Dec 1st, 2017 Release

Another release is out and the improvements keep rolling in. With this one, we’ve got custom resources. Navigate to Settings/Space and add your own custom resources – doggy day passes and parking slots are just a couple of examples that are now a reality in OfficeR&D. This new feature covers all aspects of the resource lifecycle – define your own resource, add it to the floorplan, create a billing plan targeting only it, assign it to members and then assign them to the resource on the floorplan and enable members to book the resource through a calendar.

settings-space

We’re also introducing:

  • Better private offices traceability by exposing an availability period per private office. This will enable you to keep track of the occupancy levels within the exploitation period of each office. If you have 2 private offices but you’d like to remodel and merge them into one, OfficeR&D can now keep a record of the old private offices’ occupancy levels while letting you mark them as unavailable in the future and creating a new bigger office with its own brand new availability period.
  • Multiple calendar pages on the Members Portal. Head over to Apps/Pages/Custom Pages and add a custom page that displays a calendar of any existing resource – private office, parking lot, dedicated desk. What is more, the calendars – both on the admin and member portals, can display 24-hour long bookings. There is an all-day-view displayed as the top line of the calendar where similarly to how Google Calendar shows you all-day events, you can keep track of those in OfficeR&D as well.
  • Charge multiple invoices in a bulk operation. Want to give it a try? Head over to Settings/Invoices and select multiple invoices to see the Charge button appear. Make sure you have a payment provider integrated as otherwise, this feature will be disabled.

Check out what else we improved and fixed in this release.

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Contracts under Community/Contracts can be filtered based on their signed, created and start dates.
  • We change the look and feel of the sign-up form view that lists the available locations. You can also define which locations you’d like to display on the sign-up page via the new Portal tab available when you edit a location under Space/Locations.
  • The Occupancy Interval report available under Space/Occupancy Interval Report can now be exported. The Occupancy Report export is also extended and it now lists the member occupying the office, their move-in and move-out dates in separate columns.
  • If you’d like to customize the look and feel of the meeting rooms tablet app, you can add your own custom styling via the Apps/Custom Code section.
  • The QuickBooks integration is also extended to enable the mapping of the default OfficeR&D accounts to products or services in QuickBooks. This way you can map one-off line items that are manually added to an invoice in OfficeR&D to a specific product in QuickBooks.

FIXES

  • When editing a contract the plan’s price no longer defaults to the original price of the plan and you can customize it.
  • The issues with after-hours bookings not being displayed on the calendar are resolved.
  • The red line that indicates the current time in the calendar is now properly aligned even when there are meeting rooms in different time zones.
  • The summary under Space/Locations now provides the correct occupancy information.
  • The accounts and tax rates are now resolved in the contracts.
  • When there are more than 15 lines in the invoice template, the last row no longer overlaps with the header.
  • The system validates that all offices have target plans when creating a contract.
  • The Draft label status of the locations under Space/Locations is changed to red.
  • The issue with booking more hours than the limit from the admin calendar is now resolved.
  • Don’t allow meeting rooms with bookings to be deleted.
  • Deleting a contract now deletes all associated entities.
  • Recurrent bookings are now displayed in Day view in the Meeting room calendar.
  • Billing chart numbers are now accurately calculated on the dashboard in the admin portal.
  • Google login redirects you to app.officernd.com after a successful login.
  • The custom pages filter by status is addressed to properly display the members.
  • The system now prevents deleting resource rates with related credits and resources.
  • The “Resend Invitation” functionality available under Apps/Users now properly adds an access token for the member portal.

OfficeR&D raises $1 million seed funding

  • Funding round is led by LAUNCHub Ventures, the co-founders of Telerik, and Constant Tedder, the co-creator of Runescape
  • Funding will be used to make OfficeR&D the market leader in the flexible workspace management software solutions
  • OfficeR&D is a graduate of London-based property tech VC Pi Labs’ pre-seed programme

London, 16 November 2017: OfficeR&D, the London and Bulgaria-based coworking space management platform, today announces the completion of its $1 million seed funding round. The capital investment was led by LAUNCHub Ventures, the founders of Telerik, a leading Bulgarian software company, and Constant Tedder, the co-creator of Runescape. The investment will be used to triple the size of the OfficeR&D team and advance OfficeR&D’s product development to keep pace with demand in the rapidly growing coworking industry, while also adding new functionality for real estate and property management.

