Smart Parking and the Challenges of Co-Working
Coworking spaces are on the rise. First groups of freelancers who wanted a communal working environment and access to things like conference rooms where clients could be met banded together. Smaller, agile companies that don’t need an entire office floor and wanted to share a kitchen and a more collaborative environment soon got in on the action. Nowadays many techhubs are sprouting coworking spaces, managed by professionals dedicated to making the building a harmonious community. But they’re facing a particular challenge:
Parking. According to Duane Mayo of the International Entrepreneurship Center, ample parking is key to making coworking space viable. A coworking space by necessity is going to be in an area that is both dense enough to have a multitude of different companies in different industries in close proximity of each other, and a large number of people working in professional services where work can be done remotely. That concentration of high paid workers means dense, high land values, which all but guarantees an area with heavily impacted parking.
Coworking spaces have other complexities. They are spaces with different companies and individuals working significantly different times, so people leave and arrive at varied times. Some of the freelancers use a coworking space specifically to meet clients, who can be arriving at any time. This combination of impacted parking locations and variable arrival times present coworking locations with unique challenges that their managers need to solve.
Of course, mass transit and bike use by members of the coworking community can reduce parking demand, but parking is still a factor. Smart parking lets managers track and manage their in-demand parking assets to balance them between numerous companies that need to use them, between different times of the day or days of the week. Smart parking solutions can help drivers arriving in the middle of the day be quickly routed to available spaces, making it easier for freelancers to set their own hours and not have to come in early to find parking. Specialty spaces, like dedicated parking spots for carpoolers, are more easily implemented with smart parking.
Coworking is great new trend in balancing people’s productivity and freedom, but it does introduce elements of uncertainty, including in the area of parking. Smart Parking helps manage that uncertainty.