Covid-19 has forced many businesses to start looking at having their personnel and contractors work remotely to reduce the spread of the virus and to keep their teams safe. Now that vaccines are being administered and people are returning to work and offices, it means that things can start returning to “normal”. For coworking spaces, this means that they can expect more users.
However, the pandemic has also led to many people making use of coworking spaces within their community due to multiple factors like movement restrictions. These restrictions allowed them to start making use of their local coworking spaces and this allowed them to be mobile and agile. Since people could cycle or walk to these spaces, it also allowed them to be mobile in a sense that no one was keeping tabs on the times they were working, but focused on the results.
Not only was accessibility important to users, but so was the need for other amenities to be close by. They discovered that a coworking space can offer so much more than just an office. It allows you to find connections and the ability to work with and support those within your local community.
But, what exactly does mobility within a coworking space mean? How can you ensure that your space is mobile and agile and caters to all the needs of your users?
What does mobility mean to a coworking space
Mobile can be defined as the act of moving freely or easily, and within a coworking space this is no different. Mobility – when looking at movement of the users – within a coworking space means that coworkers can access amenities like shopping centres, schools, housing, and even restaurants and coffee shops. This notion is summed up in the 15-minute city concept which proposes that people should be able to access everyday amenities within a 15-minute bike ride or walk.
But mobility within a coworking space does not only mean the movement of people. Mobile technology is also important when it comes to working. This means a stable and secure Internet connection and the ability to charge devices within this space. It means that a coworking space should offer an Internet connection that has the ability to handle a lot of traffic without slowing down and that is safe to use. It is also important for coworking spaces to have electrical ports near each desk to allow users to easily charge all of their devices.
Agility within workspaces
Agility within a coworking space can be seen as the rate at which the coworking space improves and responds to its coworkers’ needs. Thus, keeping up with the times is of great importance when running a coworking space. Design within a coworking space is equally important and by keeping your coworkers and their needs in mind and by talking to them about their needs, you can create a space that would benefit and attract them.
Let’s say that your coworking space is targeted to users within the 25-45 age group. This means that you will have to ensure that your designs keep up with the current trends of these age groups. And that you also offer them elements of interest, such as a coffee bar or easy access to coffee shops—purely based on the age group’s love of coffee.
Why are these two factors important
Having mobility and agility within a coworking space does not only bring you more clientele, it brings you community members that love making use of your space. When you are in an area and you cater for the locals, you create a sense of community. It also ensures that the users feel like they are at home and are usually more comfortable when making use of your space.
When keeping up with new trends and ensuring that you are mobile, will ensure more happy users and great word of mouth exposure to you. But implementing these elements are not always as straightforward as it seems. Some serious research is needed when ensuring these factors within your coworking space.
How to implement mobility and agility:
To implement these factors, you first need to discover the community that makes use of your coworking space, then it is important to analyse them, and then plan on how you will approach them.
Your coworking space should be situated within an area that allows easy access to your coworkers, whether it is in a city centre or just outside of a small town. Whatever the case, it is important for you to discover the community who makes use of your coworking space. This does not mean which town they come from, but rather what their interests are, what they expect in a coworking space, within which age group they fall, and their professions. To discover your community, you can set up surveys that have demographic questions.
After you have collected the demographic information of your clientele, it is important to do research – either online or within the community. Analyse elements like their working patterns, the companies that they work at, their financial situation, and what their profession entails. To ensure mobility and agility it is of the utmost importance that you know your community inside and out.
Once you have gathered all of the information about the community that makes use of your coworking space, you should set up a plan to ensure the best mobility for them. This means that if your community prefers to work from 9am to 11pm, your operating hours should adjust accordingly. Set out a plan on how you will manage and execute the best mobility for your coworking community.
People who make use of coworking spaces don’t want to travel far or rent an expensive space. They want to be comfortable when using the space and they want to make it as personal as possible. That is why a coworking space should ensure the best possible mobility when it comes to location, design, and cost. When a user is comfortable with their working space, they will keep returning to the space, but it will also allow them the freedom of choice and ensure that they are productive.