 

OfficeR&D is a flexible workspace management solution to help new and existing coworking and serviced offices maximise their revenue and use of space, improve customer online and mobile experience and bring clarity to their fast-growing businesses. OfficeR&D is a full-service white-label solution which brings together all office space and member data into one platform, and boasts integrations with dozens of popular business tools.

 

With offices in London and Bulgaria, OfficeR&D’s platform is used by more than 100 coworking spaces and serviced offices across 30 countries, and a combined 10,000 members use the OfficeR&D portal every day. OfficeR&D began life at Pi Labs, the London-based property tech venture capital firm, where it was a member of the first cohort of Pi Labs’ pre-seed programme. Pi Labs was also an early investor in the company.

 

Miroslav Miroslavov, co-founder and CEO of OfficeR&D, said: “We firmly believe that workspace-as-a-service will become the way of working for most if not all small and mid-sized businesses. For flexible workspace operators managing their space and growing communities brings significant challenges, particularly as they scale up or expand to new locations. Members have come to expect seamless service, and flawless automation is increasingly imperative for a workspace success. This funding round will ensure that we can continue to anticipate and address those challenges for our customers, allowing us to offer the best full-service solution for this dynamic and exciting market.”

 

Rumen Iliev, partner at LAUNCHub, said: “The distinctions between flexible, serviced and coworking spaces are blurring, and these spaces will all soon simply be known as ‘the office’. We believe that coworking spaces represent the future of the office, and the market shows no sign of slowing. Coworking space management has been an historically underserved market segment, and we’re delighted to be supporting OfficeR&D on their mission to improve outcomes and quality of service. OfficeR&D has a really beautiful product and Miroslav and his team have a sophisticated understanding of the modern coworking space, and we look forward to seeing OfficeR&D grow over the coming months and years.”

About OfficeR&D

OfficeR&D is a flexible workspace management solution to help new and existing coworking and serviced offices maximise their revenue and use of space, improve customer online and mobile experience and bring clarity to their fast-growing businesses. OfficeR&D was founded by Miroslav Miroslavov and Miroslav Nedyalkov in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2015, and completed Pi Labs’ property tech accelerator programme in London later that year. Since then, OfficeR&D has become one of the worldwide market leaders in flexible workspace management software, amassing over 100 coworking spaces and serviced offices across 30 countries. OfficeR&D’s customers include Central Working, Us&Co, Halkin, Dogpatch Labs, Centrl Office, Mesh Oslo, Maria.io and many more.

About LAUNCHub Ventures

LAUNCHub Ventures is an early stage VC Fund, based in Sofia and investing in digital startups in the wider Southeastern Europe region. The fund’s portfolio companies are in the fields of SaaS, Enterprise Software, Health-tech, E-commerce, Mobile, IoT, but its investments are not limited only in these verticals. With €30m under total management LAUNCHub Ventures focuses on the seed space with investment ticket size in the range of €300K to 700K, expandable up to €1,5m per company.

GCUC Canada Coworking Conference 2017

“Coworking is not about desks, WiFi or Coffee. It’s about people.” – Ashley Proctor, GCUC Canada 2017

Day 1: Conference

This was my first GCUC Canada Conference and I was very, very excited. Coworking conferences are the place where I get inspiration and connection, where we can hang out with like-minded people and geek out about Coworking for 3 days straight. This Coworking thing is growing, maturing and it’s here to stay. We’re seeing Coworking pop up in lots of different forms and we got to hear about these at the conference;  

  • Coworking with Childcare
  • Coworking in Shopping Malls
  • Rural ‘Outpost’ Coworking
  • MakerSpaces are on the rise
  • Coworking in Airports

Basically, Coworking is aiming for world domination.

