way to increase revenue and have new people coming into your space. Treat your conference rooms like the asset they are!

Have you tried any of the approaches mentioned above? Share with us in the comments!

payments southeast asia officernd omise

Seamless Coworking Payments in Southeast Asia with OfficeRnD and Omise

2 min read

The Coworking Trend in Southeast Asia

Coworking is booming in Southeast Asia. As startups and small businesses flourish, demand for flexible workspaces increases.  

A recent report by JLL reveals tech businesses take up 15-20% of total gross office leasing volume in Southeast Asia, compared to just 5-10% three years ago.

In correlation, the same report states that flexible workspaces have grown by circa 40% CAGR in the last three years and now take up 2% of the office stock (up from 0.5 to 1.0% in 2015), with the largest stock of flexible workspace being in Singapore.

Coworking and flexible workspace providers in Southeast Asia are aggressively opening more sites, leasing larger spaces, and expanding their foothold. And they are not going to stop – given the projections in the rising demand, the coworking industry is expected to grow between 10-15% annually.

OfficeRnD partnership with Omise, Coworking Payments Specialists

officernd omise

To help Southeast Asia’s coworking and shared workspace operators meet this demand, OfficeRnD partnered with Omise – a leading payment gateway which specializes in coworking payments. This partnership enables coworking spaces to automate the collection of payments in Singapore, Thailand, and Japan.

Through its integration with Omise, OfficeRnD now offers more convenient and seamless payment transactions. The goal is to simplify the member journey and remove friction when paying monthly rentals, or purchasing additional services like events or meeting room bookings on an ad-hoc basis. Omise also has the ability to save a member’s card securely for future payments.

coworking payment

“With Omise being live in Singapore, Thailand and Japan, OfficeRnD’s clients can enjoy local currency settlements and one dashboard to view charges and payouts in real-time. With the combination of OfficeRnD and Omise, coworking operators have the option to automatically charge the outstanding amounts owed each month. This results in fewer payment delays and improved working capital” said Nick Gan, Country Manager, Omise Singapore.

Setting up the OfficeRnD <> Omise Integration

The integration is available to all OfficeRnD users and is located in the usual place in the Admin panel in Settings>Integrations. Ping us at support@officernd.com if you need help with activating it, or at sales@officernd.com if you’d like to know more about how OfficeRnD and Omise help you automate the billing process in your coworking space.

meeting rooms

How to Plan Your Coworking Space Meeting Rooms

7 min read

In this blog post, we’ll focus on 2 main components that will help you nail the right mix of meeting rooms for your coworking space: your location and your audience.

Having these in mind will increase the chance of making an educated decision when choosing what kind of rooms and how much of them to set in your space.

As a significant revenue stream and a necessity for every coworker, meeting places need proper planning and management aligned with the needs of your coworking space. Eventually, you’d also like to track and improve their usage so you can make the most out of them.

Let’s take a look at how location and audience impact your choice of meeting rooms:

The role your location plays in planning meeting rooms

As with any other real estate business, location is of high importance as it defines what kind of people you have access to that will (potentially) become part of your coworking community.

And that’s valid not only for long-term members that rent a desk or an office but also for the people who come to your space ad-hoc (i.e. drop-ins).

We’ve identified two distinctive scenarios in terms of your coworking location – you are either near (or in the heart) of a huge business traffic, or not.

How a high amount of business traffic affects meeting rooms planning


If you’re in the heart of a business district, your member base probably consists of companies that need a premium business location. The usual reason for paying a higher price to be there is to regularly meet with people outside of their business.

In other words, they have to make themselves accessible and make the right impression and they’ll need appropriate places to make this happen.

On the other hand, as a crosspoint of many meetings and work travels, your visitors may often be drop-ins. The chance they’ll need a quiet place to sit for a few hours or a meeting room to meet with a business associate is huge. It’s good to think on how to market your meeting rooms so you can attract those people.

To cover the needs of both your regular members and drop-ins, a higher number of meeting rooms might be required.  And most likely the majority of meetings will be with clients of your members, which affects the proportion of “informal” and “formal” meeting places in your coworking space.

How a lower amount of business traffic affects your meeting room planning

If you’re not located near huge business traffic, it’s more likely the majority of your members will stay long-term in your space and you’ll have fewer drop-ins.

