Images compliments of Industrious.
Back in 2013, Co-Founders, Jamie Hodari and Justin Stewart, were working with remote teams and searching for flexible office solutions. However, they found that the options available were too broad; either you had an executive suite where you don’t really get to meet and interact with people, or you had a coworking space, which meant big open floor plans and social interaction but with too much noise and too many distractions.
So, they created a hybrid.
“It began as an experiment to see what would happen if a company brought high-end, hotel-quality hospitality to the workplace. In a world where employees care more and more about workplace environment with each passing year, Justin and I believed that treating the office as a hospitality product, like a restaurant or a hotel, could help create happier, more engaging, more fulfilling workplaces. The experiment was a runaway success.” – Jamie Hodari
Their first location opened in Chicago and, even before their doors were open, they received more than 650 applications for the 60 spots available from companies that wanted to use Industrious’ space.
“Industrious has been growing rapidly ever since. It’s coworking complexes are now home to thousands of members across the country, from freelancers and startups, to Fortune 500 companies and rapidly growing businesses.”
Not only were they named by Inc. as a company to watch for, but Industrious also saw a 500% growth just last year. They’ve tripled in size since the opening of their first location; last year they went from 2 locations to 11 and they’re estimating to go from 11 to 25 – 34 locations by the end of 2016.
The reason behind their undeniable success?
Nipun Kant, Head of Growth and Strategy Department, attributes this to Industrious’ unique design and business model. Coworking isn’t only for startups and freelancers, and Industrious understands this: “It’s a fundamental shift on how we work.” The challenge that most coworking spaces face is that they’re designed with startups and freelancers in mind. “Industrious spaces are elegant, fun, and professional; we found the right balance between an executive suite and a coworking space. This affects how our locations are designed, the neighborhoods and areas we pick for our locations, the events that we put on and host, and the local staff that we hire.”
All of their locations are locally managed; this has contributed to their growth and success, but it has also been a challenge. Nipun mentions how one of the biggest challenges they’ve had is finding the right people for the right position. “We want to maintain extraordinarily high standards with team members, as we, as a company, are only going to be as good as we are internally. We’re uncommonly selective on who we hire and we look for people with a hospitality background.”
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Their selectiveness has paid-off, and this isn’t the first time we hear about employees being the weapon to success.
Being named as a company to watch by Inc. Magazine is a testament to a few things, among them the strength of their local and national teams. At the same time, it also speaks about Industrious’ differentiating factor amongst a buzzing coworking industry.
Industrious is a hybrid, it’s a coworking space that operates nationally, as opposed to locally like most coworking operators. Because they’re a hybrid, their product vision is different; they aim to serve a wide variety of companies, from startups to mature businesses. This leads to a different strategy when entering new markets and establishing prices.
On this note about new markets, Nipun confirms that they’re continuing their US expansion with thoughts in the future of possibly expanding internationally.
For Industrious, this is just the beginning. Coworking is becoming the norm on how we work and many operators are seeking ways in which to differentiate themselves, some have opted to offer kitchen space, while others, like Industrious, decided to focus on the broader market that coworking has.
It’s a great time to be involved in the industry and more changes and hybrids are likely to start popping up along the way.