- Opening your coworking space 24/7 can be a powerful differentiator for your coworking space
- It is generally offered in one of four ways: with a community manager, without a community manager, partially monitored, and/or partially opened
- The most important things to consider with a 24 hour coworking space is how will you keep it secure and how will you keep it staffed
Creating an accessible coworking space is essential to your overall business.
Allowing your members to access your space 24/7 is just the cherry on-top.
When implemented correctly, allowing 24/7 access in your coworking space can be a wonderful way to create value for your members and differentiate yourself from other offerings in your area.
Before you jump in to opening your space up at all hours of the day however, there are a few key things you’ll need to consider including how members will access your space, what technology you’ll need to make it happen, and how you’ll keep your space secure.
In this guide we’ll walk you through everything you need to know in order to open and succeed in offering a 24/7 coworking space.
What is a 24/7 coworking space?
A 24/7 coworking space is a flexible workspace that is open to some or all members at any hour, day or night. This means a freelancer can access your space whether it’s 3pm or 3am.
24/7 access is generally offered in one of four ways:
- With a community manager: the space is open and monitored 24/7
- Without a community manager: the space is open 24/7 but is never monitored
- Partially monitored: the space is open 24/7 and is monitored during business hours, but is not monitored after hours
- Partially opened: parts of the space are open 24/7, such as private offices, and others are closed
While some coworking spaces are run autonomously without the need for a community manager, many 24/7 spaces opt for some combination of partially monitored and partially opened.
The benefit here is that you can grant your trusted, full-time members 24/7 access to your space and limit the access of drop-ins to regular business hours.
This is important to the overall security of your coworking space (more on this later).
Benefits of operating a coworking space 24/7
Allowing for 24/7 access to your coworking space means greater flexibility for your members. Considering how important flexibility is to those looking to join a coworking space, this is a great signal that you truly support the needs of your members.
There are many benefits to offering 24/7 coworking space access for you as an operator as well. This includes:
- Improved member retention
- Point of differentiation
- Better user experience
- Greater revenue opportunities
- Possibility of upselling membership options
Not every target demographic will benefit from having a coworking space open 24/7.
Therefore, it’s important to think about your ideal client profile and who you’re trying to reach before committing to operating a 24/7 coworking space.
Important things to consider with a 24/7 coworking space
There’s a lot to consider when opening your coworking space up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here are some big bucket items you’ll want to consider.
By far, security is the number one priority when it comes to operating a 24/7 coworking space. You need to make sure that your space is secure and your members feel safe at any hour of the day.
You can do this by:
- Having cameras across the entirety of the inside and outside of your building
- Investing in a secured access control system like Kisi or Salto
- Not allowing guests of members in after hours
- Lock up all valuables before closing
- Have one single door for access after regular working hours
Taking as many precautions as you can will help ensure that your space and members are safe and secure.
Consider whether or not you will need and/or want some kind of staffing in your space after hours. Some spaces opt for an evening community manager to ensure the space is safe. Others have security guards that patrol the building late into the night.
The level of staffing you choose will depend on the location that you’re in and the resources you have as a space. Keep in mind that if you are in a location that may require an after hour security guard and you can’t afford to hire one, then you may want to consider limiting 24/7 space access to your most trusted members until you’re able to support the staff you need.
If something were to happen in the middle of the night, who would be the one to handle it? Thinking through how to manage a potential crisis in your space will help you feel more prepared for your future.
It can also help prevent any potential problems from happening before they even start.
Key coworking technology for 24/7 access
The best way to ensure your space is secure all hours of the day is with the help of technology. The right tools and platforms will ensure secured access at an affordable cost.
At the very least, we recommend the following tools:
- Door access control system: this allows members to access your space either with a fob, keycard, pin pad, or even their mobile phone. Popular options for coworking spaces include Kisi and Salto
- Membership software: coworking software like Optix will integrate with your access control system to give you complete oversight into who is in your space and when. With a proper integration, you’ll see every time a member checks into the space via a dashboard
- Integrated security cameras: security cameras will not only give you peace of mind that you can see what’s happening in your space, they also act as a powerful deterrent when it comes to preventing theft and crime
On top of these, you may want to consider other methods of securing your space, such as by setting up a captive portal like IronWiFi to monitor WiFi usage or installing a security system to prevent potential break ins.
How to create a 24/7 coworking space
Now that you understand the benefits of creating a 24/7 coworking space, it’s time to explore how to go about creating one. Follow these steps to create a coworking space that is open any hour of the day.
Step 1: Decide on the access you’ll want to provide
Will your space be open 24/7 for all members? Will you have it be fully autonomous or would you prefer a staff member be present?
The first step is deciding what type of access you’ll want to provide to your members. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some important data points to consider:
- Who is your ideal client profile and what is it that they need?
- What is the cost of running your space 24/7?
- What is your budget?
Using this information, you can decide when you want to have 24/7 access available, what areas you want to make available, who you will allow in this space, and if any staff will be present after hours.
Step 2: Figure out your membership offerings and pricing
Balancing the cost of running your coworking space after hours and the potential revenue opportunity is integral to the financial health of your business.
If you are going to offer 24/7 space access, then you’ll want to consider how much you will charge your members. Some options are:
- 24/7 access for all members: a higher base cost for all membership plans
- 24/7 access for some members: a higher membership cost for only plans that include access to the space after hours
When pricing your membership plans, it’s a good idea to consider how much it will cost you to run your space after hours including electricity, technology, and staffing (if needed).
If the cost of running your space and the potential revenue opportunity is out of balance, then you’ll quickly find 24/7 access to be a hindrance to your overall business goals.
Step 3: Get the right tools
Once you land on the kind of 24/7 access you’re going to provide, then you’ll need to determine what resources you’ll need to provide it.
It’s possible that you have some of the resources you need set up already, like a door access control system or a management software.
Either way, it’s important to parse out exactly what you need and exactly what you have in order to make your space accessible after hours. This could be as simple as better lighting, more security cameras, or dividers to separate areas that are open and closed at various times of the day.
Step 4: Create rules and an onboarding plan
Allowing members into your space after hours presents a unique set of challenges. You need to ensure your members know how to access the space and what to do in case of an emergency, especially if the space is unmanned.
You’ll also have to ensure there are no security concerns. Here are a few suggestions for how to mitigate these difficulties.
- Create clear rules and processes around 24/7 access such as what to do if the security alarm goes off, what door to go in and out of, and what areas of the space can and can’t be used. Have these printed and stored physically in the space, as well as a digital copy sent to all members.
- Consider conducting background checks or collecting security deposits from members who will be accessing the space after hours.
- Develop a clear and instructive onboarding process for new members that will be using the space 24/7. This is the best way to ensure they are well-prepared and informed on what to do in case of an emergency.
Clear expectations and well-defined processes will help you and your members manage any potential problems that could arise.
Make your coworking space more accessible
Opening your coworking space up to 24/7 access can be tricky. There is a lot to consider from how you will keep the space secure to what technology you’ll need to deploy in order to make it happen.
However, the planning is sure to be worth it in the end. It’s a great tool to retain members and bring new ones into your truly flexible space.
Looking to learn more about coworking technology? Check out our ultimate guide to coworking tech.