Posts

OfficeRnD Community

2 min read

Community Management is a relatively nascent field, but one thing is clear: It’s playing a key strategic role in the Future of the Flexible Workspace. From landlords to workspace operators, companies are investing in ‘activating’ their buildings at a pace we’ve never seen before. With scale comes the need for strong leadership that understands the excitement of the community, the needs of a business and the issues of the real estate. Managing coworking / flexible workspace is a complicated matter. It’s a rare combination of skills.

Unlike engineering or many other domains, there’s no class or degree that helps us master the art and science of building communities and managing a shared workspace.

It’s hard to convey the business value of community when many business leaders still think of community as “hosting events from time to time” or “offering free beer on tap”.

We’ll try to solve these problems, and more, with the OfficeRnD Online Community.

It’s funny that we’re introducing our Community platform, just now, after we’ve implemented our coworking community platform for hundreds of customers. Better late than never, right?

Why we’re doing it?

There are many reasons, but the most important ones are:

  • Help Each Other Grow – there are amazing, experienced coworking managers our there that would love to help those just starting out with Coworking and/or with tips tricks for using OfficeRnD.
  • Share Ideas – our industry is full of creative people with great ideas about Coworking, Technologies, The future of the workspace and everything in between.
  • Discuss Features – we’d love to hear all your crazy feature requests and build them. We feel great when we have 1000 items on our backlog.
  • Provide Better Support – the community forum is a big part of our strategy to improve our service and respond quickly to your requests.

OfficeRnD Community

It’s live and available today! You can head over to the OfficeRnD Community and say ‘Hi’ to the fellow coworking managers, space owners, and our team.

Please, also make sure to read our Community Guidelines.

Let’s shape the future of coworking and flexible workspace management together. Let’s share ideas and help each other grow.

Roadmap 2018

3 min read

2017 was an amazing year for OfficeR&D. We released a lot of great new features and improvements.

Of course, we have bigger plans for 2018. After lots of conversations, brainstorming sessions and customer discussions, we created the first version of our Roadmap for 2018:

You can connect with me at miro@officernd.com if you want to discuss our roadmap. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Every feature links to an item in our dynamic roadmap where you can subscribe for updates.

Member Tools

We are more committed than ever to providing the best and most complete digital user experience for your members. That’s why a big part of our Roadmap for 2018 is geared toward your Members.

Members Web Portal

Mobile App

Management Tools

We’ll continue to innovate and create better management capabilities, more automation, and better integrated and connected flexible workspace.

Management Platform

Possible Third-party Integrations

Please, note that these are direct integrations we’re planning to work on over the next months but we can’t commit that they will all fit into 2018.

Add-ons & Extensions

In 2018, we’ll be aiming to connect more and more points of your shared workspace.

Meeting Room Tablet App

  • Check in/Check out – add an option to require members to check-in, otherwise the room might be released; Also, provide check-out to release the room if you finish early;
  • Direct bookings – allow members to book directly from the tablet;

Front-desk Tablet App (NEW)

Of course, a huge part of our planned work for 2018 is to continue improving all the existing functionality, integrations and better support you and your growing businesses.

Even more, we’re already working on massive User Interface & Experience face-lift that will span through all our products, from the Management platform, to the Mobile app, Member portal, and all Extensions. It is going to be Great!

These are a lot of items, right? Sure, they are. But our growing team and drive to completely connect your flexible workspace motivate us even more to continue our amazing product journey. ?

You can connect with me at miro@officernd.com if you want to discuss our roadmap. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

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

July 18, 2017 Release

3 min read

Paid Recurring Bookings

Are you or your members struggling to book recurring meetings? No more! The revamped recurring booking functionality enables members to pay for recurring bookings based on the number of occurrences. The new booking summary shows how the recurring booking will be accounted in the next 2 months and how much each occurrence will cost. Members can cancel a recurrence from a specific point onward and they can update a recurring meeting without affecting the past occurrences.