This year GCUC was held at 312 Main in downtown Vancouver. The building (the former Vancouver Police headquarters) is still under construction, and while we sat in an unfinished, raw space, it was welcoming and cozy. This set the tone for the following two days. When 312 Main is completed it’s going to be incredible, I mean, it already is, but holy moly I’ve never heard or seen or heard of anything like it. 100,000 square feet of community-driven, inclusive, beautiful and carefully thought out space. Hats off to the team working on this project. I had the pleasure of touring the space myself on day 3 of the conference, which was led by the dynamic and inspiring Ashley Proctor. We walked through floors of former holding cells, shooting ranges and marveled at the transformation taking place. If you like coworking or just cool stuff in general, check out the project for yourself!     

Day one of the conference was the usual conference fare of icebreakers, awesome panels, and generally inspiring talks. Carsten from Deskmag gave us the rundown on members behavior and what trends we’re seeing. Read more about it here. Fun fact – 41% of our communities are made up of Freelancers! The Women Who Cowork made their debut by honoring and highlighting female pioneers in the Coworking industry. We also saw vibrant panel discussions on The Future of Work as well as a panel on Coworking spaces across Canada. We got to hear some unique insights when members of local coworking spaces were invited to speak on a panel. We don’t often hear from the members at these conferences and this was an interesting and unique perspective. It’s great to hear how coworking is affecting the lives and businesses of those who are joining our spaces. It’s what pushes the industry to keep growing and also spreads awareness. We rounded out the day with happy hour at Vancouver’s revolving restaurant. Coworking people + happy hour = a very, very happy, happy hour!   

Happy Hour!

Day 2: Unconference.

I’ve participated many coworking unconferences, but this was different. It was a whole room of people showing up, being vulnerable and working on topics together. As you sat in the room, you could hear snippets of conversation popping up and there was a lot of “how can I help you with that?” and “What do you need to make this work?” We had 5 sessions over the course of the day. There were so many great and varied topics covered and the highlights (for me) were talking with the Women in Coworking group, hearing feedback about Technology for coworking spaces and learning that smaller town (or commuter) Coworking is on the rise. The great thing about participating in these conferences is the chance to sit and listen and hear where we’re going as an industry. We learn so much about what our coworking operators and owners are looking for, and then we have the opportunity to turn that into something practical that’s reflected in our technology. We do our best work when we listen.

Thank you to the GCUC team for putting together another conference, can’t wait for the next!

Coworking Space Website

A getting started guide for choosing the right platform for your coworking space website.

The coworking world is complicated. Among the community, facilities, sales, and operations, you need to deal with software challenges too. Building your web presence (and mobile) should be and probably is your number one priority when it comes to software.

We talk to a lot of coworking spaces, and we observe a lot of great websites and some that are not so great. Here are our observations and recommendations for setting up your Website and how you can integrate it with your chosen management system.

Marketing Website

The first and most important part of your web presence is building a beautiful marketing website. The purpose of the Marketing website is to convince new members that your space is great and it will solve their office problems. It has to increase the top of the sales funnel by bringing more leads and people knocking on your door.

You need great content and visuals that are laid out well in a logical way that conveys your message. Easier said than done.

Here are the key objectives you may consider when building your marketing website:

  • It has to be modern, beautiful and sleek.
  • It has to be easy to write and edit content.
  • It has to be extensible with themes, plugins, and widgets.
  • It has to be standard and well adopted so any web developer can support it.
  • Google must love it. SEO is key.

Based on these, there are several important points which you may consider when you choose a web platform for your website:

  • Popular Website builders are ok (such as Wix).
  • Standard CMS (Content Management System) is always better (such as WordPress and Squarespace).
  • Custom (not-standard) CMS has many flaws such as not easy to maintain, lack of extensibility and lack of general knowledge.
  • Custom built websites ‘from scratch’ is not a good option as well. It costs a lot to built a website from scratch, it is hard to maintain, it’s not extensible, SEO is hard to achieve, and has so many other problems.
  • Coworking Management platforms (or any other management platform) that offer built-in websites are the worst. The resulting website is not standard, not extensible, not easy to maintain, customize, the SEO won’t be good enough and also, it will always be outdated and not according to the latest UI/UX standards.

