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Cost-effective technologies in planning co-working spaces

July 2019
A traditional office takes anywhere between eight and 12 months to be operational. However, co-working providers are committed to build a workspace in an average of three months.

Co-working offices are highly time-sensitive projects owing to high rentals costs and occupancy demands. If one goes by conventional design and build methods, site handover and costs invariably end up escalating owing to delays and inefficiencies. As many stakeholders are involved, these projects are also prone to communication lapses and reworks.

Tornado, a vertically integrated technology-driven B2B general contractor start-up, attempts to solve these problems with a three-pronged strategy, as Satya Vyas, Co-Founder and CEO, explains: “First, deployment of proprietary operational tech, which helps customers track all packages of a particular project—very similar to tracking an order on an e-commerce website. This gives end-to-end visibility to all stakeholders involved. Second, project communication tool—a native chat application that brings all stakeholders on a common page for collaboration, so multiple instructions and changes in drawings, etc, are captured in a single repository. And third, use of BIM. In large co-working spaces, we have done test implementations and BIM has helped us save fit-out costs, time and reworks for customers. We build coordinated and intelligent 3D virtual models on BIM to help design, construct and manage buildings in an easier way, which is time-efficient too. It gives you a realistic idea of the space in the planning and development phase, which is instrumental in making optimal use of what’s available.”

Tools such as AI, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and social networking can improve and optimise space utilisation and networking. With CoWrks already integrating AI and predictive data, Sidharth Menda, Founder & Vice Chairman, CoWrks, says, “We have built ecosystems such as CoWrks Connect, an app designed to transition physical connections that members make into the digital realm.”Machine learning algorithms make it easier to accurately predict specific events that members might be interested in, and thereby target advertising within their large member base accordingly.“We are in the process of developing artificially intelligent chatbots to assist members with simple tasks such as planning meet-ups with other members,” he adds. “An AI-powered personal assistant gives an employee more time to focus on more productive work. If employees need to report an issue or ask a question, they can simply post their query to a chatbot, who will forward queries to a real human office manager (a community manager), only if a machine response does not suffice.”

For IWG, its network is designed to help customers control costs while improving productivity. “Our co-working centres use enterprise standard and ‘always-on’ IT infrastructure and security protocols,” adds Harsh Lambah, Country Manager-India, IWG Plc. “With 24×7 customer service and a dedicated account manager supporting every contract, our customers can focus on what really matters to their business.” 

SERAPHINA D’SOUZA