Enhancing the co-working experience with indoor navigation – A Rebel Case Study

Co-working – The rise of a new work style

Co-working had a substantial rise in popularity in the last few years. Between 2011 and 2021, the total number of co-working spaces grew by approximately 27x, from 700 to 19,345. Apart from cool Silicon Valley-inspired designs and free snacks, researchers have found tangible benefits for this new workstyle, ranging from increased individual motivation to higher organizational innovation. With hybrid work on the rise, co-working spaces continue to solidify their importance amongst start-ups and corporates. With increased competition, co-working operators are looking for ways to improve their customer experience and distinguish themselves.

Rebel – The hottest co-working space in Oslo

One of the hottest co-working spaces in Oslo is Rebel. With a long waitlist for memberships, the creators of Rebel have managed to not only create a space that is exciting with its various food courts, multipurpose rooms, and hidden Easter Eggs; but also bring companies together can complement each other’s IT knowledge and push the tech boundaries, by carefully curating the tenant list.

Rebel & Indoor Positioning – Improving the user experience

Challenge

One problem that Rebel identified was navigation within its co-working space. Located in the old Telenor building in the center of Oslo, with 27,000 square meters that house over 1000 office spaces, finding your way around can be daunting. To help new visitors, employees, or anybody who is lost, Rebel has staff that shows you the way. But with space for up to 1,500 people, Rebel was looking for some leverage to help them solve this problem at scale while also improving the user experience.

Reviewing documents, conducting user interviews, and making observations on-site, several user needs were identified. For example, visitors and employees want to know where they are, have an overview of the different points-of-interest (POIs), be guided without human intervention to their desired POI, and use their phones to access the building and book meeting rooms. Naturally, being a hub for tech companies, Rebel itself turned to technology to address these challenges. 

Solution

Two companies collaborated to develop a solution for Rebel: Forkbeard and Shortcut. Forkbeard provided its indoor positioning hardware and software for users to be accurately positioned on the map and guided to POIs. And summer interns at Shortcut, a leading mobile app development company, conducted user research to understand requirements and implement the needed technologies to create an app-based solution. With the help of the other partners, the prototype developed by the interns allowed Rebel users to see a digital map of the building with all its POIs, understand their current location, and navigate in real-time toward their selected POIs.

Demo of the wayfinding solution @ Rebel

Conclusion

Co-working spaces are here to stay. With the rise of hybrid work post-pandemic, startups and corporates are embracing co-working spaces to appeal to both in-office and remote advocates and avoid decreasing workforce motivation and corporate innovation. With the growth in co-working spaces and competition amongst operators, the user experience within a particular co-working space becomes increasingly important.

Custom apps and technologies that simplify accessing and getting around the co-working space do not only allow users to make the most out of their membership and increase retention rates, but also improve the user experience and thereby help operators distinguish themselves from the crowd, driving demand.


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