There are many many changes coming to the flex workspace world.
Whilst many changes that are heavily discussed are the ones that affect how spaces are designed, cleaned, operated and set up post-lockdowns.
The two biggest changes, in my opinion, that have yet to be addressed as thoroughly are the shifts in how and who will be booking flexible workspace over the next 18 – 36 months.
This blog post looks into those.
1. Who will be seeking flexible workspace will be changing.
Millions of humans (many of whom have never needed or even wanted to consider booking flex workspace before) may be joining the over 2 million people already leveraging all the benefits of flex workspace communities each year.
With corporations of all sizes adopting, implementing or recommending more remote-working policies in response to C19 and it’s near-future potential risks, we’re seeing many corporate workers looking into flexible workspace for the first time for themselves and their teams.
These searches are either on their own initiative (understandably looking for options to better separate work from home after months of lockdowns) or with the backing and/or guidance of corporate directives.
These ‘new-to-flex’ customers bring with them a whole new set of wants and needs for the solutions they’d be open to consider. Popular examples are how folks are looking for proactive health certifications for workspaces, the availability of nearby or on-site child-care services and the availability of opportunities to up-skill through educational programming.
As these new workspace users merge with the changing health/safety requirements of the millions of existing community member who are exploring their options to return to flex workspace, the ways in which workspaces are found and compared will change too.
And that brings us to point two.
2. How workspaces are found, compared & booked will change.
With lockdowns being lifted across towns, areas, cities or even countries at the same time; it is arguable both the first, and the only time that so much flex workspace inventory will be made available at approximately the same time.
This makes finding, comparing and contacting workspace solution providers a time-consuming and inefficient process.
We can expect to see even more utilization of flex space brokers, aggregators, workspace pass apps and corporate ‘preferred vendor lists’ to minimize the time needed for individuals and team-leads to find, assess and book flex workspaces.
Ofcourse brand websites, content marketing, good SEO and word-of-mouth will still be huge contributors to the secondary and cost-effective member/tenant acquisitions strategies in the long-term.
It’s just undeniable that there is about to be a huge one-time opportunity to make offerings easily discoverable to a whole new market of workspace decision-makers. And so, leveraging listings and partnerships with as many places, apps, brokerages and the likes would be a good strategy ahead of and during lockdowns being lifted.
There just isn't enough time in the day. Right?
Your team is probably operating a little leaner. They’re also overwhelmed with ensuring the comfort, safety and community-building parts of your business.
Therefor managing your workspace information, pricing and availability on global, regional, alliance, and other discovery platforms or brokerages may seem unfeasible.
Especially without being able to guess which platforms will best implement the searching, filtering and comparison tools that will lead to the highest returns or lead generation.
As a workspace operator you’ve got a few options here.
- Leverage technology that syncs changes made centrally to multiple platforms automatically.
- Choose which platforms return the highest ROI and invest in keeping those updated.
- Outsource assistance to help you maintain listings and data in multiple platforms.
Whilst there are obviously pros and cons to each, this is something you should be thinking about and a topic I’ll be bringing up more and more in the roundtables, unconferences and talks I’m involved with over the coming months,