Ottawa-native Wayne Berger, CEO of IWG Canada & Latin America, has made a name for himself in the coworking world by helping expand the company’s Canadian market by five times in just five years.
The shared office space industry has exploded onto the Canadian work scene in the past few years. Berger believes this is due to operators not only providing an alternative workspace, but improving the quality of people’s lives.
Additionally, work culture has shifted beyond professional relationships and into a more socially connected environment, so it’s no wonder that coworking operators are having a moment.
Subsequently, the competition between workspace providers has also grown, so standing out from others can be a challenge. Berger explains that IWG succeeds in this due to its commitment in building a community.
“I’ll give you an example – at Spaces on John Street, in Queen West, we have a brilliant event space upstairs on the second floor,” said Berger. “We’ve had multiple offers from companies who said: “we want the space, we will pay top dollar if you let us take that space”. And we’ve turned it down every time because it’s a commitment we’ve made to that space that we know will have a greater return on investment long term than short term.”
Going forward, Berger believes that Canadians will continue to pivot towards the coworking lifestyle and that companies will start including more flexible amenities in their spaces due to their immediate financial gain.