Recurring Bookings


Member Posts

We’re also excited for your members to see the improved members portal and start creating conversations. Yes, the Dashboard section now contains a News Feed where members can post. You can also add posts, label them as informational or important and pin them to the top. To give it a try, navigate to Apps/Feature, enable News Feed and Member Posts and create the first posts from Community/Posts.

Portal Posts


Shop & eCommerce

And that is not all. The e-commerce section on the members portal is also improved – it is simplified and focused on shopping. To make it even better, you can edit your public plans and add images to them to make their appearance on the portal even more appealing.

Shop / eCommerce

Here are more details on everything that is coming up in this week’s release.

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Your customers billing details include a PO Number field. When your customer provides you with their PO number, you can add it in OfficeR&D and the system will associate it with your customer’s subscriptions and will display it in all their invoices.
  • You can define a Reference number when creating an invoice.
  • You can see the team member who created an invoice and the invoice creation date in the invoice view.
  • You can create contracts for all types of plans – hot desks, dedicated desks, private offices and services. You can also set the plan to be fixed-term when it shouldn’t roll over.
  • You can configure door access systems (Kisi and Salto) to map your private offices to specific door access groups.
  • Space owners can receive weekly occupancy reports. You can enable this feature from the Settings/Reports section.
  • You can create multi-component tax rates to break down the tax in the invoices into multiple parts.
  • You can apply a location to resource rates as well as filter them out by location.
  • You can define a target revenue per location.
  • You can search for cross-location one-off fees created by members outside their default space. You can also export all one-off fees available under Community/Fees.

FIXES

  • Cannot check-in member when the Day Pass does not have a value for the validTo property.
  • Editing an invoiced and paid booking, can show a misleading summary of the fee if the resource rate if the room is changed.
  • The total amount in the invoice list is calculating refunded and voided invoices.
  • Credit notes are accounted in the Billing/Dashboard chart.
  • Occupancy report is not correct when a team in an office uses two membership in a single month.
  • Occupancy report exports incorrect start and end dates.

 

Payment Gateways for Coworking – Cardconnect

4 min read

Guest blog post by Tom Cooley from GoCardconnect.

Since it’s inception, OfficeR&D has always worked with coworking spaces to offer the best coworking space management platform available. Offering a variety of payment processing options such as Stripe, Cardconnect and more, allow for more flexibility and control over your Coworking space.

Following is a detailed overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the two famous vendors in the US.

Stripe is a Brand Name

Due to Stripe’s commitment to streamlining the payments integration to third party applications, Stripe continues to make significant strides into third-party software applications. Coupled with their “Pay as you go” model, Stripe is also a great choice for new businesses and merchants that are unable to obtain traditional accounts due to time in business, credit underwriting or the sale of products that most processors view as “High-Risk”. For Stripe users, obtaining an account is easy and there are no fees unless you use the service.

Understanding that most of the OfficeR&D customers are “traditional” merchants with the same needs that most businesses have, including choice, representation and omni-commerce functionality (card present and card not present transactions), choosing an alternative to Stripe was important.

Enter Cardconnect

At the core of the Cardconnect platform is card data security. As one of only a few payment processors to achieve P2PE (Point to Point Encryption) and Tokenization certification from the PCI Board, the Cardconnect platform reduces the scope of PCI compliance significantly by completely removing card data from your operating system. Their API, and the way OfficeR&D build the payment interface makes validating your PCI compliance extremely simple.

Pricing

One of the most notable features for Cardconnect is the ability to offer Interchange pricing to each of their clients. Rather than the flat rate model offered by Stripe, Cardconnect passes through the exact cost of each transaction, as defined by the card brands (Visa/MasterCard/Discover/AMEX). This means card-not-present business debit cards with the Visa/MC logo are billed at the Interchange rate of 0.05% + $0.22 per transaction. After adding Assessments and processing fees, the total cost is 0.38% + $0.32 per transaction.

