The State of Packages in Coworking – A Look Back at 2021 

time to read article4 minutes

article date Feb 08, 2022

The unprecedented rise in shipments and hybrid work has changed the dynamics of how coworking companies manage & deliver their mailroom services. 

Here’s a data-based look back on the year 2021 with a few lessons for mailroom & package management in 2022. 

The Data 

The data comprises of over 1.6 million packages processed by the PackageX platform across 40 countries. Approximately a million of these packages were received by coworking mailrooms while the rest were distributed between education, residential & commercial real estate, corporates, manufacturing & others.   

The Stats 

One thing is for certain – package volumes are increasing regardless of country & industry. This change in human behavior seems to be irreversible & here to stay. 

package volume trend

01 - Number of Received Packages  

package volume Despite the sporadic lockdowns, whether partial or whole in some countries, the overall trend of packages received by coworking increased throughout the year.  

Analysis

If we look at the volume of the scanned packages in 2021, there was a drastic increase. In January, approximately 54,000 packages were scanned. However, this figure more than doubled to 112,000 at the year-end.  

In coworking spaces, each member received around 41 packages in 2021. This number is 41% lower than the average number of packages received by individuals in other sectors. 

Key Considerations

  1. How can coworking mailrooms build enough flexibility in their operations to manage X number packages in one month and 2X in another without wasting precious resources such as space & manpower?

  2. How can you effectively plan your mailroom operational requirements based on seasonality & your own business growth?

  3. What can be learnt from other industries in terms of processes & systems who manage higher fluctuation and volumes of packages? 

02 – Same-day Package Pickups

same day pickup

Same-day pickups percentage is the number of packages that were picked up by the recipients on the same day they were received by the mailroom as a percentage of overall packages received. 

Analysis 

The same-day pickup rate did not deviate much throughout the year. Given the doubling of package volume in December compared to January (refer to the section above), this means that mailrooms required considerable more storage space in Q4 2021 & Q1 2022.  

Compare to non-coworking spaces, the overall rate for same-day pickups within coworking was 4 to 10% less.  

Key Considerations

  1. How does your same-day pickup rate compare with your peers? 

  2. Is your automated notification & reminder strategy based on data showing the best times to remind recipients? 

  3. What’re the best practices adopted by other industries that coworking can adopt to increase this metric and reducing mailroom storage requirements? 

03 - Notify to Pick up Time Comparison 

pickup time

This metric is the duration spent from the time that a recipient is notified through an email or text to the time that they pick up that package. 

Analysis 

In January 2021, the pickup time after notifying the member was 45 hours (about 2 days), but it increased to an average of 136 hours (about 5 and a half days) in September 2021.  

In December it lowered to 63 hours (about 2 and a half days) on average.  

This can be put down to increase in remote & hybrid work though the same did impact other industries too. 

This duration is significantly higher to non-coworking organizations (shown in orange in the graph above). 

Key Considerations

  • The longer packages stay in the mailroom, the more the chances of losing or misplacing them. How can coworking spaces put in place processes & mechanisms to safely store & retrieve packages? 

  • Remote & hybrid work are here to stay. What steps should be taken so that these remote employees are still connected to their packages & mail items being received in the mailroom? 

  • Again, the benchmark with non-coworking shows great disparity. What’re those organizations doing differently to reduce this metric? 

Key Takeaways   

Here’re the key takeaways that coworking community managers & workplace experience managers in other industries should consider in their 2022 planning: 

  1. Benchmarking your operations is the first step to improvement. Use the above three metrics to understand where you stand & where’s the biggest gap.

  2. Root cause analysis – increase in recipient complaints about lost or misplaced packages can be for a variety of reasons. Rather than just opting for whatever is receiving the maximum buzz in the industry, analyze the cause of the symptom & then brainstorm possible solutions. 

  3. Customer experience - the competition in coworking will get even more intense in 2022 and beyond. The only profitable way to compete is by enhancing member experience. How’ve your mailroom operations changed to cater the change in your members’ behavior such as working remotely? 

  4. Revenue opportunity – there’s potential to differentiate your mailroom services and offer premium services such as Digital Mailrooms. Allow your recipients to receive their mail digitally or physically regardless of their location by offering scan & send services. 

  5. Community – connect & talk to peers to share & learn new best-practices.   

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