Your members will still have meetings with clients, but it’s safe to assume that most meetings will be between teammates and coworkers.

You’ll still need formal meeting rooms. However, you’ll need to have enough informal meeting rooms, open leisure spaces, and joint areas, where teams can have a productive discussion and where community collaboration can happen.

The role your coworking audience plays in planning meeting rooms

coworking audience meeting rooms

If you’ve nailed down the first point from the 3 essentials of every successful coworking community, you probably have a good understanding of your target audience and have attracted like-minded companies and members in your space.

Their business or their team functions define what’s included in their daily workflow (calls, meetings, etc), or what kind of events they want to host (presentations, training, etc).

Let’s take a look at 2 examples that can influence how your meeting rooms should be planned:

Service-oriented companies and/or freelancers usually spend a huge amount of time on calls or meeting clients and partners. It’s safe to say that you’ll need a lot of phone booths in place to accommodate the higher number of calls. Also, meeting rooms would probably have to be equipped with coffee and water for eventual client meetings.

Product-oriented teams are mostly focused on building a product, not selling it. Those guys would usually have regular internal team meetings and will need private hang-out places to catch up with colleagues over a cup of coffee. They will also need a whiteboard/multimedia to write notes and present ideas visually.

The type of your audience and its daily work routine are important factors to be considered. They will give you the direction in which you need to focus on when choosing the meeting rooms in your coworking space.

Choosing the right type of meeting rooms

In the term “meeting rooms” we include everything from hangout places where your members can meet, chill and chat, to phone booths, to big conference rooms. Based on the meeting intention, we’ve divided meeting rooms into the following types:

Informal meeting rooms and spaces

Informal meeting room in a coworking space

Credits to Campus X – an awesome coworking space and tech incubator where part of the OfficeRnD team is located.

These are hangout places, phone booths, and smaller meeting rooms that host just a few people and are generally not meant for long discussions. They usually don’t have much natural light, are not that spacious but still provide the essentials for a short meeting or a call.

You have to book some of them, others are ruled by first come, first served. People usually use them for informal or semi-formal meetings or calls.

It’s where your coworkers can chat with each other, or host job interviews. The small meeting rooms are normally equipped with a whiteboard and basic multimedia (TV), so you can make presentations and draft quick ideas with the team.

This type of “meeting rooms” don’t need to be located near the entrance, but should be easily accessible for your coworking members (from all floors, offices and open areas).

To decide how much space to dedicate to such places, or how to combine them, think about your members’ needs first. A few questions that can help you with that:

  • Do your members make a lot of calls on a daily basis? If they do, you’ll need more small rooms and phone-booths.
  • Do your members need discussions to happen in private? If yes, well closed-up meeting rooms will be better.
  • Do coworkers make plenty of informal discussions? If yes, focus on leisure and hangout places.

Formal meeting rooms

formal meeting rooms

Credits to Campus X – an awesome coworking space and tech incubator where part of the OfficeRnD team is located.

These meeting rooms are usually more spacious, have more natural light and are more representative. They are used for formal meetings with potential clients and business partners.

Meeting rooms from that type should be equipped with whiteboards and multimedia, as presentations often happen there. Additional services like coffee and water should also be an option.

Another thing to have in mind – this type of meeting rooms should be easily accessible, so it’s best to locate them near the entrance of the building, preferably on the ground or first floor.



These are high-luxury meeting rooms with a lot of amenities and services included directly in the price. They are suitable for formal meeting with partners, clients, investors.

The price is high, but these are the rooms where you would like to meet a high profile client or your potential investor. They are classy and are more typical for business centers, rather than coworking spaces.

Adding a boardroom might make sense if your coworking space is located in a global business city or district, where a lot of entrepreneurs, investors, and high profile business people meet.

Event spaces and Training rooms

These rooms often host public events, which attracts not only your members but people outside of your space as well. They are a good “tool” you can use to welcome external audiences and promote your space.

It’s best if they are designed in a flexible way – you should be able to move furniture easily and have some kind of free space where you can serve catering or that can be utilized for anything else related to the event.