Compare this to 2.9% + $0.30 on $10,000 in processing volume, and the cost differential is significant ($10,000 X {(2.9% + $0.30) – (0.38% + $0.32)} ) = $10,000 X 2.52% = $252

For every $10,000 in Business debit cards processed, Stripe is an additional $252 more expensive than Cardconnect!

Interchange Optimization

There are over 200 different Interchange categories based on the type of credit card, how it was processed, what data was passed with the card, and how old the authorization is. Interchange Optimization, one aspect of the Cardconnect product that is so valuable is a feature that recognizes the type of card based on the first 4 digits and provides specific card data needed for that transaction to receive the lowest Interchange cost. For example, a Business card requires a tax amount. If nothing is included with the authorization, a tax amount of $0 is added to the transaction, and the Interchange cost goes down. Interchange Optimization is responsible for a decrease in fees from 0.05% to 1.05%.

Account Updater

With the rise in data breaches, it is becoming more common for us as consumers to reach out to all the places that bill our card on a monthly basis and update the credit card. Account updater eliminates that by contracting with the card brands to automatically retrieve updated credit cards when cards on file are changed for any reason. This means, no more declines due to lost, expired or stolen credit cards. Some exceptions may apply. For customers that have many recurring charges, this is often the time that they purge any rarely used subscriptions, resulting in a loss of revenue for your business.

Omni-Commerce functionality

Cardconnect is a traditional payment processor and can offer a multitude of payment options. Does your coworking space have retail, special event, fundraiser or any other function where you’re taking payments directly from cardholders? With CardPointe, offer Mobile, Desktop, and terminal solutions and enable card acceptance in any place and form, your customers would like to pay. The best part, all card data rolls into a single reporting portal, where transactions can be sorted based on authorization method, cardholder name, last four of a credit card, and a myriad of additional fields that are customizable for each merchant.

Personal attention

Do you have questions about processing credit cards, availability of deposits, methods for reducing costs or would just like to speak with someone regarding your specific payment processing needs? Then Cardconnect is the perfect fit. They take a concierge approach to payment processing and are available at your convenience.

Our goal at OfficeR&D is to address the needs of all of our clients. We wanted to offer a standardize payment solution that many people were already familiar with, plus a solution that allows for significantly lower costs, additional features and a personal touch.

For a limited time, Cardconnect is offering $5,000 in free processing for all new OfficeR&D accounts. Click here to learn more about the Cardconnect solution.

Guest blog post by Tom Cooley from GoCardconnect.

February 2017 Release

3 min read

We’re starting the year strong. OfficeR&D is growing faster than ever before. We’re really excited about the state of our platform and where we’re heading.

Let’s start with our brand new Ideas Board which is also our Official Roadmap 2017. Well, it’s way more than a roadmap. It is a communication, ideas, brainstorming board, fully transparent and shared with you. Let’s use this board to channel our collaboration and build the best platform for flexible spaces together.

This month, we were busy doing our new License agreement module, Events management module, Meeting room booking improvements, User interface improvements, and more.

License Agreements

Long story short, we extended our Contracts module into something much bigger. It is still work in progress but it’s getting really well:

  1. Create new Contract with start date, renewal date, resources involved, etc.
  2. Print the PDF version.
  3. Once signed, confirm the contract and seal the deal. This will generate the memberships, assign the resources (offices, desks, etc) and everything else needed.
  4. Done, your new customer is ready to enjoy the flexibility.

Note: You can even manage multiple inquiries about the same office, print different offers and only confirm one. On our floorplan view, you will see the ‘inquiries’ turning the resources in different colors.  

Events Management

Events are probably the best marketing tool that you may use to boost your coworking space. Events management was a big missing of OfficeR&D. Well, not anymore. We shipped our first version of the events module (it’s toggled off for most customers, please get in touch if you’d like to have it ON for you).

