Flexibility for All!: A Conversation with Industrious
With flexible working on the up and up, companies that supply flex spaces and services are thriving, and Industrious is no exception. Industrious is a workplace-as-a-service company that serves individuals, startups, and large enterprise clients in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia.
While Industrious has always been at the forefront of flexible working, the pandemic has driven the company to further innovate and provide even greater flexibility to its members. In late 2020, Industrious launched a new workplace product, Access, to better support hybrid and remote work. Access Memberships allow companies and individuals to book shared space, private offices, and meeting rooms across any of its workplace locations.
What’s great about Industrious is that the company provides its own employees with the same flexibility that it offers its members. Employees can work from HQ, but they are also given the same Access Memberships that members can get. Shari Chernack, the company’s outgoing Head of People, shared with coDesign that Industrious promotes a way of working in which work fits seamlessly into the daily lives of members, and also employees. “[An employee] might, for example, choose to go into a particular location because they have an appointment or social gathering downtown,” shared Shari, and Industrious encourages this.
The pandemic has also pushed Industrious’ design team to think differently about space. We spoke with Jean Chandler, the company’s Sr. Director of Design, who shared, “With COVID, the individual space has become more important…The things that used to happen in person, at a client’s office, or in a meeting space at an Industrious, are now taking place over Zoom…So, the one person office and the one to three person offices have become really popular.” Jean also noted that phone booths are now in significantly greater demand than they were pre-pandemic, something that coDesign has also experienced to be true.
And again, just as Industrious provides its members and employees with flexibility, it provides both groups with innovative and agile work environments. Jean told our team that when Industrious experiments with new workplace elements, from furniture pieces to new meeting space configurations, the organization always tests them out at their HQ before including them in the design of their facilities. Industrious’ HQ is also conveniently connected to one of its New York facilities. This means that when new products and space types go live, the design team can keep a close eye on how they’re received. “...being within the envelope of the experience that we are creating for other members and other cities is really important. It constantly reminds myself and my team of what it’s like to live in our spaces,” shared Jean.
It was exciting to speak with members of the Industrious team, fellow flexible work advocates. It was also great to learn that the company so actively practices what it preaches! Industrious provides incredible flexible workplace solutions to its members but provides equal flexibility to its employees. We love to see that!