WeWork in many different ways these days. (See what we did there.)
There have been enormous changes in this space over the last 20 years, but perhaps none so significant as the growth of shared workspaces. The idea of a single large office space shared by many small companies and solo workers was practically unheard of 15 years ago, but rapid technological progress and the smartphone age led to a boom in small, project-focused tech start-up teams, requiring all the benefits and connectivity of a modern office, without the huge overheads associated with commercial properties in a large city.
As young, innovative companies came together to share large existing premises, it very quickly became apparent to property owners that this was an efficient and profitable way to market office space. While not exclusively targeted at younger workers, the cost-effectiveness, high technical specs and welcoming facilities (hello free beer & snacks!) of modern communal workspaces has held particular appeal to ‘millennial’ coders, creatives, writers and freelancers across countless sectors looking for a more relaxed and informal atmosphere at work.
Shared workspaces are now a common commercial solution and exist in their thousands across the globe, with an increasingly competitive marketplace constantly working to stay fresh and appealing to new tenants — particularly the young. Recent surveys have indicated that a high-spec office environment and workplace culture is worth taking as much as a £4,000 annual pay cut to workers in their twenties, and while refurbishment and designer furniture is one way to grab attention, fostering a sense of community in an office occupied by unconnected small businesses working on largely unrelated projects seems more complicated. Cue the tenant engagement app!
In their most basic form, tenant engagement apps provide a centralised two-way form of communication for tenants and building management — making it easier for tenants to raise issues and report faults, whilst also creating a hub for building management to cascade alerts and updates to all its occupants.
But perhaps most significantly of all, they create a way to unite otherwise disconnected workers through a single platform, encouraging social interaction, raising awareness of each others’ projects and turning ‘office neighbours’ into coworkers and colleagues.
But what does this have to do with us, I hear you say? Well, the role of Doordeck in this equation is very simple — to encourage tenant engagement. For all the good the app can do in bringing occupants of a shared workspace together, the benefits will only be found if tenants actually use it — the more, the better! It’s easy enough to download an app on day one in the office and then put it to the back of your mind (and even easier still not to download it in the first place) but not if it plays an integral part to your daily routine.
For that to happen though, the app needs more than just messaging services and building forums — it needs a hook, a reason, that encourages (read — forces!) the tenants to activate it Every. Single. Day. And what more basic piece of functionality for an office than access control? Incorporate access control functionality into the app and you’ve got them — hook, line and sinker.
But it goes further beyond just the idea of shared workspaces: any brand that wants to make their app indispensable can follow this formula. Gym lockers, airline lounges, smart cars, hotel bedrooms — access control is a pretty universal requirement. And once the app is downloaded, the logo is on the smartphone screen and brand familiarity — and, hopefully, trust — follows. Once again, Doordeck saves the day!
However, an inevitable side-effect of any branded app becoming widely used is that the user experience becomes a critical part of the brand’s overall identity in the public consciousness. An unreliable app therefore gives the impression of an unreliable brand. So, whilst a tenant engagement app can provide any number of enticing features and functions, essential or not, if the app doesn’t run smoothly — the allure of the workspace will suffer as a result. A tenant engagement app can include basic functions ranging from messaging services, calendar and room booking abilities, alerts, access control (the hero of the piece, naturally) to the more advanced such as the ability to control lighting or regulate building temperature.
So whilst it may be convenient for the end user to have all these functions in one place — in the back end, these technologies won’t all originate from a single source, meaning any app that incorporates such a high number of functions risks being unwieldy, with inconsistent mapping and multiple log-ins required, unless developed with care.
Part of this solution is a great UI, but even a slick veneer won’t save you if the functionality beneath the surface is poor, which is why the secret lies in collaborative partnerships — specialists joining forces to combine their areas of expertise and diverse products into one. (Do you see where we’re going with this?)
Now nearly three years in development, Doordeck has grown into a formidable platform with a uniquely flexible take on access control. Unlike our competitors, we don’t rely on Bluetooth, so can be retrofitted in any building with no additional hardware needed to make us compatible. Our system is securely encrypted and can sit within a building’s tenant engagement app with no clunky and annoying additional log-ins required to activate its functionality, leading to a flawless end-user experience.
UX is always our top priority, and we’ve been working with select partners in recent months to bring our functionality into their products. So, if you’re also an interested app developer, here’s our pitch: Doordeck is the hottest access control platform on the market right now. It’s responsive, it’s adaptable, it’s completely secure and we’re refining it further all the time. We’ve created a product which will interface seamlessly with your app, and we’re offering you the chance to join forces. By partnering with us as part of our closed beta test, you can enjoy all the benefits described above and the opportunity to collaborate with a dedicated, UX-focused team.
So what are you waiting for? Get in touch — we’d love to work with you!