  • Create simple events.
  • Link them to external event systems like Facebook and Eventbrite.
  • Have a nice Events board in the members portal as well as Events Widget on the Dashboard.

Note: This is our MVP (minimum viable product). Stay tuned for more.

New Design

You might notice, we changed the look and feel of the admin app. The menus are more convenient, more mobile friendly and most of all, look awesome. This comes with plenty of other little improvements here and there.

OfficeR&D

Meeting Room Bookings

As usual, we constantly improve our booking system. This month, we improved our recurring bookings and the way we account the credits. Now, you can book 2 months in advance, even with limited credits. Also, we improved the user interface and fixed several issues.

Integrations Improvements

We put a lot of effort on our best of breed integrations with Xero, QuickBooks, Stripe. With the latest release, you will see if the integration has any configuration errors or warnings that might cause problems. This will help you better understand the state of the integrations and will guide on how to properly configure them.

In the next few weeks, you may expect multiple new updates like Credit Notes and Refunds, new Collaboration capabilities, and more. Check our roadmap to stay updated.

Managing a coworking space is hard. Let’s keep it simple, shall we?

Ideas Board and What’s coming in 2017

1 minute

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.

January 2017 Release

2 min read

Wishing you all a happy and a prosperous 2017. Let the Coworking Force be with you.

2016 was a strong year, full of new features but of course, we’re starting 2017 even stronger. Following is the list of changes and updates from the last few weeks.

Day passes and Check-ins

We did another iteration to improve our support for day passes.

  • Updated User interface of Who’s in pages as well as the Checkin dialog in the Admin.
  • Checkin widget in the Members portal to let members check in / check out themselves.
  • New Day pass widget in the Members portal to show the used and remaining passes.

Admin portal

  • New status for Occasional users of your space called ‘Drop-in‘. These are members that use meeting rooms, day passes, and other one-off products. It’s calculated automatically.
  • Activity – track all events that are happening in the system. You can now see all changes as they happen on your Dashboard / Activity or on every item’s page.
  • Occupancy dashboard improvements.

Meeting Room Bookings

  • New Booking dialog in both Admin and Members portal – it’s slicker and better-structured interface.
  • Improved Recurring bookings interface.
  • New TimeZone options dropdown.
  • Improved Google sync.
  • Booking fees improvements – better template, and better booking accounting.

Members Portal

  • Signup page deep links – you can now set specific plans to be added to the shopping bag (specific plan page) from the URL or also point to specific locations. Read more here.
  • Signup page improvement – new locations chooser that is slicker and more beautiful.
  • Improved Members andBenefits cards

signup

This is just to start off 2017. Stay tuned for our official roadmap and the hundreds of improvements and new features that are coming soon.

Coworking 2.0 – the Workspace Evolution

5 min read

The Coworking movement has come a long way for the past several years. It all started as these small hubs and hacker spaces for freelancers and small, low-budget startups. Until recently when it started to evolve into something much, much bigger. Coworking will become the way of working for most if not all small and mid-sized businesses.

In order to attract such a big mass of different members and companies, the coworking spaces are going through natural evolution. Coworking 2.0 offers a wide variety of services, has a good location, high-end facilities, well-designed brand, solid infrastructure and amazing members of staff. It’s fully automated and has great, well connected offline, online and mobile community.

Coworking 2.0 is the next generation of office space, codenamed Spaas (Space As A Service – pronounced SPACE).

Space as a Service

Coming from the software industry, I’ve been part of a similar change many years ago. The transition from the traditional software model to SaaS (Software as a Service) model in the cloud had a massive impact on the software industry. The SaaS solutions have so many benefits. Companies were able to:

  • Purchase better software quicker and easier;
  • Choose from a bigger variety of online solutions;
  • Have an easy entrance, onboarding and cancellation options;
  • Reduce the upfront cost and investment;
  • Pay for what they use and only if and when they use it;
  • Have less to no maintenance;
  • Have better support, always use the latest version and so much more.

