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Coworking 2.0 – the Workspace Evolution

6 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 a 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 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 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 doesn’t work well;
  • Choose the right atmosphere, design, look and feel.

The Evolution of Coworking

The Coworking of 2017 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 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 real community instead of dealing with invoices, keys, and spreadsheets.

  1. Onboarding – let your members purchase 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.

This is our strongest part and OfficeR&D can surely help you fully automate your Coworking 2.0 space.

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 poor Internet or WiFi connectivity.

Community

Building 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, 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.

Optimizing Workflow in the Office (Infographic)

4 min read

This post was originally published on Online Course Report website.

We’ve all experienced the state of flow at one point or another. Time seems to stand still, and there’s only one thing in the entire world: your project. At other times you might have spent days trying to chug through what you’ve accomplished in one sitting. Your stomach growls and you realize it’s already lunch. But if you’re like most of the workforce, this state only occurs sporadically.

Luckily, we now have a solid body of research that details the do’s and don’ts of achieving flow. Check out some of the basics below…

optimizing-workflow-IG

Optimizing Workflow and Productivity in the Office

We’ve all been there. It’s a busy day at work: emails flying, bosses checking in, meetings to attend, phones ringing off the hook; on top of work-related instant messages, personal instant messages, personal text messages, tweets, Facebook updates, etc., etc.

The average worker experiences an interruption every 3 minutes. It typically takes 23 minutes to return the original task.That means you’re progressively falling more and more behind. Every day.

Time working/Time spent recovering from working/Total time:

  • 3 mins/23 mins/26 mins
  • 6 mins/46 mins/52 mins
  • 9 mins/1 hour 9 mins/1 hour 18 mins
  • 12 mins/1 hour 32 mins/1 hour 44 mins
  • 15 mins/1 hour 55 mins/2 hours 10 mins

Sound familiar? At this rate you’ll have spent less than 30 minutes on the project you’re trying to focus on by lunch. In fact, recent research suggests the average worker only works 3 days a week – or about 1.5 hours a day.

74% of businesses report taking at least one measure to minimize office distractions and optimize workflow. Let’s examine some effective strategies.

Cancel All Your Meetings

Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.” — Dr. John Kenneth GilbraithMany tend to agree.Percent who believe meetings are a time-waste:

  • 40% Employees
  • 30% Managers
  • 25-50% Executives
  • 70% of employees say meetings don’t help them complete work.
  • 67% of employees say they spend up to 4 hours per week preparing for status update meetings.
  • 45% of senior executives say their employees would be more productive without meetings.
  • But only 16% of companies report reducing workplace meetings. We’ve become excellent at pretending to get stuff done, and increasingly awful at actually doing so.

Get Rid of the “Multi-Task” Ethic

The science is out: there is no such thing as multi-tasking. The more apt term is task-switching, and it’s shockingly ineffective – to the tune of a 40% decline in productivity. Workers attempting to juggle set tasks with emails or phone calls literally become dumber, suffering a 10-point IQ drop. That’s the equivalent of missing an entire night’s sleep, and twice the effect of smoking marijuana. In fact, with the rate of errors you’ll make interrupting workflow, multi-tasking quickly becomes not just unproductive, but counterproductive.

Interruption Duration / Error Rate of Task:

  • 3 seconds / double
  • 4.5 seconds / triple

The good news is that, with a healthy dose of self-discipline and good habits, we can retrain ourselves to focus on the task at hand. Some Easy Methods:

  1. Turn off – or at least silence – your cell phone. Just do it.
  2. 2) Avoid chatty, back-and-forth internal emails. Use a work phone or visit in-person.
  3. 3) Make a simple, accomplishable to-do list. 3 items a day.
  4. 4) Prioritize on-the-go. If the task is non-emergency and not on your to-do list, make a note and return to it later.
  5. 5) Learn to say no – or at least not right now. If it can wait, make it wait.==Let Workers Determine their

Workspace

Never overlook the importance of the physical work environment. Whether your office is open space, cubicled, or a hybrid, what ultimately matters most is worker empowerment.

