Your space cannot be deemed “tech-friendly” without a good dose of special equipment. Prepare to devote a significant portion of your launch budget to this, and upgrade regularly to avoid obsolete tools. A good coworking space unites a community of workers. You can consolidate their hardware and software needs in technology tools, provide a space with reliable providers, even negotiate lower prices. Need an example? If your coworkers working on scientific projects need substantial IT resources, why not negotiate a good price for renting the supercomputer from the neighboring college or large business? Or, if you have a strong population of graphic designers, photographers, or journalists, equip yourself with Photoshop and InDesign to rent by the day or month.
If something is common in businesses, it must be present in your coworking space. A modern printer is connected to Wi-Fi, prints the messages that you send it, and can also scan/copy/fax. Connect it to your intranet and you can control services, usage, and maintenance remotely. Don’t forget to tailor to your coworkers by offering different capabilities and print quality depending on their field. By controlling printer access, you can monitor its use in real time and charge your coworkers accordingly.
Screens should be well positioned, starting with the meeting room. Decide the size of the screen or overhead projector based on your budget. Don’t forget to link everything to your network.
Now that you have visuals in place, don’t neglect sound! A good screen is always made complete with powerful speakers. If your budget is too limited to install the latest home theater design, check out kits 2.1 or 5.1 for laptops. Some are excellently manufactured at very reasonable prices and plug into all kinds of devices. Another option that provides unparalleled sound quality yet maintains quiet in the office: headphones. Why not provide personal headsets with microphones to your members for their phone calls?
You can equip your meeting room with tablets and offer it to your coworkers for their presentations and work meetings. Or, install a tablet at the entrance of your space to play the role of concierge. Anyone who comes for a meeting can report their arrival by a pre-written, intermediary text message indicating precisely what time they entered and exited the space, if you charge by the hour (also see #3 Succeed: Optimizing your coworking space).
Information and communication in technology tools (ICT)
Coworking spaces are relatively recent workspaces that typically attract young, connected workers who are enthusiastic about new modes of work. They are generally adept at new technology, so you should outfit your space with digital software or devices and create a truly connected space. Once again you have many options: for example, you could set up a digital screen in your meeting rooms to show the daily schedule, and book rooms via an NFC system or smartphone.
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