9 Best Apps for Coworking Spaces
Coworking space business is developing at the flashing speed. We observe one of the market laws in action — demand generates supply.
New generation people are searching for life-work balance. They want the utmost flexibility of working hours, extended vacation, floating days-off, the possibility to work from different places, and many other conveniences only freelance job can give.
Coworking spaces with their powerful computers, all necessary office supplies, comfortable meeting rooms, and friendly community are great alternatives to traditional offices.
However, the best coworking spaces offer not only a beautiful design, but they also provide futuristic user experience implementing cutting-edge coworking software. This software is loved by both members and managers. And this blog post is aimed at helping you choose the one that is perfect for your enterprise.
All-in-one Software VS Integrations?
Current coworking software falls under two big categories. Some developers want to include as much functional as they can into their products. The other create integrations with the most popular apps you have got used to.
At first, you are tempted to grab the first do-it-all software and breathe out. But I advise you not to make haste. The best solution is not necessarily the most obvious one.
If you need to fix one of the PCs at your coworking space, do you hire a specialized professional or a handyman who says they can also fix electricity, paint the walls, check your sewerage?
No! Because you don't want to pay for additional services you don't need at the moment. Besides, a handyman doesn't look trustworthy enough to approach your last-generation hardware.
Am I right? Does the idea to purchase do-it-all coworking software still seem brilliant to you? After reading this article, where all things are considered, it will be much easier to choose the category of software that fits your hub better.
How to Choose Perfect Software for Your Coworking Space?
We have already discussed two categories of coworking software (integrations & all-inclusive). But these are not all the competitors in the market.
Some entrepreneurs opt for custom solutions for their coworkings. It seems like a winning bargain as nothing can make you happier than software tailored to your needs. Though, when the developer starts to negotiate the cost of their work and further maintenance your hair starts to stand on end.
And don't forget about compatibility issues. Imagine that you want to integrate the access control system into your coworking software. It's hardly possible to do it straight away if you have a custom one.
A Bare Minimum of Features to Consider When Choosing a Coworking Management Software
Today's coworking software provides an overwhelming set of features, from billing to tracking members. Those features can free the manager's hands by automating most of the processes. Though, it's not easy to decide which features you will use daily and which you don't want to pay for.
Here is a list of items to take a closer look at when you are searching for the best deal. I included only vital functionalities a coworking management software should have, the rest are optional. I hope this narrowed list supplied with tips and advice will eliminate the guesswork and help you choose your coworking space management software with confidence.
Main Functions a Coworking Management System Should Offer
The first point is access control.
A good coworking space management software provides built-in or integrated access control system which lets to:
Control security access from the platform.
Cancel member's access to space when they stop paying.
Generate smartphone keys for new members according to their membership level.
Monitor the doors in the space from any part of the world through the management platform.
Provide 24/7 access to space.
A good coworking software must be flexible and user-friendly, doing more than you expect.
It offers automatic invoicing allowing you save on accounting services.
There is a neat dashboard to track payments.
You can add extra services like food catering, package handling, event hosting, etc.
You can manage all your coworking locations from a single platform.
The software is available in multiple languages, so you and members understand everything.
You can easily sign up members and cancel/edit contracts from the platform.
Members can check availability and book spaces through the platform in a click.
The software must provide expert help and detailed documentation.
- The vendor provides help with the system set up in the course of the onboarding process.
- You can chat with a bot or a person in case of an issue.
- You can easily export data in a CSV or Excel sheet?
A decent software can be customized to your unique needs in terms of white label & integrations.
- You can integrate the software with other services you like to use.
- You can customize the coworking management platform with brand colors.
- You can create customized membership plans (with cost per member/location/month).
- Community members can create their profiles on the platform.
- The platform offers white label customization.
A good coworking space management software gives you insights on lead generation and compiles valuable data for analysis.
- The software helps to identify leads.
- You can create and send out marketing and lead generating emails from the platform.
- The software provides data analysis and business analytics.
A good platform enables communication.
- You can communicate with members via email notifications, in-app messages, chat, and send mass emails/newsletters.
- You receive notifications when a member violates the contract terms.
- Coworking members can communicate and network within the software. The software should be customer-facing.
A good software works flawlessly across various platforms.
- The software has a mobile interface, so you can manage your space from your smartphone.
