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.

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

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

business-traffic-meeting-rooms

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 these people will need a quiet place to sit for a few hours or a meeting room to meet with a business associate is huge.

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.

Boardrooms

boardrooms

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.

Conclusion

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

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

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

Facebook

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.

Conclusion

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.

GCUC London 2018 Highlights

3 min read

The last GCUC took place in London, the UK on 25th and 26th September 2018. We had a great time!

As always, the latest “juicy” event proved to be a great platform to catch up with existing friends, but also make some new ones! We can’t emphasize enough the value that each discussion brought to us – the experience we shared, the validations we got, or even just seeing the familiar faces of a client or a partner that genuinely cares about how things are going!

GCUC London 2018 Salto team

With the Salto team. We are big fans of what they do!

We cherish the moments when we can be around people from the coworking community. It’s what inspires us and helps us to improve the way we add value to the coworking world. That was definitely one of those moments.

The content – nothing unexpected here, the focus again fell on coworking communities, wellness, investment, and market opportunities. We couldn’t attend every session (even though we wanted to), so here’s our highlight of the 2 days:

Hot topics and discussions

  • All things money: from valuations to financing your next space

It was a topic that gave a lot of food for thought. The whole industry is evolving which has an impact on the financing methods. As an example – more and more people choose work locations close to their home place to avoid traveling too long to work. That’s one of the reasons why investing in coworking spaces located in the suburbs (where most people live) makes a lot of sense for example. It was a practical discussion that focused on how you value your business, how you finance it and how to reach your profit goals.

  • The Great Debate: Is the coworking bubble about to burst in the UK?

Grant Powel, CEO of Central Working, a proud client of ours, took part as a speaker in this discussion. The huge rise of coworking spaces is a function of the increased interest towards them. This makes coworking a naturally evolving industry and not an artificially generated bubble. People migrate from traditional office areas to shared ones because it brings value to them. The coworking business has a solid base and grows organically so there’s no reason to claim it as a “bubble”.

  • The Office Group Story

The co-founders, Ollie Olsen, and Charlie Green shared their story of success. It was fascinating to learn how they actually met and started their company. They slightly knew each other but shared the same values and vision and that turned out to be the perfect foundation for making great business and finding an investment later on. Proof that like-minded people collaborate organically and can grow together!

  • UK Market Report – Let’s have a look at what’s happening

It was an interesting discussion about the intensive expansion of UK’s coworking spaces. The talk covered what’s specific about coworking spaces particularly in London, and statistics about how the market has changed in the last year. Here’s a useful article from Deskmag which was released soon after the conference and highlights important data on the topic: Quick Facts about the UK’s Coworking Spaces.

 

Can’t wait for the next juicy event!

GCUC London 2018 Market Report

coworking europe conference

Win a Free Ticket for Coworking Europe Conference 2018

2 min read

We are giving away one FREE ticket for Coworking Europe Conference in Amsterdam on 14-16th November! 

So, what to expect from the conference? Hundreds of attendees passionate about the magic of coworking, 50+ speakers and panelists, knowledge sharing, lots of new friends and work opportunities, endless inspiration and fun. It will be an experience to remember, trust us! Save the date and let’s get straight to the point.

How to win the free ticket?

Are you ready for some action, creativity, and fun? We’ve set a little task for you. 🙂

Tell us how coworking impacted your life and why it’s a driver for good with a short video or story! 

Here are the requirements:

  • Up to 40 secs for a video or up to 300 words for a story.
  • Tell us your name
  • Tell us which country you are located in
  • Mention the coworking space you work in and/or you manage (or the coworking space that inspires you the most!)
  • Send us your video or story with a PM on our our Facebook page or send us an email to contest@officernd.com
  • Deadline by the end of 23rd October

The winner will be announced on 25th October, 11 AM GMT, on Office RnD Facebook page and via email.

If you are not the lucky one, don’t worry, you can still catch the regular price tickets by 31st October.

A bonus reason to participate!

