Space matters. All of us, no matter if individuals or teams, we need a place where we can be productive and work at our best.
Connectivity has completely changed the game in terms of spaces. Yet, the industry still operates in a traditional way. For some companies, it makes no sense to have a fix, “one-sized” location, when most of the team is either in constant movement, or the company is changing so fast that soon it might require having more (or less) space.
What we found is that the movement is already happening: within small communities, independent workers and startups choose to use a friend’s office - or their client’s office, or maybe a coworking space. They choose a space that allows them to stay free, to keep moving around or growing in size.
That’s the story of Wobb, an early stage startup focused on changing the way recruitment is done.
We interviewed Derek Toh, Wobb CEO, to learn the story on how him and Josh Teng (CTO) found a sweet arrangement of working from another Startup office: Storehub.
8S: How did the idea of working from someone else’s office come up?
Josh and I worked quite independently for some time, but we were going to start hiring interns to help us grow Wobb, so we needed a place everyone could go to and be working together.
Instead to going ahead to rent a permanent place, we thought we would ask some of our friends to see if they could lend us some space for a couple of months while we find our feet. Josh has confident that the startup community is very helpful, and someone would be happy to host us.
8S: And how did you find Storehub?
The first person I asked was Wai Hong (who is the co-founder of Storehub). Wai Hong uses Wobb as one of his channels to hire candidates, and we got to know each other a lot better during MaGIC's e@Stanford trip in late 2014.
So when I asked him if Wobb could camp there for a couple of months, he did not hesitate to welcome us to his office. In fact, he went through all the trouble to buy furniture for us to use, without charging us a single cent.
8S: Before that, what kind of solution did you have?
I worked in MaGIC's co-working space for many months, and that's also a great place to meet other startups and be part of the community.
8S: What were the highlights of working from the office of another startup?
We had a small team, and it really helped to be surrounded by other people to have the sense of community and better energy levels.
Sometimes I would be out for meetings, and if I didn't share an office with Storehub, some of my guys might be alone in quiet office for most of the day, which is not an inspiring work environment. Having people around is good.
Also, I would always have access to some of Storehub's people for ideas and even advice, especially since they were way more established than we were.
The future of work brings a need of more flexible tenancy terms, as opposed to a 1-2 years contract for a space which might be empty for a time period.
Mobility and connectivity allows us to work from anywhere and the value of meeting people who might add value to our work, is each time more relevant. Corporates and Startups can benefit from freelancers: designers, programmers, digital marketers, as well as these can learn from each other.
Sharing economy has taken over many industries: it’s time it changes real estate too.