Our team asked me to recap some of the press we got this past year, and what it says about Industrious and the flex industry overall. The “story behind the story” if you will. Without further ado, here it is!

‘It’s a Vibe’ — New York Times

I’m starting with this New York Times article from March. It’s about people who are happy and finding their groove at work, and how often those are people who use coworking spaces. This piece featured Industrious and hit on a lot of the themes we’re seeing in the workplace industry right now: a need for community and the feeling of belonging. 

The 30+ minute commute people may have tolerated before COVID feels very onerous now. It’s a long time to be away from family every day, especially if you want to stitch your work-life together with other parts of your life.

Instead of spending time stuck in rush hour traffic, people in suburban Charlotte or in Brooklyn, for example, are entering mixed use parts of cities and finding close-to-home flex offices where they’re more productive. Not only that, but they’re having fun and developing relationships with people in their neighborhood they can see outside of work. That’s something we’re seeing a lot of in our spaces.

On a personal note, the other thing I loved about this article was that one of the people interviewed was talking about Industrious and said, “It’s a vibe.

That was not a phrase I expected to see in the New York Times, especially not in reference to us. Now whenever I walk into Industrious and I see people having fun and the music’s good I’m like, yeah it’s a vibe… according to the New York Times!

‘WeWork Rival Sees New Era Ahead’ — Bloomberg TV

Back in November, I appeared on Bloomberg TV to talk about the WeWork bankruptcy and the industry more broadly. 

This is something that’s complicated when you’re a competitor CEO. Obviously, I want to talk about Industrious and help people understand everything we’re doing. In particular, our unique business model of partnership agreements with landlords. It’s a very sustainable business. It’s here to stay. It’s not as risky as competitors who have more traditional leases with landlords.

On the other hand, I think people have been very curious about what’s going on with WeWork, and what it means for real estate and our industry.

I genuinely don’t think it’s accurate to say “Ding-Dong! WeWork’s gone.” They’re restructuring. They’re going to get out of a lot of their leases and lower their costs, and I think will be a feature of this industry in the coming years.

And yet! These events have reinforced my sense of commitment to the partnership-based model that we’ve pioneered. It’s been a major part of the continued success of Industrious, both in terms of delivering a better product to customers and improving our ability to ride ups and downs more effectively.

Partnership with Instacart — Grocery Dive

Instacart is a product I love in my home life. They’re trying to grow their business vertical, so we developed a national partnership with them to deliver fresher, better food to our customers. 

One of the easiest things you can do if you’re a company like us is get a lot of non-refrigerated, packaged foods. It means you don’t have to worry about perishables going bad, and you don’t have to worry about your supply chains (which can be an issue when you’re in 60 cities around the world). 

At the same time, you end up with an inferior product for your customers. 

If you can get great local foods — fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses — you can deliver a much better F&B experience. That’s what we were able to do via this Instacart partnership. Our customers also received a free Instacart+ membership, so that made a lot of people very happy too.

Hej! Workshop and IKEA Partnership — San Francisco Chronicle

We partnered with IKEA and IngkaCentres to create Hej! Workshop, a co-branded coworking space in San Francisco that’s opening next month. It was probably the partnership we received the most press for in 2023.

The article itself is interesting because people are paying close attention to what’s going on in San Francisco right now. Where is that city headed? What sort of dynamism can you bring to downtown? These questions are top of mind.

People don’t want workplaces that feel stale or like they don’t have a personality. IKEA has a lot of opinions about creating retail and customer experiences that feel lighthearted and fun. Those feelings are not always common in the workplace. 

Hej! Workshop is going to be one of the most fun workplaces I’ve seen. It’s light-hearted, a little kooky, and very IKEA. We can’t wait for it to open.

The Third Global Player — The Messenger, Crains

Here are two articles, and there were many of these, that listed the Big 3 global workplace providers: the conglomerate IWG, WeWork, and Industrious.

I try not to get too hung up on press stuff like this, but it was exciting because we had a strategy starting two or three years ago called “Third Seat at the Table.” 

In big global outsourcing industries like ours, customers tend to gravitate to three global providers. Think: FedEx, DHL, UPS. Our industry had two global providers and it was clear there was a space for a third. 

This year was the validation that Industrious — via M&A, organic growth, and the strategies we’ve pursued over the years — has effectively taken that third seat at the table. 

Workplaces Where You Belong — AllWork

The last theme here is about the use of certain words in relation to the workplace: happy, belonging, fulfilled.

Maybe this is naive of me, but I feel strongly that if you’re going to spend 8-10 hours a day on something, it better matter. It better add meaning to your life. It better connect you to other people instead of being a source of isolation and loneliness in a world that has too much of both.

It was nice to see people hook into this idea that work and workplaces (when done right) can build connections between people, and introduce you to new ideas and experiences. That’s something Industrious tries very hard to honor.

People can be very skeptical about work, and the complicated dynamics between employers and employees. I understand where that comes from. However, I feel many people are more drawn to stories about how workplaces can enrich and add texture to our lives — and create more social connections too. 

I wouldn’t underestimate the impact that has on the happiness and meaning in someone’s life. 

Wrapping Up

We were in the news a lot this past year, and we’ve got a lot of news coming for 2024. When it’s eventually time to recap it, I can’t wait to see how Industrious will contribute to the new storylines and themes of the year.