A word of caution – event spaces and training rooms are not your typical meeting space. They take a lot of space and a lot of effort goes into utilizing them, so choosing to create one should be aligned with your strategy.


The location of your coworking space and your audience have a big impact on how your meeting rooms are utilized. Considering their influence early in the processes can help you achieve higher utilization, improve your revenue streams and improve members satisfaction.

What’s your approach when planning for the optimal meeting room mix? Let us know in the comments!

coworking automation

Automate Processes in Your Coworking Space with Zapier and OfficeRnD

5 min read

OfficeRnD is now connected to 1300+ tools and apps through Zapier!

We’ve put a lot of sweat in it to make sure it covers use-cases that span the whole member journey.

Why? Because we see it as an important component that supports our goal of providing coworking spaces with the foundation they need to focus on growing and scaling their business.

Below we’ve featured a dozen use-cases (i.e. templates) to illustrate the depth of the integration and give you some basic understanding of the principles behind it. If you’re experimenting with use cases in your space and are missing some functionality, make sure to let us know at sales@officernd.com!

Let’s take a look at some examples from each stage of the member journey:

Pre-sales and Onboarding Stage


The usual goal here would be to automate and improve parts of your sales process and ensure a smooth hand-off to onboarding.

From a sales perspective, there are two main scenarios we can take as an example:

(Sales) Using OfficeRnD to manage your pre-sales process – if you’re using OfficeRnD to manage leads, you’re probably missing some “marketing features” that help to close the complete pre-sales loop. Here is the list we could think of (+ example solutions):

1) Creating Leads in OfficeRnD from new form submissions on your marketing website – think of an inquiry form on your website that automatically creates leads in OfficeRnD once it’s filled in. Example template to achieve this with Typeform:

2) Creating Leads AND Opportunities when prospects book a tour via a calendar link/widget on your marketing website – it’s a good idea to give prospects the chance to directly book a slot on your calendar for a tour, since it eliminates friction in your “funnel” and improves conversion from website visitor to lead. In this case, you’d want to automatically create leads and opportunities in OfficeRnD. Example template to achieve this with Calendly:

3) Getting prompt notifications via email or chat once a new Lead and/or Opportunity is created – example template to achieve this with Slack and Gmail:

(Sales) Using a dedicated CRM to manage your pre-sales process – if you’re using an external CRM to manage leads, you probably have all of the above covered to a fair extent. However, since OfficeRnD serves as your after-sales/coworking CRM, you still need to have all of your customer data in both places.

Manual data transfer is not only a time-consuming task, but can also lead to human errors that can result in extra time spent to correct them, or worse – bad customer experience during onboarding.

We’ve set up a template with HubSpot that transfer ONLY contacts and companies that converted to customers:

We’ve also set up a template with SalesForce that transfers ALL contacts and accounts that are created:

(Onboarding) Ensuring a smooth transition to onboarding – getting a prompt notification once a Lead becomes a Customer is key to kicking-off the onboarding process with new members on the right foot. To enable such notifications, you can use the following templates we’ve set up with Slack and Gmail:

Quick Tip: If you operate multiple locations, you can set up an automation that considers in which location the new Company will be moving in and sends an email to the respective Center Manager with relevant details (starting date, team size, office they’ll be occupying, etc.). Ping us at sales@officernd.com if you need help with setting this up!

(Onboarding) Automatically adding new members to email marketing tools – the purpose of this template is to make sure your members stay informed of important information by automatically adding them to your email marketing tools. We’ve set up a template that works with MailChimp (but any other tool should do the trick):

Active Member Stage

active member stage

The tasks and processes that can be automated here are countless, so we’ll go over 2 use-cases to get your creative juices flowing and leave the rest to you.

Post events you’re hosting automatically to OfficeRnD – the purpose here would be to increase the attendance of your events by pushing them to your coworking community through multiple channels. We’ve created a template that pushes events from Eventbrite to OfficeRnD, but you can make it work the other way around and/or with other event platforms as well.