Worker-Empowered Offices Promote Personalized:

  • Work spaces
  • Office decor
  • Common areasScience Shows Worker-Empowered Offices Enhance:
  • Business Morale
  • Productivity
  • Well-Being

Once you’ve been given the keys to the office, consider these additional tips.

Productivity Increasers

  • Rounded furniture
  • Green, blue, and red colors
  • Natural light
  • Plants
  • Outdoor views
  • Healthy snacks
  • Personal photos or pictures
  • Ergonomic desk chair/standing desk

Finally: Take a Break!

Scheduled, disciplined breaks are different – and much more productive – than unscheduled interruptions and distractions. A 30-second mini-break can increase productivity 13%. A 15-second break from staring at your computer reduces fatigue by 50%. And if you can get away with it, a 40-minute nap increases alertness by 34%.

Breaks Help Us To:

  • Reduce boredom
  • Retain information
  • Re-evaluate goals
  • Improve self-control
  • Generate new ideas
  • Re-energize

Your workflow is ultimately just that – yours. Find what suits you, and stick with it until you discover something even better. For now, get back to work!

My cubical and the raise of the coworking

3 min read

Last Friday, I gave  presentation on the HR Innovation Forum in Sofia, Bulgaria on “The Future of the Office“. It was an amazing conference – a day full of great talks and discussions with the HR professionals and executives from the region on different topics related to workspace, people and talent management.

Office as a Service

As coworking advocate, when talking about the Future of the Office, it was inevitable that my talk will be mostly about coworking spaces.

I truly believe that the coworking spaces will set the trends in the whole office industry. There is very good reason for it. If I use analogy and refer to the software industry – I would classify the coworking spaces as follow – “Office as a Service“. Which means the office space is the base product of the coworking spaces. Of course there is a ton of other great stuff on top of the office and the desk. The point is, when your base product is the office space, it has to be really good in all possible ways. That said, the coworking operators and managers innovate a lot and they are making amazing things in the office in order to make their tenants happier, healthier and more productive. They will always try to create the best product (office) they possibly can. If they don’t, they will just lose their customers. Which means the coworking spaces should always be step ahead in the office innovation and awesomeness.

If you’re managing corporate office, you should keep an eye on the Coworking boom. You’d better follow the trends in the office design, productivity, collaboration and community innovations that are the happening in the coworking world. They will be the fuel of innovation in the whole office industry.

From My Cubicle to Our Coworking

Right after my talk, it was Dr. Leslie Szamosi talking about the “The way Generation Y works“. It was amazing talk with really interesting data and findings. But when he played the song My Cubicle, referring to the change of our mindset and our workplaces, it just blew my mind. This song is just awesome and shows us the long way we took from My Cubicle of 1985 to The Raise of Coworking in 2015.

Just enjoy the song…

Greetings to all coworkers and coworking managers

My job is stupid my day’s a bore,
Inside this office from eight to four
Nothin’ ever happens my life is pretty bland,
Pretending that I’m working, pray I don’t get canned.

My Cubicle, My cubicle
It’s One of Sixty two
It’s my small space in a crowded place
Just a six-by-six foot booth
And I hate it that’s the truth

Well, I give a sigh as the boss walks by,
no one ever talks to me or looks me in the eye.
And I really should work but instead I just sit here and surf the Internet.

In My Cubicle, My cubicle
It doesn’t have a view.
It’s my small space in a crowded place
I sit in solitude.
And sometimes I sit here nude.

It’s amazing, isn’t it?

Happy Monday and let’s enjoy the next 12 working hours out of the cubicle with the nice view from Rainmaking Loft, London.

Rainmaking Loft, London

Some food for thought – What is currently the most annoying ‘feature’ of your office?