The future of Access systems

by Jeremy Fain, Chief Revenue Officer at Welcomr

Posted by Pauline Roussel on Thursday, July 2, 2020
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In our most recent articles, we took the time to iterate on Sombat Ngamchalermsak’s talk during Hack Coworking Online, all about Workplace Adaptation from 2020 and beyond, looking at the impact of COVID-19 on office design and office layout.

Another angle we wanted to tackle during the event was technology in the workplace and the new trends that will rise out of COVID-19. And who better to present those than Welcomr, our challenge partner? Being one of the leading Access System companies, Welcomr has the knowledge and the data to see what’s coming. We invited Jeremy Fain, Chief Revenue Officer to share his insights on the topic.

Below the key 10 commandments of future proofs access-systems in coworking spaces.

Several Access modes to your members you will provide

Understanding how members can access your coworking space is essential. By providing them just with a simple key, you can’t really know who’s in the space when. So what are the other options? A badge, an app, digicodes, there are plenty. Through their experience, Welcomr recommends their clients to provide at least 2 different access systems to their members not relying just on smartphones.

The future of access system is mobile

Although it’s better not to rely purely on just mobile access systems, the future of access systems will revolve around it. And if there is one thing Welcomr is famous for, it is definitely the flawless experience they provide when it comes to mobile accessibility. How so? Through a controller connected to the door and the Welcomr mobile app, users can simply swipe up to open the door of their coworking spaces. Through COVID-19, mobile has also become a safer option. As Jeremy puts it “it’s better to touch what you own, aka your phone, to open a door than touching a door handle or a digi-code that has been touched many times.”

Access Systems need to enlarge their scope from permanent users to visitors

When designing the access system strategy of your space, thinking only about permanent users is a mistake. Especially for coworking spaces. Looking at a regular day in a coworking space, you will see many visitors who come either to meet someone based in the coworking space or to attend an event, as well as temporary users who come to work from the space on a flex basis. By streamlining the onboarding process and including visitors into your strategy, you also reduce the number of touchpoints across your space, making it a safer place for everyone. “Spaces need to democratise their access systems and make it flawless for everyone.”

Security in workspaces is not just about the physical space

Coworking spaces are often criticized for their lack of security. As Jeremy pointed out in his talk, security in coworking (and in workspaces in general) is not just a matter of the space itself. It also goes through everything that’s online and that goes through the network we use. Raising the security standards in your spaces is key to attract not only freelancers but also larger companies who often have strict security policies. “Think of security in a holistic way, as a whole”

Personal data and people privacy access systems absolutely need to respect

Not all access systems providers are complaints with data privacy and security. Ensuring and explaining how workspace providers use their clients’ data is essential to build a relationship of mutual trust.

It’s the unity, stupid

Unity at Welcomr means that they provide a unified experience to their users. As members of coworking spaces are more and more conscious of the number of tools they use, no one wants to download yet another app or sign up to yet another service they won’t use. As a coworking operator, it is your duty to make it as easy and unified as possible for members to access the services you provide all under one roof. How to do that? If you use a coworking software, check which integrations they use and make sure they include the ones you use. If you own your own app and prefer to integrate third party API into your own product, make sure their API is robust and low in maintenance to avoid high costs on your end. By automating such services, you also reduce the amount of work for your team, limiting the number of meeting room booking requests they receive from members, etc…

Multisite access are paramount

If you manage several sites, it is important to build a unified experience using one system everywhere. By streamlining your internal processes and making sure that the providers you choose can be used across all your locations, not only will you save time for yourself and your team but also resources and funds.

Physical distancing is the new black in access systems too

Integrating physical distancing into our lives is now essential to remain healthy and safe. Access systems can actually be of great help for coworking spaces by monitoring occupancy in the space and tracking who is in the building at any given time. Data can really help you as a coworking operator to create safer spaces.

Keep the pace going

Real estate asset managers have been looking at coworking as a source of inspiration and innovation for their own buildings. By keeping on innovating and moving forward, coworking keeps on inspiring more traditional companies. “Coworking has the mission to showcase the future of work”

Access system, just one of the drivers

Access systems is one of the innovations coworking spaces are using to keep on being unique. To reinforce their existence and overall experience, spaces should also take into consideration other KPI (key performance indicators) such as interior, space management software, community building and health, security and safety. By collecting data from those different sources, coworking are able to constantly improve the experience they offer to their communities, keeping members happy.

Overall, the talk Jeremy gave has been really interesting to broaden attendees’ perspective on their overall space experience, giving them interesting food for thoughts to tinker and build upon for the future. In a post COVID-19 world, it became evident, through Jeremy’s presentation that when used the right way, access systems are a true ally in providing a safe space to come to work at.