Where coworking software started & where it’s heading

Where coworking software started & where it’s heading

Since its inception over a decade ago, coworking software has adapted to meet the changing needs of coworking operators and their members. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key moments in its evolution.

Brad Neuberg is credited with founding the coworking movement (as we know it today) in 2005, when he decided to open a collaborative workspace. 

...I decided to create a new kind of space to support the community and structure that I hungered for and gave it a new name: coworking.’ – Brad Neuberg 

Fast-forward to the early 2010s, and the coworking scene was gaining traction. What started out as a very niche part of the real estate sector was becoming increasingly popular with startups – and established businesses were taking notice too. It was around this time that software developers identified a gap in the market.

How coworking software started

Coworking operators found themselves in need of software designed specifically for them; an all-in-one tool that would manage memberships, bookings, billing, events – and all the other aspects associated with running a shared workspace. Until this point, they’d had to ‘make do’ with spreadsheets to keep track of everything. 

While coworking was still a niche at this point (and the spaces themselves tended to be smaller than they are today), some operators were starting to expand. These spaces required a software solution that would facilitate seamless workspace management across multiple locations. 

Fortunately, coworking software came along just in time to save the growing sector from disorganisation and spreadsheet nightmares! 

Nexudus was one of the early pioneers of coworking software. In 2012, Nexudus’ founders, Adrian and Carlos began developing what was then known as ‘Nexudus Spaces’. Prior to this, a mutual friend had opened a shared workspace in the south of Spain, and the pair immediately fell in love with the concept of coworking. 

Coworking space software platforms like Nexudus evolved alongside the coworking movement itself, acquiring new and improved functionalities over time. The billing and booking functionalities were introduced early on in the software’s journey, while the data analytics and reporting side of things emerged much later on. 

Integrations have played an important role in coworking software from the beginning. If Nexudus doesn’t have a specific coworking space management functionality, it will seamlessly integrate with another provider that does. That’s why we integrate with accounting software (like Xero and Quickbooks), numerous building access control systems, and a range of other useful and relevant digital platforms. 

Our software has two main aspects. The first centres on the operational side, allowing the people who run coworking spaces to do so smoothly – whether it's organising people or workflows. Then there’s the Member’s Portal, where members can pay their invoices, book resources and interact with the community.

A coworking software functionality timeline

Coworking software has undergone a lot of change and development since its inception in the early 2010s. There are a handful of companies who offer coworking software that caters to the needs of the shared work environment. Let’s take a quick look at some key coworking software milestones we’ve witnessed: 

  • Early 2010s – a simple workspace management tool

Initially, coworking software systems provided basic workspace management functionalities, including desk and meeting room booking, and event management. 

This meant coworking managers could spend less time on the administrative side of memberships and more time coming up with ideas to attract new members. Coworking was still a new-ish concept at this point, so coworking spaces had to work hard to educate the public and organisations about its features and benefits. 

  • Mid 2010s – the integrations era 

As coworking spaces proved themselves viable and became more established, novel coworking software functionalities emerged. New and exciting integrations enabled coworking spaces to link with their chosen payment processors and financial systems, making payments more transparent for both members and operators. 

  • Late 2010s – a focus on the member experience 

With the operational groundwork in place, coworking spaces could focus more intently on the member experience. Attracting new members is one thing, but retaining them requires long-term planning and the technology to support it.

Coworking software providers recognised this, and so developed functionalities to support coworking operators in their quest for happy customers. Mobile apps for members and new communication functionalities in member portals helped coworking spaces meet the needs of users in an increasingly hybridised workplace. 

When it came to coworking software, customisation was key. 

The best coworking software systems recognised the need for personalisation and enabled operators to support different membership models, including options for hot desking, private offices and virtual offices. Of course, customisation is still just as important now as it was a few years ago – as is flexibility. 

  • Early 2020s – Internet of Things 

Internet of Things (IoT) tech has numerous uses, from reducing waste to maximising the efficient use of energy. By the 2020s, a growing number of coworking spaces were already using IoT to track the utilisation of resources, using data-informed insights to reconfigure their layouts in order to generate more revenue. 

Coworking software solutions could now begin leveraging data to provide coworking operators with insights into a range of variables. Nexudus’ data-powered Trends & Insights functionality, for instance, allows operators to project booking demand and track how each resource or workspace is performing. 

These data-driven developments paved the way for a new era of workspace optimisation and dynamic decision-making.

Where coworking software is heading

In the short-term (at least), coworking software will continue to sharpen its focus on creating a seamless and user-friendly experience; an intuitive and tailored workplace journey for each individual who accesses a smart coworking space. 

Coworking spaces will also continue to integrate with smart building technology with the aim of saving money and reducing their carbon footprint. Operators who use Nexudus Sensors can (or will soon be able to) adjust aspects such as heating, lighting and air quality in their space, in response to their real-time occupancy data. 

Here’s how it works:

While the future looks exciting for coworking software (check out what’s in store for Nexudus users this year), there will always be challenges to keep in mind. Not least of all, coworking software suppliers must ensure that privacy and cybersecurity safeguards are robust in our hyper-personalised age. It’s also important to ensure equitable access to these new and emerging technologies. This is where education and training initiatives – like Nexudus Academy – play such a crucial role.

At Nexudus, we’re passionate about creating fully customisable, easy-to-integrate software that manages your entire space - from reception to rooftop. For over 11 years, our award-winning tech has helped workspace owners and operators be more efficient, provide members with an unforgettable experience and gather advanced analytics for better decision-making. Discover how we can help you today.

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