See the comparison table for more information:

 ModernContent MngmtExtensibleStandardSEO
Website BuildersMaybe
CMS
Custom CMSMaybeMaybeMaybe
Custom WebsiteMaybe
Management PlatformMaybe

Clearly, the best option for building a marketing website is to choose a standard CMS system, such as WordPress.

officernd

For example, our marketing website is based on a standard CMS.

Members Portal

The second most important part of your web presence is the internal, members facing web application a.k.a. members web portal.

The key objectives of the members portal are:

  • Great UI – It has to be modern, beautiful and sleek.
  • Great UX – It has to be easy to use.
  • White-labeled – It has highlight your brand and not the vendor brand.
  • Useful/Feature-rich – It is your ‘product’ after all.
  • Connected – It has to be connected to the management platform.
  • Internal – SEO is not needed.

You can think of your members portal as an important part of your offering, your product.

If you take close look at most of the modern tech companies, you will notice a pattern of how their web presence is structured:

Home domain – yourbrand.com – Your Marketing Website

The main/marketing website is the home domain – officernd.com, stripe.com, intercom.com, gocardless.com, or any other tech company. The marketing website is always built using a standard CMS. It is owned and maintained by the marketing team and the main objectives are Design, Content, SEO and the ability to extend and change frequently.

Subdomain – members.yourbrand.com – Your Web Product

The members portal, being your web product is best to live under a subdomain. For the tech companies, that’s usually app.officernd.com, dashboard.stripe.com, app.intercom.com, manage.gocardless.com, etc. Some of the most important reasons why doing it this way is the so-called ‘Separation of concerns’, as known in the tech world. The product (it’s also called web application and not a website) has its own life. It has its own user interface and its own user experience. It serves a different purpose and it’s owned by a different team – the product team. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where your marketing website is down because the product team is deploying a new version. Or even worse, you need to deploy the product, because the marketing team needs to update a piece of content. There are a million reasons to keep these separate and the most important one is they serve different purposes.

portal

An example internal/members portal (web application).

Connecting the Website with the Portal

Of course, these two worlds need to be connected and speak to each other. Few points that usually connect them in the Coworking world are:

  • Links on the Marketing website pointing to the Portal:
    • Login – login for existing members.
    • Signup – purchase a product and become a member.
    • Calendar – book a conference room and become a drop-in user.
  • Pages showing data from the Management platform:
    • Events page – showing your great events.
    • Members wall – showing your awesome community.
  • Forms on your Website:
    • Enquiry form – creates an opportunity in the management platform.
    • Booking form – any other form that may create different entities in the management platform.

signup

Building a web presence for your workspace business is a complicated job. Not for us. We’re a tech company. We love complicated stuff. We love building a great user interface and user experience.

Choose your Website and Coworking Management platforms wisely and keep these separate.

Get in touch at info@officernd.com or miro@officernd.com if you need help or advise with any of these.

Ideas Board and What’s coming in 2017

We’re not short on ideas here at OfficeR&D. We also have awesome customers who aren’t short on ideas, either. Having many ideas is a great opportunity and also a huge responsibility. We need to ensure that we deliver the best ideas, quickly, on time and perfectly crafted.

roadmap

OfficeR&D Ideas board and Roadmap 2017

In order to do so, we want to introduce you to our Trello board for awesome ideas that happen to be our official roadmap too. 🙌

We will use the board to:

  • Communicate our development effort.
  • Organize and prioritize our work.
  • Collect your feedback.

Often the more ambitious features have to wait so we can get the essentials right. It’s exciting to imagine what the future looks like but hey, sometimes a billing bug might be more important and cause new feature delays.

In order to better understand how we work, we’d love to share our product development ethos:

  • Listen and understand you;
  • Move fast, break things;
  • Great user experience is great;
  • MVP (minimum viable product) every feature; 
  • Less is more.

Have a look at the board and let us know your thoughts.