- Coworking members can efficiently use the software from their mobile gadgets.
Now, when you know all these tips you are ready to pick out a coworking space management software for your business. Please find the top nine apps down below.
The Best Apps for Coworking Spaces
Most of the apps featured below have a free tier for basic features. Community managers around the world are using these tools to make the coworking space profitable, efficient, member-friendly, and simply awesome. Would you like to join them?
Organize your assets
Do you know how much paper is left in storage? Is there enough coffee beans for this week? Airtable is an excellent tool to organize all your assets in one place. The developers call it "spreadsheet meets database" for a reason — it's great to keep your physical space organized. You can even publish it to the web to make lists available for your members to see.
Easy to use coworking space app
There are many coworking space apps out there, but the only one that members really love — andcards. It's super easy to use, offers native mobile apps, and a ton of integrations to simplify management routines. andcards supports white label membership portal and mobile apps and IoT integrations with smart printers, office sensors, access control, and room displays. Turn on andcards meeting room display supported by Android or iOS tablet and attach it to the meeting room door. The feature will display a real-time room booking schedule. Members love the ability to know which meeting room is available with a simple glance.
Super simple event scheduling
Doodle makes it incredibly easy to find the best hour for your upcoming events. You start by adding suggested times and get a simple link to share with your community. Your members will choose which days work for them. Try it on your next event and see the participation rate increase! Use Doodle to ask your community:
- When is the best time for a barbecue party?
- When are you available to attend a monthly networking event?
Noise-canceling app for member-friendly common spaces
Just like in every shared office, the private offices and meeting rooms may be busy from time to time. Members could find themselves surrounded by loud coworkers in common areas, often complaining of noise. To make your members still stay productive in such situations, recommend them Krisp noise-canceling app. It will help your members conduct remote conferences on the spot without worrying about any surrounding noise in the shared office. It removes background noise during the call both on your coworking end and other speaking party's end, giving members more ways to use your coworking space around.
Free support chat tool
Coworking space members are like babies — they need constant help from community managers. There should be someone always at the front desk, ready to fix the printer and restart wi-fi. What if a community manager is away? Smallchat integrates with your coworking space website and enables visitors to chat with managers simply. Conversations are routed right into your selected Slack channel. Members love the ability to communicate real-time, without having to wait around for answers.
Online payment solution
Create invoices online, auto-send to members, or charge member credit card directly. All without the need for a physical POS terminal! What makes Stripe great is the ability to create subscriptions to charge members regularly. Stripe is also the best for integrating payments into your coworking space management app. All popular coworking apps like andcards support Stripe payments.
Make surveys to understand your members
Make regular surveys to find out what your members think and what could be improved. Typeform is the easiest to use survey tool. Its full-screen distraction-free interface allows members to focus on the question. Questions to ask community members:
- What is exceptionally good about the coworking space?
- What could be improved?
- Where is your favorite corner of the space?
- What kind of events would you like to attend?
- Rate internet quality from 1 to 10.
Make simple apps to automate small tasks
Coworking software is useful to automate complex routines, such as meeting room bookings, or IoT space monitoring. What about small exotic tasks, such as labeling incoming mail, or checking-in visitors? Retool can help you make a little app for anything. It allows to create custom internal tools using simple building blocks, so you don't have to figure out coding. What community managers use Retool for:
- Track and label incoming parcels.
- Food and expendables tracking.
- Coworking space cleaning reporting.
Easily move data between all apps
"One size fits all" principle doesn't work anymore. No software can do everything. Using apps like Mailchimp for email campaigns, andcards for community directory or any other app from above would require you to synchronize contact lists, automate actions. Zapier makes this super simple by automatically moving all needed data. you set the rules, Zapier does the hard work. Things Zapier can do for community managers:
- Create a Trello card for email requests sent to support inbox.
- Get Slack notifications for new Stripe sales.
- Add Stripe customers to Mailchimp list.
- Get Slack notifications for new Instagram posts with your coworking space hashtag.
Over to You
That's it for now. Are you ready to make your pick? Were our tips on choosing a coworking space management system helpful? Do the points in your major software features checklist coincide with mine? Did I miss anything? Your additions are welcome in the comments.
Maybe you are already using some of the above apps. It would be great to hear your feedback on how they improve/optimize your management process.