Update event calendar automatically – making sure that upcoming events will stay top of mind by adding them to an events calendar (or your personal calendar). Template features Google Calendar:

Former Members

We’ve thought about 2 use cases here, but again based on your specific context you can achieve way more:

Moving former members to a different subscriber list in your email marketing tool – once members leave your space, you’ll want to make sure they won’t be getting any irrelevant information from you, besides marketing emails. To do so, you have to either move them to another list or segment one of your existing subscriber lists. We’ve set up a template with Mailchimp to achieve this:

Sending exit surveys to members once they leave your space – it’s important for every business to constantly improve its service. Members feedback, of course, is essential to do that in a coworking space. You can automatically send exit surveys to ensure you’re not missing on a key piece of feedback. We’ve set up a template with SurveyMonkey to achieve this:

How do you enable the integration with Zapier?

You can learn more on how to enable the integration and get started with using Zapier on the following link.

We also recommend that you check out our page on the Zapier website to stay up-to-date with more templates we’ll be creating or access the ones we’ve listed above.

Happy automating!

improve coworking community engagement online tools

How to Improve Engagement in Your Coworking Community With Online Tools

8 min read

Your community is a fact.

You’re successfully attracting like-minded members and companies that help each other grow. You’ve established processes that bring value to members in each stage of their journey with you. You’ve learned how and why to extend your community beyond the borders of your space.

In other words, you’ve covered the 3 essentials of every successful coworking community. However, building an outstanding community is not a one-time project. Although nailing the essentials is key, they only provide you with the foundation on which to build, not the whole building. Achieving high engagement that leads to knowledge share, business opportunities and improved well being is the true goal, and it requires constant effort.

In this post, we’ll focus on how technology can help you with 2 main aspects of community engagement:

  • Strengthening connections between current (and hopefully former) members by increasing members’ visibility and nurturing collaboration.
  • Adding additional communication channels that can help you keep members informed about news, events, maintenance or any other relevant info in a consistent but not a pushy way.

community engagement

But before we jump into specific tools and platforms, let’s take a look at the 3 most important engagement aspects you’ll want to cover when building a coworking community:

  • Visibility of members and companies
  • Available forms/types of interaction
  • Types of notifications for new activity

Why those 3 exactly? In coworking, the real magic (and engagement) happens offline. Often you’ll meet a coworker during an event, have a talk and discover you have the same interests, and/or can help each other by sharing skills and knowledge.

But what comes next? You would need to have a simple way to find more information about this person or his company (visibility of members and companies) and continue the communication. Being able to keep in touch with him/her online organically eases further interactions (available forms/types of interaction).

Also, you’d like to stay informed about similar events that obviously bring value to you. So you’ll want to be notified somehow with different types of notifications for new activity.

How coworking can benefit from technology and online communities

To identify the best suggestions for a technology that can help with the above, we had to better understand those 3 aspects (we call them engagement mechanisms).

So, we did a bit of a historical research on how online communities developed over time (you won’t believe it, online communities have their roots in the 70s!). We also came up with a few criteria to help us narrow down our research based on what’s important for coworking communities.

Long-story-short, we ended up with 3 “types” of online communities that developed the most important engagement aspects for coworking communities.

Here’s the gist of it:

coworking communities engagement aspects

We outlined 2 important notes as a conclusion from our research:

  1. Social Media is most superior as expected because it supports the highest amount of engagement mechanisms. It’s the latest evolution of online community and is clearly a must-have if you’re developing one.
  2. It’s still a good idea to use a chat tool so you can enable chat channels. They are super useful when it comes to connecting people from your community who have similar interests (sports, technology, music, etc…)

The tools a coworking space can use to engage its community

To successfully engage your coworking community, you’ll need to use multiple tools.

Below we’ve listed the 3 online engagement tools that are essential. Also, we’ve pointed some things to have in mind when choosing a specific vendor platform.

*We’re not mentioning email anywhere, as we assume it’s a channel that every business nowadays uses to contact, nurture and notify its customer and prospect base.

Step 1: Using Social Media as a base to gather and engage your community

social media engage community

You’ll probably want to use a single social media platform, so you don’t spend tons of time managing multiple.

How to choose the one that will work best for you and your coworking community?

There’s one single fundamental requirement that can help – you should be able to create Groups. Groups allow you to gather people together in one online place, where they can see other members and interact with each other.

