3 Trends Shaping The Future Of Coworking Technology

GWA tech panel experts provide unique insight into the future of workspace technology and how proptech can help coworking spaces thrive.

This article was originally published by Allwork.Space.

A 2021 JLL report shows that the number of property technology (proptech) startups soared 300% over the last decade.

That is hundreds, if not thousands, of companies solely dedicated to one mission: make real estate operations more seamless.

While in its infancy, proptech has the ability to become a major superpower for the coworking industry, according to Hector Kolonas, cofounder of data synching platform Syncaroo and author of the This Week In Coworking newsletter.

This week at GWA (Global Workspace Association), Kolonas sits down with four other industry experts for the “Behind the Screens: The Past, Present And Future Of Workspace Tech” panel.

With four decades of experience under their belt, these industry veterans provide unique insight into why technology is crucial in the longevity of the coworking industry.

Panelists include Sofia Stolberg, who is responsible for launching Puerto Rico’s first coworking space Piloto 151 nearly one decade ago, and currently runs mail management service PilotoMail.

Brian Sutherland’s expertise comes from years within the marketing and e-commerce industry. Taking this experience, he is currently serving as Yardi’s Vice President of Commercial Real Estate.

Miro Miroslav, cofounder and CEO of OfficeRND, founded the company in 2015 after seeing firsthand the lack of efficiency in workspace operations.

In 2017, Ginger Dhaliwal cofounded Upflex, a B2B (business-to-business) platform that aims to provide professionals and companies with easy access to sustainable flexible work solutions.

Three Trends To Look For In The Future

The past decade has included major strides in workspace technology adoption, but current and upcoming trends could accelerate advancements quicker than ever before.

Here are some trends these panelists expect will transform office technology, and why operators should be ready for the changes.

1. Modular stack vs. single providers

According to Kolonas, there is a growing divide between customers who prefer a modular stack of services from various vendors, and those who would prefer to stick with a single provider for all of their technology needs.

To stay competitive, it will be critical for proptech companies to be acutely aware of who their target audience is.

2. Flex space-specific innovation

A survey from CBRE shows that 94% of financial services organizations will adopt a hybrid model in the near future while 44% are expecting to more than double their flexible office takeup by 2024.

The official normalization of flexible offices means that tech providers must be two steps ahead in order to support coworking operators as a slew of opportunities arise.

It’s clear that the future is hybrid, and by incorporating the appropriate technology in office alternatives, operators can learn and address the needs of their occupants, making it more likely for businesses to become repeat members.

3. Data leverage

Real estate has been infamous for its slow embrace of technology, but the past few years have proven just how priceless it is for the industry.

By gathering newfound data, both flexible workspace operators and technology providers can gain crucial insights into how spaces are used and identify the best methods of supporting operations and occupants.

Utilizing data doesn’t just mean seeing how many bodies are in an office, it gives operators unique insight into exactly what can be done to improve their workspaces.

Data optimization means coworking operators can better understand their members, create a more equitable environment and address the needs of workers as they arise.

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