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Technology Accommodates the Shared Environment of Coworking Spaces

Susan Post Susan Post Technology Accommodates the Shared Environment of Coworking SpacesPhotos by Susan Post
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Coworking spaces tout many benefits for businesses of all shapes and sizes. They’re flexible – workers can settle into a comfy, open area or buckle down in a private office. Lease terms are less daunting than the long-term commitment of a traditional space. And especially for startups and small businesses, coworking spaces can provide access to a professional environment that might otherwise be unattainable. Added bonus? The coworking space operators set up and managed the critical technological components that keep nearly every business running.

Coworking spaces provide a plug-and-play environment for businesses and entrepreneurs. No agonizing over which internet provider or speed to choose, or crunching numbers to find the best deal. High-speed internet is typically included as an amenity in a coworking membership. That also means if issues arise, the operator deals with customer support to get things back up and running.

Businesses may have valid concerns about the privacy of their data working out of shared space with many different types of businesses. Coworking operators like Serendipity Labs go above and beyond to offer enterprise-level internet security for their members.

“You essentially are on your own enclosed network when you are here and we can secure it down to your individual Mac address for your computer, or phone, and so on,” says Trevor Warner, managing partner at Serendipity Labs Columbus.

This is not public coffee shop wifi. Using public wifi is normally an at-your-own-risk affair. Warner says in such an unsecure environment those with some technical savvy can easily access what others are doing on their laptops.

In comparison, the wifi and wired networks at Serendipity Labs meet the security standards for professionals like attorneys, financial planners and accounting firms.

Leveraging technology in other ways keeps coworking spaces safe and convenient.

Everybody that works in an office has experienced the inevitable go to use a conference room and find it occupied annoyance.

Many coworking spaces avoid these conference room turf wars through online booking systems. For example, Serendipity Labs has a member app that helps individuals seamlessly view availability and reserve meeting, conference and quiet rooms. Tablets outside of each room keep the schedule firm. Members can also use the app to check availability across Serendipity’s network of national labs.

Access control systems add a level of assurance to the shared environment of a coworking space. For instance, a member might utilize an access control system keycard to work after hours, swiping a badge to enter their building, floor and coworking space. Coworkers can know that their space is always secure, even when they are not there.

Serendipity Labs applies access control to other systems, like printers. Another included amenity, if a member wishes to send a document to a shared printer, it won’t print until they scan their card at the printer, releasing the document. Warner says it’s these type of nuanced details that create a level of professionalism at their labs.

Technology in coworking doesn’t always have a big ‘sizzle’ factor, but it’s about accommodating members. Coworking spaces enable members to do what they need to run their businesses – whether that’s hook up an Alexa in their office, or easily connect their computer to give a presentation in the conference room.

Serendipity Labs is ready for any technology a member can throw at it when it comes to connecting to its screens and monitors for presentations and events. Warner says they can connect with a new Mac or a five-year-old Mac, a brand new Windows PC or a laptop that hasn’t been dusted off for a decade.

“Technology is about seamless use,” Warner says.

This mutli-part sponsored series on co-working in Columbus is presented with paid support by Serendipity Labs.

Serendipity Labs is introducing a network of inviting, inspirational members-only workplaces to Columbus, Ohio. We have combined state-of-the-art workplace design, technology, and security with the highest service level standards to deliver a consistent and peerless workplace experience.

Our mission is to deliver an upscale, hospitality-based workplace experience that can serve as an extension for businesses and a home base for established, independent professionals.

Learn more about coworking in Columbus, including Serendipity’s Downtown & Short North Locations in The Metropreneur’s Coworking & Creative Workspaces Guide.

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