As coworking continues to grow, Gosia Kramer CEO of The Office highlights its growing appeal as a cooperative and supportive working ecosystem. Covid-19 was her biggest challenge, but The Office’s flexibility as a concept has given impetus to the ways people need to adopt and adapt to new working patterns.
How has The Office evolved in the past year?
In the last year, or actually since the beginning of The Office, we have continued to grow our members’ community. We have launched our second location in the city, at Boulevard Prince Henri and are preparing to open our third, also in the city center. What evolved is our thinking about office spaces. Having observed our clients for four years we see how rapidly they can grow and, equally, how quickly they can reduce their team sizes. Naturally, we adapt to our clients’ needs. Thus, at our third location, we will initiate a completely new concept of shared office space. The advent of the concept coincided with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. The demands of the new situation only confirmed to us that we need to re-think our spaces. I have grown up to be a female entrepreneur evolving with our spaces. In the past, I had an issue saying “no”, now I have problems saying “yes”. That doesn’t mean I don’t remain open-hearted and kind, it just means I know what I’m up for in decision making.
Coworking is first of all the mindset. We attract people who want to contribute and be included
How did you overcome the challenges you have faced?
Every business carries certain challenges, we are not any different. Covid-19 was the biggest challenge we faced so far. If I were to name the most difficult challenge to overcome since the beginning of The Office, it is to raise understanding that coworking is not the same as a business center. We are often offended by either the expectation or the opinion that those activities are alike. They are not. Coworking is first of all the mindset. We attract people who want to contribute and be included. That creates a specific type of ecosystem that is extremely cooperative and supportive. It starts with the facility itself. We do not have ready coffee cups, with a spoon placed at a right-angle and fresh milk next to it. Members who arrive first in the morning often help us to unload the dishwasher. We have absolutely no hidden charges. There is never a surprise at the monthly invoice as we keep to our all-in pricing model.
How do you see the coworking business model evolve in the next years?
I predicted what we are seeing right now in The Office would be just the beginning of the coworking trend: that it would evolve in different forms to dominate traditional office space. What I see today as critically important is to support the continuous upskilling of our members who will further participate in providing the structure for remote working or – as I see it – to the future of work. I envisage genuinely collaborative communities of professionals, individuals, entrepreneurs and startups able to share the skills digitally and collaborate on various projects simultaneously.