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What should coworking spaces do with “perishable inventory?”

What should coworking spaces do with “perishable inventory?”

Dec 21, 2022

4 mins read

Future of Work

Turns out, being cooped out in your home office can get a little old. According to a recent study, 64% of coworking space operators expected the demand to rise above 81% in 2022. That’s a whole lot of people needing to take a break from working at home. 

But even with coworking spaces filling up, there’s always going to be the issue of unused, perishable workspace, which many operators have traditionally written off as “just the cost of doing business.”

Truth is, there are viable alternatives that other industries are already tapping into, like discount pricing and higher audience exposure. You’ve seen this work like magic in the hotel, airline, and entertainment industries (just to name a few), allowing them to cut losses, increase revenue, and generate new leads, so why not in the coworking spaces, too? 

The approach: Modify pricing and increase exposure

Coworking spaces don’t necessarily need to discount their unused space to sell it, though it certainly can help make it more attractive. Especially today, with a growing freelance workforce, a discount can be meaningful. But discount or not, most coworking spaces will need to modify their pricing to sell their unused space—many are still on membership-only models. 

Industry standard pricing varies but generally fall into these ranges for day passes:

  • Desk: $20-40/day
  • Office: $50-100/day
  • Conference room: $50-100/hour

Next, the same way hotels list unused rooms on sites like Priceline to access its vast audience and online marketing expertise, coworking spaces can partner with Flexspace to not only list their spaces for simple purchase, but to also gain exposure to our network of customers who use Flexspace to discover and book workspace. To sell unused space, coworking spaces need to expand outside their current audience and market their product more broadly.

The results: Cut losses, increase revenue, and acquire new customers

The same way travel discount and comparison sites opened up new revenue channels for hotels and airlines, coworking spaces also have a massive opportunity grow their income in a similar way.

Unused space does not have to be a given in the coworking industry. Successfully marketing unused space can mitigate ongoing losses that many have thought are just an ongoing part of the balance sheet.

Additionally, coworking spaces can follow the hotel model by accessing low-touch, third-party options to sell unused space with flexible pricing. Whether it’s at full price or a minimum price to break even, coworking space operators can market unused spaces with almost no cost or effort on their part. The result is fewer sad, lonely workspaces and a nice bump in revenue.

Finally, exposing a new audience to your brand and selling unused inventory also means more people can experience the perks, style, and magic of coworking spaces. You have worked hard to build a unique space and brand, so the more people experiencing it is an opportunity to turn them into an ongoing customer.

Look ahead to your company’s future

People and coworking spaces have a different relationship than ever before. What used to be a space for entrepreneurs, creatives, and the self-employed is now also a space for remote work and hybrid work companies. The market is much bigger, and access to it is easier than ever. For coworking space operators, this means leaving the past behind when it comes to revenue losses from unused space and making the most of every square foot of your beautiful workspace as part of your company’s future.