Your story deserves to be heard! We’ll be editing together the submissions to create something awesome of all the stories. Stay tuned!

Important things to know before you submit

  1. You must be sure you are available to attend the conference. It runs from November 14-16th and will be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  2. We’re giving away 1 free ticket. The winner will have to cover all travel and/or accommodation expenses.

We can’t wait to hear your story!

community

Freckle Dashboard – A Cool Tool to Bring Value To Your Community

4 min read

You know that feeling when you walk into a coworking space; a space that has a vibrant community? When the 3 essentials of every successful coworking community have been nailed you can feel the vibe in the air. The spirit of a true community. Hard to define, but easy to spot when done right.

Something we see a lot of success with is experimenting with new techniques and trying new tools that bring value to your community.

This leads to the main suspect that inspired this post – CoWork Me, a client of ours who’s sole purpose is to connect people – professionally and personally – for the greater good! One of their most recent (and most successful) experiments is introducing the Freckle Dashboard, which we’d like to spotlight for you, our lovely audience…

We sat down to interview Tim Sullivan, Business Specialist at Freckle Dashboards, with the hope that more spaces will benefit from this cool piece of technology that can make the idea of a real-time members dashboard a reality.

Here it is, read below:

community

How would you describe the value of the ‘Freckle Dashboards’ for both coworking members and coworking space operators?

The Freckle Dashboard strengthens member connections within coworking spaces.

As a Coworking space operator, not only do you want your space occupied at full capacity but you want everyone to feel part of something bigger. By putting important community info on display, members can engage with activities, events, and club news whilst also have a direct connection to the vibe of your space. With the easy visual display of Freckle dashboards, members can have their finger on the pulse of your community and be in sync with what other members in the building are all about, who does what and how you can contact them. The dashboard is fully customisable, so you can choose what your members should be informed about. There are many opportunities to add a bit of fun to it, including live updates of the Spotify track which is being played at that moment in the space or the option to ask engaging questions such as ‘Star Wars or Star Trek?’ and watch the live replies on the screen.

As a member, you can get a quick glance overview of the coworking space that gives you enough information to feel empowered within your community. You can also have your 5-minutes of fame on the screen showcasing and promoting your brand, which can be a great conversation starter if you’re the new kid on the block.

Whether it is a motivational quote, upcoming seminar or images of member’s dogs on a slideshow, it is a sure way to keep everyone engaged.

What is the technology behind it and how easy is it to install?

Freckle uses custom hardware which is accessible remotely. Once the software is deployed, you just have to plug it in, connect to your local wifi and set up remote access. Our solution allows remote access to turn on and off TV monitors and update the visuals and content from anywhere in the world.

community

Can you customise what content and information are being exposed? How easy is it to do so?

Yes, you can customise what is exposed either via OfficeRnD (through the integration we’ve developed) or the systems you currently use, depending on the needs of your space and our configuration that is based on them. Need to put up a promotion? Simply add an image to your promotion area. Need to add an event? Just add it to your Google calendar and it will show up. We’re also aware that companies change their priorities daily, so our whole team is ready to help with any upgrades or changes.

What does the integration with OfficeRnD entail and what are its capabilities? What can be exposed on the members’ dashboard?

Freckle has worked closely with OfficeRnD to make sure that anything you see on the OfficeRnD portal can be displayed on our screens. We custom design every plugin to look beautiful on every screen, whether it is a 100-inch TV, or your smartphone. Some examples of the Freckle Dashboard capabilities include displaying member’s profiles, upcoming events, business promotions, and perks.

What is the price?

Freckle plans start from $20 a week. Price depends on how many custom systems you’d like to plugin to your displays. Additional Freckle players can be purchased for $200, these will be displaying the same content on multiple screens. If you require a completely different screen for a different area we will bundle in packages to make it work for you.

Want to give it a try?

If you want to get more details on the Freckle Dashboards, go to www.getfreckle.com.au and check it out.

Bonus tip: There is a discount waiting for everybody that mentions they learned about Freckle from OfficeRnD.