As a result, businesses using SaaS products became more agile, adaptive and capable of providing better services.

The software industry, on the other hand, exploded. The SaaS model quickly became the software standard. The quality of the available solutions improved significantly too. The software companies started to have faster release cycles, better reach, easier access to customers and feedback which of course, resulted in much better products and happier customers. It’s a win-win situation for both software vendors and software users.

A similar change is already happening in the Office industry.

Small and mid-size companies are realizing that coworking / flexible workspaces are much better option for their office. The same reasons apply here too:

  • Find better office space quicker and easier;
  • Have easy entrance, onboarding, cancellation policy – a.k.a flexible terms;
  • Have no to less upfront cost and investment;
  • Pay for what they use and when they use it;
  • Less to no maintenance;
  • Choose from a variety of spaces, communities, and locations.

This is what I call Space as a Service (SpaaS) or Workspace as a Service (WaaS).

Coworking 2.0 will become the standard in the office industry and traditional offices will be the exception.

Benefits of SpaaS

There are so many additional services and benefits of OaaS that come along with the physical office space. Let me name a few:

  • Use of shared amenities – meeting rooms, cafes, lounges, and other resources;
  • Choose the right community for your type of business;
  • Choose the right location, change easily if it doesn’t work well;
  • Choose the right atmosphere, design, look, and feel.

The Evolution of Coworking

The Coworking now is different from the Coworking of 2010. The end-user is different and the spaces are different.

Location

Coworking spaces often used to be in dodgy, underdeveloped areas and buildings. This is changing faster than you can imagine. The new wave of Coworking spaces chooses prime, first-class locations and buildings. They have great transport and parking options, great infrastructure and most importantly they are based in the best parts of the city.

Let’s have a look at the building of Us&Co, one of the latest spaces in central London. They are based in one of the best areas in the City – 7 Harp Lane EC3R 6DP – with perfect transport links. It’s a great, bright building with amazing views of the river Themes and the City of London.

Us&Co 9th Floor

Us&Co cafe on the rooftop.

Facilities

New coworking spaces invest a lot in fit-out, design, and great facilities. If you want to attract a certain type of customers, i.e. grown ups and mid-size companies, you need good facilities. Things like proper air-cond, high-end chairs and desks, nice lounge and common areas and professional maintenance are becoming a norm.

Let’s have another look at Us&Co fit-out. The picture speaks for itself:

Us&Co Hotdesk Area

Brand

Good branding is not something new. But it’s something that is more and more important. Strong competition means that strong brands win and weak brands not. You should invest in good branding, design, web & mobile presence and the overall experience of the space. Everything should connect and should be up to the highest standards in Branding and Marketing. Here’s a good article on the best Marketing techniques for coworking spaces.

Automation

The Coworking 2.0 has to be automated. You need to connect the dots and save money and time from staff so they can focus on building a real community instead of dealing with invoices, keys, and spreadsheets.

  1. Onboarding – let your members purchase a membership online
    1. Welcome email and the door access information is sent
    2. Invoice, Billing, and the Payments are connected
    3. They end up in your beautiful Members portal where they can follow the next steps to becoming a member
  2. Door accessWiFiPrintingBillingAccountingCalendarsSales – it all should be well integrated.

Hardware & IT

The next generation coworking space needs to be fully equipped with the highest standard IT infrastructure or management software. You can’t afford poor connectivity even for a moment. The coworking members are so dependent on the internet that even a 5 min disruption may have a really bad effect on them. It’s easy to lose customers because of a poor Internet or WiFi connectivity.

Community

Building a vibrant community is probably the hardest part of making a great Coworking space. It’s a long path from zero to good to a great community but you have to take it. Building it requires a lot of effort, a great team, and energy. You need to build it, curate it, stimulate it and grow it. You have to be likable so that people want to work with you in your space. You need a good brand – either personal or the brand of the company. You also need good evangelists. Your first members need to be pitching the space all around the town and selling space for you.