 

2016 in Review

According to the Chinese Zodiac, it was the year of the Monkey. We here at OfficeR&D also believe that it was the Year of Coworking…according to the ancient Workspace calendar. Jokes aside, this isn’t far from the truth. The global coworking community is growing at a double digit rate and is just about to reach the 1 million coworkers milestone. These are large numbers and it’s just the beginning. The SMEs are still yet to join the Coworking 2.0 movement and this is going to be huge. Read more on this here.

coworking-slide

Coworking Growth by the Coworking Survey from deskmag.com

OfficeR&D by the numbers

It was a great year for Coworking and it was a great year for OfficeR&D, too. We ran through the year at an (almost) sprint in order to deliver the best management experience for our customers and the best coworking experience for our fellow coworking members.

Here’s 2016 in numbers:

  • We on-boarded customers from 11 countries on 4 continents;
  • We grew from zero to thousands of members using our Members portal;
  • We released more than 400 new versions and updates to the platform;
  • We delivered 10 new integrations;
  • We deployed more than 500 stories – new featuresbug fixes and improvements;
    • That’s more than 5000 code commits. Funny or not, there is not a single day without a commit to make the platform better, faster and more feature rich.
  • We grew our team by 40% – thanks Jess and Andrew. 🙂
commits

Our development pace. It’s exciting, isn’t it?

We’re looking forward to 2017 and we are more committed than ever. There’s so much more to do. We will make coworking a more Social, more Mobile, more User-friendly experience for the members and more Automated, Integrated and Connected for the managers.

Stay tuned for our official 2017 Roadmap. (Does OfficeR&D sound interesting? signup and join the other great spaces using OfficeR&D.)

November 2016 Release 2.0

OfficeR&D is a second generation Coworking Management platform, or Coworking Management 2.0. We’re an extremely agile team. We develop quickly and release often, without compromising on quality. The time between requesting a feature to actually having it is reduced to a number of weeks or even days.

That’s why we thought we needed another big release in November, which we’ve affectionately named; November 2.0. To keep up with demand, this will become the norm for OfficeR&D. Every 2-weeks or less, we will roll-out an update with plenty of new features, improvements, and fixes.

Opportunities

We extended our leads (opportunities) management functionality but at the same time, we simplified it.  Now you can:

  • Create opportunity for new customers a.k.a. Leads;
  • Create opportunities (or deals) and attach them to existing customers;
  • Set more options like Company and Deal size;
  • Create your own statuses and probabilities;

We also improved our Sales CRM integrations.

opportunities

Comments & Notes

OfficeR&D now supports adding Notes (or Comments) to members, teams, leads, invoices, etc. Example – if you want to add a note to a customer profile or follow up on a conversation, then, you can! There are many different ways that you can use this function:

  • You can comment on various objects;
  • You can also resolve them;
  • Your teammates can also comment and post notes;

You will find the comments at the bottom of the members, companies, invoices pages.

Stay tuned for more improvements here.

comments

Public Calendar

We released a public, beta version of our Public Calendar. It’s beautiful. It’s easy to customise. It’s easy to use. We bet your meeting room users will love it. You can turn it on for you space at Portal / Features / Public Calendar.

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Meeting Rooms

We’re constantly improving our Meeting room booking system and calendar. Here are the new features and improvements:

  • Post an optional description to a booking
  • Option to round charges at a certain period of time like 30 mins, 1 hour, etc.
  • Improved user interface – better presentation of the meeting room prices
  • Improved performance and other fixes

Members Portal

Probably our main focus at the moment is to make our Members portal the best software experience for your members. We’re constantly improving it, adding more features and polishing the user interface and experience.

  • Widgets mechanism – OfficeR&D now supports widgets mechanism which you can customise easily your dashboard
  • Twitter Feed – one of the new widgets that are available on the dashboard as well as on the members’ profile pages.
  • RSS Feed – you can also use our RSS feed widget
  • Improved Members wall – we improved the members’ wall to be sleeker and more user-friendly

Stay tuned for more features and updates.