Our GCUC Conference Free Ticket Giveaway is ON

2 min read

Hello there!

We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be giving away a ticket to this year’s GCUC (juicy) conference in New York!

If you don’t know about the marvelous GCUC conference, then get yourself over their website and take a look around. It’s a fun, inspiring and all around awesome conference aimed exclusively at the Coworking and Flexible Office industry. It’s amazing, trust us.

How can you snag yourself this golden ticket? Well, that’s the fun part! Read below for the details:

  1. We want to hear how OfficeR&D has impacted your business or community. This can be an overall insight, a case study, a specific story from your space/community or any topic that comes to mind when you think about your journey with OfficeR&D.
  2. The formatting is up to you!
    1. Send us a written submission with no less than 150 words
    2. Don’t like to write? Send us a video clip and please keep to under 5 mins.
    3. Teleport yourself to our offices in Bulgaria and do an in-person pantomime
  3. The deadline to send your submission is Sunday 11th March at 8 pm PST.
  4. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 13th March by 6 pm PST.
  5. Send your submissions to jessica@officernd.com

Important things to know before you submit:

  1. You must be available to attend the conference. It runs from April 22-24 and will be held in New York, US. We’d hate to choose a winner and then have them not be available to travel.
  2. You must be a customer of OfficeR&D. That means you can be an employee, a manager, an operator, an owner – all entries are welcome. As long as your company is using OfficeR&D, then you’re all set!
  3. We’re giving away 1 free ticket to the conference – winner will pay for their own accommodation, travel, and expenses.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Jan 22nd, 2018 Release

3 min read

Welcome to another set of improvements on the OfficeR&D side. Here are the highlights of this release.

Track the top 3 metrics of your space with OfficeR&D:

  • Active Users – users on active recurring memberships.
  • Capacity – the number of desks added to the floor plan.
  • Portal Users – users invited to the members portal.

Add Custom Templates and Custom Properties

You can now define your own custom templates for contract and invoice documents. You will find a new Add Template button available under Settings/Templates for the invoices and the contracts. What is more, we’ve created a Custom Properties section under Settings, where you can create multiple types of custom properties (including the long-anticipated Date property type) and apply them to contracts, invoices or resources.

See what else we’re enabling:

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Every change of a contract status triggers an email to your team with details about the changed contract.
  • Define the category of each plan by editing its Portal settings and OfficeR&D will group and organize the Shop view in tabs on the Members Portal.
  • Define the category of each benefit and OfficeR&D will group and organize the benefits in tabs on the Members Portal.
  • Members requesting a meeting booking will now receive two emails – one confirming their request is submitted and one letting them know your team approved the request. Look for the Booking Requested templates under Settings/Templates/Emails if you’d like to customize the default wording. There is more to that – your team will also receive an email notification with details around the requested booking so they can respond in time.
  • Members can now RSVP to events directly from the Dashboard on the Members Portal. 
  • You can filter by a period on the Dashboard/Community page on the admin side of OfficeR&D.

FIXES

You reported these issues and we fixed them:

  • Enable setting the billing person role from the Add Member and Edit Member dialogs.
  • Booking for 4th of December for a company shows an incorrect message stating that the booking will be accounted on a past date – e.g. 1st of December.
  • Update contracts and re-generated the pdf does not take into account the latest changes on the contract.
  • OfficeR&D allows you to create a contract that starts before the company start date – which leads to membership created without a start date.
  • When assigning a Private office desk from the floorplan, the resource is not selected and is not in the list.
  • The receptionist role cannot add One-off fees.
  • The labels overlap on the Billing chart for unpaid invoices.
  • The Public Checkout Page From and To dates do not respect Business hours setting.
  • Improve the Manual Bill-run period options.
  • When editing a membership, sometimes the system notifies you that you need to manually invoice the membership that is already invoiced.
  • When no Contract Approvers are set, Center Manager can see the Approve button.
  • On the Public Checkout Page, after changing the quantity of the requested resource, the system shows you resources that are not publicly available.