A leading online platform for workspace solutions, ShareDesk is one of Canada’s most significant contributions to the collaborative economy. Known as “the Airbnb of offices,” this Vancouver startup has grown at a steady pace since its December 2011 launch with a current network of over 1,500 workspaces in 65 countries. And having recently launched its Optix application for enterprises, 2014 might just be a year of noteworthy milestones for ShareDesk.
How Does it Work?
Hosting: Anyone with a spare workspace in his or her office can list it on ShareDesk. This can be anything from a traditional office or cubical to a studio for a photographer or band. Simply upload high quality photos of your workspace, answer a few basic questions about the space and its availability, and then select your pricing plan. Listing a workspace is free, but ShareDesk takes a 15% fee on every successful booking.
Finding a workplace: To search for a workstation, simply enter the city name or address in ShareDesk’s search tool. Users can sort the results by relevance, price, and proximity, and filter them according to the type of space needed such as a desk, conference room, or private office. Hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly rentals are available. Much like Airbnb, users can leave feedback, making it easier for future renters to select the right workspace for their requirements.
What’s ShareDesk Optix?
With mobile-enabling hardware (laptops, tablets, smartphones) and software (virtual desktop programs, Skype) now commonplace in most offices, working remotely is gaining in popularity. Similarly, with commute times on the rise, remote offices are becoming more appealing to companies looking for creative ways to maximize productivity.
Enter Optix. ShareDesk Optix is an enterprise-level application that helps large companies optimize their workplace strategy for improved efficiency and productivity. Employees are given the ability to not only book workspaces located onsite, but also remote ones through the SharesDesk platform. Real-time data and analytics gives management a better understanding its workplace utilization and offers a clear picture into how employees are accessing the corporate office and external workplace solutions.
Fad or a Sustainable Business Model?
ShareDesk’s philosophy is in line with economic and social trends that are likely to play a significant role in the business space over the next decade. Razor-thin budgets are forcing companies to find creative ways to generate additional revenue and renting out unused office space can help small and large businesses alike pay the bills at the end of the month. Likewise, with unemployment and staff levels constantly fluctuating, ShareDesk offers businesses a way to cope with those instabilities by finding workspaces for additional workers or renting out offices when staff levels are lean.
Additionally, telecommuting and working remotely has been gaining acceptance across corporate America. Companies are adopting flexible workplace policies in order to attract the brightest talent and reduce turnover. A recent WorldatWork study found that 73% of HR professionals surveyed believe their workforce would say there is a positive or extremely positive effect of flexibility programs on employee satisfaction. By offering a creative way for companies to improve flexibility in the workplace, ShareDesk is at the forefront of an emerging trend that is likely here to stay, and not just a fad.
ShareDesk is optimistic about coworking, and rightly so. "The typical utilization of an office desk or meeting room in a given day is less than 45% for most enterprise companies," explains ShareDesk. "Meanwhile, there are over one billion mobile workers, which represent over 37% of the total workforce that need a productive place to work, meet, and collaborate. Coworking provides an opportunity for the growing population of mobile workers to access idle workspaces."