This basically narrows down the list to Facebook and LinkedIn. Both score high in members visibility, messaging and notification options. However, each of them has some specifics that should be considered:


LinkedIn allows you to find professionals easily. You can search by name, job title or company (which is probably something you know since you’re coworkers), which comes handy when you have a group with 100+ community members. However, have in mind that LinkedIn is primarily used by people in the B2B sector. If the bigger part of your audience is not B2B, there’s a high chance they’re not using it very often (or may not have a profile at all).

Messaging is restricted by connections: LinkedIn allows members to exchange personal messages. Also, even though they’ve switched to real-time messages as well, people still regard a LinkedIn message as something more official (i.e. an “InMail”), which is very helpful when you’re messaging someone at (co)work. But if you don’t have a “1st connection” with a person, you’ll have to connect with them first to be able to exchange messages (for free).

Notifications are in-app, push and email. Have in mind that people spend less time on LinkedIn than on Facebook. There’s a higher chance they won’t have the LinkedIn app to receive messages from coworkers and push notifications. Also, most LinkedIn users are sensitive about the type of notifications they receive. They don’t tolerate notifications that are not related to professional topics and don’t bring value.

social media engage community


Member visibility might be limited by profile privacy (some people choose to expose only their names and profile picture). This might make it hard to find someone you’ve had a talk within the hallways if you don’t remember their name. But on the other hand, there’s a higher chance you’ll be able to add more people from your community in the group, as (almost) everybody has a Facebook profile.

You can message anybody, which makes connecting with people easy and fast. Something to have in mind though is that if you’re not friends, your messages might end up in the “Other” inbox, which people rarely (or never) check. Although Facebook sends notifications when someone wants to connect with you that way, it’s still possible to miss them.

Notifications are in-app, push and email. People usually spend a lot of time on Facebook as it touches upon many aspects of their life (personal, social, professional), unlike LinkedIn which is focused only on the professional aspect. This generally means that chances of people seeing your notifications are higher. In addition, almost everybody has the Facebook and Messenger app installed, which means that your push notifications have a higher chance of notifying people about important updates, news and events. Also, Facebook users tolerate any type of notifications, meaning you’ll be OK with sending notifications about anything.

Extra bonus: Facebook allows you to create events. It’s an awesome mechanism to inform your members about an upcoming workshop or a happy hour gathering in the space. It’s cool that only people who have marked themselves as interested or going will receive notifications and updates about it, so you can be sure you do not bother all other members who are not interested in the event.

Step 2: Using chat tools to gather coworkers around different interests

coworking chat tools

Although social media provides a lot of communication opportunities, introducing an additional chat app can boost engagement by offering one-to-many communication in real-time. You can create channels based on interests, where people can discuss and share information.

There are a number of chat tools that can do the job, but it’s best to choose the one that your coworkers are already using. Example: given that the biggest audience of coworking spaces is still IT/Technology and Freelancers, choosing Slack might be a good bet. It’s best to run a survey and double-check though.

Step 3: Using a coworking community management platform to boost engagement

coworking management platform

Once your community grows above a certain level, you can also think about introducing a community management platform that is tailored to the communication needs of coworking spaces.

Its purpose is NOT to replace the 2 tools above, but to enhance them by:

  1. Curating and visualising important information (such as how-to guides, events and maintenance announcements) in a way that is not limited by the standard functionality and layout of social media and chat tools.
  2. Improve exposure of members and companies by providing coworkers with the ability to search the group (your community) as if they are using the general search of Social Media, or better yet – search for a particular skill-set and domain expertise.
  3. Integrating with solutions such as the Freckle Dashboard that allows you to distill and expose specific information via screens in prominent places in your space.
  4. Integrating natively with Slack or any other chat tool. This provides an easy and intuitive way for members to start a conversation just by clicking on an icon located in their coworkers’ profile.

If you’re curious about the nitty gritty details on how OfficeRnD help with the above you can check out our coworking community management page.


Even though the spark of a new coworking acquaintance (almost) always comes to life when people meet during an event or in the hallways, the interactions that follow are crucial to establishing a meaningful relationship.

If properly used, online tools and platform can provide the necessary channels and information to nurture interactions, helping you build a vibrant community that serves as a key differentiator of your business.