Do you want to have an impact on our Product Roadmap and use the best coworking management platform? Join us now.

Kisi integration – major improvements

A few months ago we released our brand new integration – Automated door access using OfficeR&D and Kisi. It was something our customers really needed, namely a way to automate the access of their members to the space. Kisi does this job perfectly, a cloud-based system that lets you unlock doors using nothing but your phone. Most of our clients were really excited to take advantage of such product.

The first version of the integration was pretty basic as it was only allowing you to restrict access based on membership plans. A good part of our clients, with up to 1 or 2 locations, found this extremely helpful. The access management became a breeze for them which, in turn, made us happy we could once again make their lives easier.

However, since the integration was having a great success helping people manage door access, they started asking for more. For example:

  • Grant access based on floor or location the member resides in;
  • Grant limited access to specific meeting room only for the period of the booking

There were more requests as well, some of them were really good so we decided to step up and add a great deal of functionality to the integration.

We summarised all the needs of our clients and updated the integration respectively. We even added support for day passes, meaning that you can specify to which areas the people you give day passes to, will have access. Cool, huh?

We believe all those improvements will bring great power and save a lot of time to coworking managers while allowing them to focus on making their members happy.

Check the official page of the integration here or read how easily you can setup and configure it using this guide!

Coworking, Community and Collaboration.

I really like people and I really like building community. I didn’t know this would put me on the path to my dream job, but, it did. In a way that I never expected.

After working as an Executive Assistant for seven years I was looking for a change but I didn’t know how to break out of the kind of work I was doing. I also had no clue what I would do next…until I interviewed for a position as a Community Manager at a coworking space in Los Angeles. I didn’t even really understand the concept of coworking, but, walking into the space for the first time was kind of like falling down the rabbit hole. What was this place? What were all these people doing? Is that a kitchen stocked with snacks and coffee? Why is everyone so happy? I didn’t really understand what this place was but I wanted in. Big time.

Long story short, I got the job and my journey into Coworking began…

It became clear early on that the community were going to become my colleagues, friends, and mentors. These relationships began to shape the way I thought about my work and my life. I was collaborating on projects that I was passionate about and working with people who had left the stable and mundane for the unknown. It was infectious and inspiring. A lightbulb went off; collaboration within a community is one of the building blocks of coworking, and it was awesome! I was hooked. Still am. 

Now, you don’t get coworking, community, and collaboration without a lot of work behind the scenes. There is a lot to think about  – payment processing, community management, space layout, location, community events, promotions, sales, partnerships. This list goes on…and on and on. It’s kinda messy but it’s also kinda awesome. I spent a lot of time putting really solid systems in place so I could streamline my work and keep it as simple as possible. This was imperative because if that was in place, then I could get back to the part of the job I loved; hangin’ with my community and focussing on the bigger picture.  

There are a lot of components in building a coworking space and worrying about the back-end should be the least of your worries. My advice to anyone managing a space or anyone starting out – get solid systems in place and get feedback from your trusted community members about what they think is working, they will be your best (and most honest) allies. 

“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
– Henry Ford

Automated door access using OfficeR&D and Kisi

KISI + OfficeR&D

At OfficeR&D, we work hard to simplify the workload of the community manager by including user management, meeting room bookings, payments (and much more!) into one platform. However, we noticed an increasing trend; managing physical access to office and shared spaces can be quite complex. We understand that each community is unique and how your space is used differs from person to person. Seeing a need for simplified door access, we did some research, listened to our customers and as a result, we are pleased to announce that we have partnered with the awesome keyless door entry system, Kisi!

Door Access with KISI

Kisi is an access control app for mobiles. It allows members to enter your space using their smartphone. No keys, no key cards, no problem! Even better, it has many features that will give you insights into who is using your space, and when.

How the integration works?

OfficeR&D allows you to easily grant or remove access from members depending on their membership plan. This means that when a person’s membership begins they will automatically get access to your space. The same happens when their membership ends; access will be automatically removed. No more keeping track of keycards, cool huh?

Ready to get up and running? See our handy help article here.