Coworking spaces are adapting to the new realities caused by the coronavirus disease. They are implementing various innovative technologies into their routine. The technologies include Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things.
The remote job becomes the new normal and coworking spaces are the perfect alternative to working from home due to the challenges that arise with the latter. The demand for coworking spaces is growing rapidly in relation to the norms of social distancing and self-isolation restrictions.
Nowadays the trend that is gaining momentum is the shift towards more segregated workplaces instead of the big office space. The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in the digitalization of working spaces. To avoid the spread of the disease the coworking spaces are applying the contactless technologies. The clients of the spaces greatly support this initiative.
The contactless technologies in the workspaces became the necessity, rather than an option like it was before. This kind of technology includes meeting rooms with IoT with the ability to control the light, power and TV without the physical touch.
The mobile applications with contactless technologies provide the following opportunities:
- to order the food from a conference room;
- the ability to share feedback in real time;
- requesting for support;
- e-concierge services.
IoT and coworking spaces
- Smart biometrics
The access control is often managed by RFID, Beacon, or Barcode technologies. The mobile app and Bluetooth beacons are used for the automatization of the exit and entry. These technologies can replace ID cards.
- Utilization and consumption of energy
IoT helps to reduce the costs spent on energy consumption. The motion sensors that are used in the shared offices help to regulate the amount of light in the area. Also, IoT can regulate the opening of the curtains and notify when the bulbs go out.
Heating and air-conditioning systems can be used for maintenance of the constant temperature in the working space and turn off the systems when the workspaces are not in use.
- Smart Security Cameras
Smart cameras may be installed in the coworking spaces with the motion detectors that react to movement. The recording from the camera later can be shared via the mobile phone.
- Payment System
Coworking spaces are usually offering various services: food and beverage, seat usage, the usage of the meeting room, printing and many others. The coworking space may offer a special smart card and a web-based platform to help visitors make payments.
Safe return to the workplace
The strategy that is developed by the coworking spaces to implement the safety measures and provide the return to the workplaces includes various measures as:
- sanitization of the offices;
- temperature screening at the entrance;
- markings for social distancing;
- different timings for the workers to avoid the crowds;
- maintenance of the quality of the air inside the coworking spaces;
- the sanitization of vehicles on arrival.
Social isolation vs Coworking spaces
Due to the social distancing restrictions freelancing and telecommuting became more common practices. However, despite the advantages of convenience and work-life balance, the tendency for remote jobs led to an increase in loneliness. The business owners are considering the coworking spaces as the perfect solution to this problem.
The social connections that are built in the coworking spaces play an important role in the well-being and good mental state of the workers. The major benefit of the coworking spaces is the social ties and the feeling of belonging to the community. This helps to fight against isolation and loneliness.
According to the studies, coworking spaces not only help to reduce the loneliness but also make people happier. 93% of respondents of the research made in the year 2015 by Small Biz Labs answered that they became less lonely and 78% of people told that working in such spaces helps them to stay sane. 89% of respondents, accordingly, noticed the increase in the level of happiness.
In addition, the professional connections are also reinforced by the membership in the coworking space.
The atmosphere in the coworking greatly differs from working in the cafe, so it helps to increase the workers’ productivity.
The growth in the coworking industry
Over the last five years, the coworking industry faced remarkable growth. The number of members of coworking spaces rose from 1.7 million in 2017 to 3.8 million in 2020.
The goal of creating coworking spaces is to offer people the ability to work alone but at the same time in the community among the other workers to cope with the loneliness and increase productivity.
People are social creatures, so the opportunity to work alone, but surrounded by other people reduces the isolation at work, stress, and anxiety level.