The Luxembourgish coworking group The Office that transformed the face of the city with its three spaces for work, meetings and a new form of conducting business, has just launched an app. The Office World app went live, and we decided to have a conversation with the CEO and co-founder of the company, Gosia Kramer (photo).
Image Credits: Kaori Anne Jolliffe / Silicon Luxembourg
Simply put, why did you launch the app, what will it bring to The Office?
The app brought, among other things, a technical functionality to all our spaces. Our members benefit from unlimited use of meeting rooms across all our locations which they can book easily through the app. Via push notifications we alert the members about the arrival of mail or a parcel or that their guest is waiting at the reception. It saves time. We are using digital locks so what is on the agenda is to also integrate the lock system to the app so our members will have a central point of the full service at The Office.
Full service even means a good meal…
Yes, even ordering food – it takes one click to have a meal delivered to your desk. Alongside The Office we developed also own food concept – Lokaal – sourced mainly from local and regional food producers. In our vision of the future of work, the future of food is an integral part. We believe to be the “change makers”, thus Lokaal became a plant-based concept. Our members benefit from special offers and discounts while our mission to replace at least 1-2 meals a day with plant-based nutrition is achieved.
When did you start thinking about digitalization, was it because of Covid?
Digitalization of The Office has been on our agenda since the early days. Already back in 2016 I have noticed that our coworking attracts many talented people working independently across different fields. This trend continued as we grew to 3 locations and almost 6000 sq meters of coworking spaces and flexible offices.
Thanks to members with the same mindset that surround us, we have been at the point off reflection about the future of work before Covid-19 happened. The pandemic did however accelerate our plans – proving that digitalization of the office space is a must.
“We fulfil our long-term commitment of connecting the people in a community-driven environment.”
So it is not just a product of the pandemic, you were thinking ahead?
To give you the example, when I was talking to different investors while trying to expand The Office in 2018, neither the app nor other digital aspects met any interest nor enthusiasm. Many times, I was confronted with the question; “Why would you need to digitize?”, since The Office is ‘JUST’ a space. Well, I’ve never portrayed The Office as a space but have always envisaged it as a platform – combining what we call physical space with the digitalized way of how people work and professionally meet nowadays.
What is your view of how „working“ will look like post-pandemic?
In the context of post-pandemic wildly discussed ‘return to the office’, talking hybrid working, future of work or digital – all terms refer to the new ways of working where combining physical and digital aspects is undoubted. At The Office we understand the new way of working needs facilitation and this what we want to achieve in our spaces and via the app.
We see our members joining projects rather than committing to work for one employer. They are interested in own growth and continuous development. We want to create the platform where companies can find skilled people and involve them for a specific task or project.
How do you see the future of The Office, and what sets you apart?
Of course, there are multiple platforms where one can hire a freelancer. The Office wants to be more than that. In the digital world the element of trust or verification is often missing. While at The Office we have a verified community of people we know and who’s skillset we can endorse.
Not to be misunderstood – The Office doesn’t become an HR platform. The app access is restricted only to the members and the companies can request a guest access to post projects. There is no commission involved. We fulfil our long-term commitment of connecting the people in a community-driven environment.