Last but not least, you need great members of staff. Your community manager(s) has to love their job. You need the right people in the right seats on the bus. Your members’ first, second and the third impression will come from the community manager. Coworking 2.0 spaces invest in the right staff and they will make a great first impression.

Community 2.0 is Connected. You need to provide the means for your members to find easily each other, learn more about each other, get in touch with each other. It has to be social. It has to be mobile.  Most of all, it has to be collaborative.


Coworking 2.0 is Space as a Service built on prime location and comes with high-end facilities, good infrastructure, fully automated processes, awesome members of staff and of course, vibrant, connected community.

November 2016 Release

3 min read

Although this month we’ve been onboarding new customers like never before, we were still able to significantly improve our platform and make our biggest release ever.

We improved the mobile story of both members’ and admin sites. Our Members portal has become arguably the most beautiful portal for coworkers on every screen. We also implemented several new major features, improved the overall performance and security of the whole platform and we fixed a number of small issues.

Admin Portal

We invest a lot in making OfficeR&D Admin portal to be the most user-friendly, beautiful and feature rich Coworking management platform.

Billing

  • Plan codes – you can now set unique codes to every plan & product. This is then exported nicely to your invoices.
  • Mark fees as paid – you can explicitly mark one-off fees and deposits as paid to prevent double charging (in case, you’re just starting and the fees were paid before).
  • Payment notifications – you have new options to control the email notifications when payment fails.
  • Plan privacy options – you can now specify if a plan or product is available for purchase for new members, existing members or is it only available for admin users.
  • Item codes for deposits in Xero – you have the option to sync and control the item codes for deposits
  • Improved MRR calculation – changing the membership price now affects the MRR (monthly recurring revenue) of the member.

Members management

  • Add file attachments – you can now upload files and attach them to your members’ profiles. You can keep your signed contracts, IDs and all other files safely stored next to your memberships data.
  • New Companies view – the page is more mobile friendly, easier to find data, more sorting options and most of all, more beautiful.
  • Improved Custom properties – we extended and improved our custom properties (fields). You can make them public or private, add placeholder value and more.
  • Member statuses – now you can see on the Members page if a member has access to the Members portal. Their members portal Role is visible on the Members page.
  • Improved Former, Contacts and Leads views – all pages have been visually improved.

Meeting room bookings

  • Improved user interface – the booking template looks better and shows more data – the summary and the member’s name.
  • Bookings overview page – you have a new page where you can get the data for the Members’ usage of meeting rooms per month.
  • Improved email notifications – when changing a booking from the admin, the affected members will receive a proper notification. Also, the email template was improved.  
  • Add guests – now you can invite external or internal guests when booking a meeting from both the admin and the member sites.
  • Privacy settings – you can now configure if certain rooms are available for specific customers, or groups of customers (based on their membership type) or for all users of the space.
  • Calendar view improvements – the calendar user interface was improved in order on both mobile and desktop.

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Members portal

  • Improved Signup page – the user interface of Summary on the signup page was improved. Also, we improved the pro-rata calculations prompt.
  • Custom code – you can amend custom code in the members portal. This allows deeper customizations like inserting custom spreadsheet, adding tracking code for analytics, chat widgets and more.
  • Calendar improvements – the members’ portal calendar view was improved to work better on mobile and desktop.
  • Performance & security improvements – we’re constantly improving the performance and the security of our platform.
  • User interface improvements – we reworked the left sidebar menu to make it more beautiful on more mobile friendly.

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As always, your feedback is more than welcome. We won’t just listen to you, we will take notes and will implement your ideas faster than you can imagine.

As a quick heads up, with our next release, we will make customising our Members portal a piece of cake.

Automated door access using OfficeR&D and Kisi

2 min read

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.