Coworking Business Tips

ezeep on why printing for coworking matters more than you think

For coworking space managers and operators, providing an exceptional member experience is priority number one. From curating the perfect mix of amenities to fostering a real sense of community, every detail is carefully considered to make your members' workdays as productive and enjoyable as possible.

But there's one often overlooked element that can quickly turn a seamless member experience into a huge headache: printing

As Henning Volkmer, Chief Evangelist at ezeep, bluntly puts it: "No one cares about printing until it doesn't work.”

Why printing is emotional as well as technical

The scenario plays out time and again across coworking manager channels. The operators often say the same thing: 'Why do I need a printing solution?’ until they realize printing doesn’t work and members are unhappy or cost for printing spiral out of control, and then they realize, 'I do need a printing solution.' 

That emotional journey comes from the varying printing needs across different types of coworking spaces. Some need sporadic, one sheet printing. And some, as Volkmer explains, are more corporate clients who "have all the requirements for compliance and security and all that kind of stuff." Those in include law firms that are unable to have court documents just floating around due to strict data protocols. Meanwhile, spaces catering to freelancers or remote workers likely don't require that level of lockdown on their printing capabilities but might want to monetize the service provided to  their members. 

The financial realities of printing

Beyond just member needs, there are also financial realities to consider when it comes to printing in a coworking space. As Volkmer states, "If you don't take in at least a little bit more money than what your lease costs you, then why are you doing this?"

For example, one sheet here and there doesn’t seem like much. But what about the member who prints five copies of his epic novel? (True story.)

Volkmer describes a common issue he's encountered in apartment lobbies that claim to be coworking spaces: "In a lot of these new, modern, so-called luxury buildings, there's always a printer in the lobby somewhere that the residents can supposedly use. But who knows if it has ink or paper, and whose job it is to make sure it even functions.”

An affordable, professionally-managed printing solution ensures coworking operators can recoup costs while keeping the entire experience streamlined for members. "Even if I just take my Amazon package back to the office because there's a printer there, wouldn't it be kind of nice if the cost for printing was already baked into my membership?”

Bridging the tech literacy gap

Another key challenge operators face is the widespread tech literacy gap amongst members. The very act of adding a printer to a computer feels clunky and a bit scary.

"I think that is ultimately the reality of things,” Volkmer explained. “ezeep understands all these technical details around printing and why it's difficult. But the average person is like, 'I don't even know how to make my computer look for a printer or what to do if that thing can't find it.’ That question alone can keep those managing a space busy and as frustrated as their members.”

coworking printers dont work

This is where having a user-friendly printing platform can save the day (and countless staff hours). As Volkmer describes, "You have some kind of platform that consolidates all these things - from giving users access to printers to billing - and runs like, 'Oh, to add a printer to your computer here, download this app, and log in with the credentials that are in your email.' It's still something that the user has to do. But installing an app is easier than looking for a printer."

Printing that prioritizes the member experience

Ultimately, implementing a professional printing solution boils down to curating the best possible experience for your members and staff.

He stresses, "At the end of the day, I think it's the exact same as it is for every other service that you have in a coworking space. You need chairs, you need a printer, you need tables, lights, doors, all that kind of stuff, and each of them needs to live up to the expectation of the space."

Some spaces try to cut corners on printing by allowing members to bring in their own hardware and connect it to the network. But as Volkmer cautions against such security and management headaches, "I don't think you want people bringing their own hardware more than they have to."

ezeep: streamline printing for coworking

This is where ezeep's new cloud printing platform ezeep Blue comes in, offering a streamlined solution that is tailored for the unique needs of coworking spaces. As Volkmer explains:

"It's essentially the exact same thing as the old ezeep. We decided to rebuild on new technology and on the enterprise side so that it would scale better, provide a more reliable and future-proof experience for our customers."

The key advantages? Robust integrations with all the major space management systems, especially Coworks, rock-solid security, and the ability to print seamlessly from any device — Windows, Mac, Chrome, and mobile.

"I would argue that the main difference in the new ezeep is that the support for different platforms is improved," says Volkmer. "And, if you look at the ezeep website, there's this little black device called the ezeep hub...this device takes care of connecting your printers to the cloud and with that to your members. It doesn't have any moving parts. You can remotely administer it from our website, or we can do it for you."

Make the transition seamless

Recognizing that change can be daunting, the ezeep team has focused on making the transition to their new platform as turnkey as possible for operators, developing onboarding resources like email templates and printable guides.

The team is also working on transferring existing database integrations and user configurations to make the switch as frictionless as possible. "We built some tools on the backend so we can help people transition their existing user configurations and stuff over so that they don't have to start from scratch if they don't want to."

For space operators, Volkmer estimates the entire process should take roughly two hours for smaller spaces, "which probably means it's four hours because I estimated this, but yeah, all in all, it should be pretty easy."

The bottom line for coworking operators

At the end of the day, Volkmer and the ezeep team understand that for coworking space operators, creating exceptional member experiences is paramount. Operators strive to ensure "the people that they want to attract have the experience that they want them to have."

And in our increasingly digital world, printing may seem like an afterthought — until it becomes a need. "The member's not going to walk away going, 'That printing experience was amazing,'" admits Volkmer. "You'll never get a compliment, but you will hear about it when it's bad."

ezeep and Coworks software integration

In the spirit of an easier member experience, Coworks now integrates with ezeep Blue to automatically create users in ezeep, with appropriate printer access, when adding new members to Coworks space management software. This streamlines the member onboarding process and ensures that you and your staff only need to go to one place to add members and get them fully onboarded to your workspace.

Operators can assign members to user groups in ezeep. The groups should define the set of printers assigned to each user. Managers can create different groups for different plans in the community if they come with different sets of printer access, such as private office printers, coworking printers etc.

By implementing ezeep's streamlined cloud printing solution tailored for coworking spaces, operators can cross one major potential headache off their list and get back to nurturing the unique communities that flourish under their roofs.


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