What is a coworking space? TechDecisions decided to find out by attending an event at Industrious Boston Back Bay. The following transcript is an interview with Barry Shaw, Regional Manager, Industrious:
TD: What is Industrious?
BS: Industrious is the nation’s leading provider of premier coworking and shared office space. We’re at about 45 locations across the U.S., but growing to about 70 by the end of the year. We cater to all different kinds of companies – Fortune 500 all the way down to solo entrepreneurs. We position ourselves as a premium offering where all the amenities that we provide are included, so people don’t have to worry about how they use the space, everything we offer here is one price.
TD: What is a coworking space?
BS: These days companies are choosing to outsource their office needs rather than doing traditional build-outs where they have to hire their own designers, architects, project managers, architects, you name it. Coworking basically offers the opportunity to outsource that. Essentially, it’s a turnkey solution without any hassle involved, and a beautiful space.
TD: How does the coworking space contract situation work?
BS: Flexibility is another big benefit that we offer. People can sign up for as little as a 30-day agreement, giving teams the ability to flex in that space as they need to, as opposed to a longer term – five or ten years is traditional in the market. So we offer a 30 day agreement, a 60 day agreement, and a 12 month agreement as well, with discounts given for longer agreements.
TD: What do you offer in terms of coworking space?
BS: The other part of the flexibility and value proposition we offer is the ability to grow or shrink in a space. It’s very common for our members to take bigger offices as their team expands, or shrink down as need be. Essentially just having access to a flexible arrangement so they don’t need to lock themselves in to something long term.
TD: What about coworking space security?
BS: Security is definitely a consideration. We cater to all kinds of companies – financial services companies, for example, have stringent needs around security. We’re used to working with those folks and getting them to a place where they feel more comfortable.
I think with the modern shared economy – Air BnB and other types of providers – people have become more accustomed to shared spaces. I think we benefit from that and those other companies would say the same thing. At the end of the day we’re also focused on community in our spaces, so people end up feeling not just secure but very connected to the people in the space around them. Which oftentimes leads to organic referrals – it’s not uncommon for businesses in our spaces to network and grow their businesses in that way, too.
TD: What type of technology is offered in a coworking space?
BS: Our membership is definitely meant to capture the technology side as well. We offer a number of different kinds of spaces within our format. The conference rooms in particular are fully equipped. We offer everything you need to have a productive call, meeting, videoconference, it’s all baked in to the AV setup.
If you’d like to learn more about coworking spaces, you can visit the Industrious website.