What is your first-hand experience with running an online community? Let us know in the comments!

manage cash flow

Manage Cash Flow in Real-Time with RnD, Xero and Stripe

5 min read

The goal of every entrepreneur is to get past the bootstrapping phase and to experience the relief of no longer having to beg, borrow or steal advice, time or resources.

In this phase, the biggest issue is not knowing fully what you owe or what you’re owed, and how to break that down into meaningful metrics on your financial statements so you can make better management decisions.

manage cash flow

The reality is that efficient cash flow management is really only possible if you have your accounting ducks in a row and follow more closely the accepted accounting standards and guidelines.

It used to be that a company would need to grow large enough to afford building or buying a license to an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software in order to accomplish that coveted status because the system connected all of the logistical, managerial and financial dots.

Now, we don’t have to wait for a company to grow large enough to afford an ERP. We can jerry-rig one by integrating multiple apps – all at a relatively affordable price.

The advantages of a faux-ERP now being made available to the small business owner are often the missing puzzle piece to ensuring their successful launch.

The more automation of tasks and synchronization of data, the more time the company has to devote to selling its products and services. This can now be a reality for the small companies through the proper utilization of the cloud-based softwares that share data.

The best approach coworking spaces can follow to improve cash flow management, is to use a coworking management software that has a direct integration with the accounting software and merchant service. Our personal favorite combo is OfficeRnD + Xero + Stripe, and I’ll explain why.

Meet the integrations trifecta:
OfficeRnD, Xero and Stripe

For the small business, obtaining any semblance of GAAP, IAS or IFRS used to be a joke. They were happy with being on the cash basis on the books because owners kept a running total in their head of how much they were owed and owed.

Data entry for AP or AR was something the owners did nights or on the weekends, or saved for a later phase in their growth whenever they could hire someone to do it. (I even recently took on a client who never bothered to enter data, and used to throw away their bills once they paid them!)

cash flow management

Automating AR data entry

Apps like HubDoc will scan in the bills and post them to the accounting software, which solves one part of the equation. OfficeRnD has a two-way integration with Xero, so it will post the invoices to Xero when they’re created and will solve the other part of the equation.

This covers the basic requirement of being on the accrual method, but a wrench is often thrown in when you’re toggling between the two apps trying to reconcile which invoices in Xero have been paid or not.

That’s where Stripe comes in.

Utilizing up-to-minute data to easily predict cash flow

Using Stripe as your merchant service for billing is a great solution because Stripe integrates directly with OfficeRnD.

So now, whenever a member’s invoice is paid, not only will it be marked as paid in OfficeRnD, but it will also be marked as paid within Xero in real time. Now you’ll be able to look at Xero’s awesome dashboard and see the amount that’s actually currently due in your sales corner, instead of waiting on the bookkeeper to catch up the coding.

Another way that Stripe will save you time on your bookkeeping and ensure you are utilizing the most up-to-the-minute data for easily predicting cash flow: when the Stripe integration is set up in OfficeRnD, the system will automatically create a new Stripe Clearing asset account in your chart of accounts.

predict cash flow

When an invoice is marked as paid by Stripe, it not only removes the invoice item from the AR account but also posts the funds in transit amount to that new clearing account so that you recognize the asset on the balance sheet.

This allows you to then know precisely what money is coming your way, versus what you’ve already got in your bank.

Then, when the deposit comes through the bank feed, you code that credit to this same Stripe Clearing account to offset the debit transaction posted by Stripe. The revenue item would have already been recognized whenever the invoice was created from OfficeRnD, as long as your mapping between the two apps was setup properly.

So voilà: the accounting of your entire accounts receivable process will be thoroughly complete and accurate according to accepted accounting standards – and all of it will have been done effortlessly through the integration of these three apps – what I call the “Trifecta of integrations.”

About Pencil

Pencil, Inc. was founded in 2008 and has grown into a team of entrepreneurs, bookkeepers, and accountants that help small businesses outsource operational tasks such as bookkeeping, running payroll, and remitting tax filings and payments.

They’ve helped a number of coworking spaces maximize the efficiency of their team’s workflow by utilizing technology to make the most informed management decisions, as well as play the role of an outsourced partner for maintaining their accounting. Pencil take on the administrative tasks that coworking spaces don’t have time to do, so their team can focus on their members and running their spaces.