Measuring and evaluating progress and performance is a universal component to having a successful company. Coworking and shared office spaces, just like any other business, need to measure and evaluate progress.
For starters, businesses in general must determine which key performance indicators (KPI’s) are right for measuring performance specific to the organization. As outlined by the Coworking Europe Conference (2016), coworking spaces can be evaluated based on three fields of measurement: operational performance, business performance, and community performance.
1. Operational Performance
The operations of a shared office space boil down to the use of infrastructure itself. In a coworking space, people have the flexibility to work where (within the office), when (coworking spaces are open 24-7), and how (we all work differently) they please. Not to mention coworking spaces are home to a wide variety of professions and trades. Operational performance indicators could then include:
- Utilization patterns over the course of the day for different types of members
- Utilization patterns over the course of a workweek
- Mapping of the bandwidth consumption for internet, WI-FI, and phone use
- Understanding these same factors when an event or workshop is taking place in the office
These operational aspects allow a coworking space to run as smoothly as possible from a technical and practicality standpoint, and can lead to improving the setup and functionality of the space continuously based on it’s unique members.
2. Business Performance
From an economics standpoint, factors measuring the success of a coworking space are fairly simple:
- Revenue per square meter
- Revenue per member
- Revenue per work station
- Sales conversion ratios
- Cost per lead
Of course, these points could be measured on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, or even daily basis depending on the size and member volume of a coworking space. It is also vital for management of a coworking space to review cost numbers with a solid understanding of the coworking industry and trends—predictions, forecasts, competition’s standings, etc., in order to best measure performance. These statistics also help in creating goals and actionable targets for the future of the space.
3. Community Performance
The community aspect of a coworking space is arguably the best part of working in a flexible office space. Each coworking space has a unique collection of individuals from varying backgrounds, professions, and work styles: from CFO’s to graphic design freelancers. It only makes sense then that the internal dynamic of a coworking community be monitored and paid due diligence. Coworking Europe pointed out a few of the key factors to pay attention to as a community manager of a coworking space in Long Island:
- Surveys to deem member satisfaction
- Synergies and collaborative projects between members
- Connections and friendships
- Success stories
- Event attendance
- Quality of event feedbacks
- Event attendance patterns
It is important to note that perfect metrics, for any business, simply do not exist – and because metrics are so individual to the nature of a particular organization, there is always room for new metrics as well as plans to be developed from unique insight by paying attention to these performance indicators. It is this phenomenon which has allowed coworking spaces to grow and evolve at the current impressive rate that they have.