Co-working spaces have been redefining the concept of traditional working, and they have been inculcating various forms of technology to bring in a massive amount of disruption in the space. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT) have been fuelling this disruption.
Neetish Sarda, Founder, Smartworks explains why technology is the need of the hour.
At a time when everyone is working remotely, how is your coworking space adapting to it?
As businesses adapt to a more flexible work paradigm, we foresee increased demand for coworking spaces as the occupiers are likely to continue with flexible workspace providers as compared to the traditional workspace. We believe the physical constraints and mandated social distancing norms will make coworking spaces the first choice for many organisations since work from home comes with its challenges.
The clients now want to shift to more segregated workspaces than take up one big office space at a location to ensure continuity of operations.
Our presence across 9 Metro cities with more than 4 Mn sq.ft area provides us with an opportunity to cater to enterprise demands, which are now looking at “de-densify” their offices—both to help their employees and restart business recovery or continuity plans.
As opposed to 20000 sq.ft sq ft office space, Smartworks leases approx 3,00,000 sq. ft office spaces. We are working closely with our clients to ensure that they experience a hassle-free work routine at their workspaces.
How is Smartworks adapting to the technical advances being an agile firm?
Smartworks have been investing in technology since inception and are always looking for innovative ways to drive efficiency for our client members. COVID-19 has accelerated the digitalization of workspaces. To avoid the transmission of germs at workspaces, we have enabled contactless technology that is proving to be a greater interest for our clients. Our innovative technology ecosystem provides flexible and on-demand places to support convenience, functionality, and well-being.
What kind of technology are you implementing?
This pandemic has made the contactless tech necessity for workspace providers, which was early seen to be a good option. We have been investing in technology for a long time now. Whether it is our facial recognition system at the entrance or the fully loaded mobile app, Smartworks is ensuring members have a hassle-free experience even during these difficult times. Members can book our IoT-enabled Meeting rooms through the Smartworks app and also control the amenities inside such as light, TV & power through the in-built feature- no physical touch required.
Smartworks has the following technology interventions for day to day routine without any physical touch, all inbuilt into a mobile app –
- Ordering food or beverages from a conference room
- Raising a request for support,
- Raising a request for support,
- Humanoid for a contactless Visitor Management system,
- E-Concierge services
From mobile-based touch-less building access to health self-declaration forms, facility fumigation and deep cleaning updates, and all-important announcements /notifications, Smartworks is focusing on creating a tech-enabled environment for smooth office experience.
Has there been any faltering so far?
The outbreak has impacted every industry globally and brought with itself a great deal of uncertainty and slowdown. As a market leader in the space, we continue remaining bullish on the industry and will continue our expansion once things improve.
We have seen an almost 50-60 percent jump in the number of inquiries in the last few weeks though the deal conversions will take a longer time than usual. We have been working closely with our clients and keeping them abreast of all developments at our centres through regular communication and webinars.
Do you have any particular strategy in place to battle the pandemic?
The priority for every business currently is a safe return to the workplace to continue operations. We have been working closely with our partners and global investors to learn from the best practices followed across the globe.
To ensure business continuity, we have implemented a lot of non-negotiable measures for the health and safety of all.
- Thermal temperature screening at all entry points,
- Frequent and enhanced sanitization of office spaces,
- Markups inside the facility for social distancing,
- Staggered lunch and break timings to avoid large gatherings at a time,
- Display of Awareness communication,
- Vehicle sanitization upon arrival,
- Maintaining indoor air quality and
- Ensuring availability of masks and sanitizers to provide the highest standard of hygiene and protection at the workplace