• Co-Working Spaces Still Campaign for Ad Firms

    Our head honcho Jerome Chang quoted in this article: – PDF Version: ElCamp-Print


    “We don’t care which sector you/re in. …Diversity rules,” he said. “Does it bring about too wide a net? I believe diversity is better than niche.”

  • Why Meeting Rooms are Your Most Profitable Asset
    *Article written in collaboration with Jerome Chang

    A couple of weeks ago, we published an article on how workspace design can have a direct effect on revenue.

    Interior design is about much more than the looks and aesthetics of a physical space. In many ways, design helps with the flow, the energy, and the success of any given room or area. But because these are intangible and subjective factors, their huge impact upon a workspace are often not as quantifiably valued as they should.

    It’s time for workspace operators to change their approach to design. They need to start thinking about tangible factors like proper dimensions, appropriate materials, and efficient layouts in order to accurately quantify the success and profitability of their workspace.

    Jerome Chang, architect and founder of BLANKSPACES, has found that when it comes to flexible workspace design, the most profitable type of space is meeting rooms. To clarify, the profit derives from:

  • Most $/hr of revenue
  • Most underutilized asset because it often sits more vacant than occupied.
  • Most discrete usage in terms of start and end times. Think about it: you ‘rent’ out an office to therefore earn revenue 24/7 on that single room, but you only sell a few hrs/day of the meeting room, let alone anything between 5pm-9am.

To better understand meeting room profitability and how workspace operators can take better advantage of their available space, we spoke with Martin Senn from Davinci Virtual Offices.

When Davinci launched six years ago, Martin and the rest of his team observed that meeting room space was being underutilized by workspace operators. “For the most part, operators rented meeting rooms space at no cost to tenants. This means that the space was highly underused and that operators weren’t making any profit from it.”

Currently, Martin claims that meeting room occupancy for Davinci clients averages between 40%-60%. A significant amount, considering experts suggest that when meeting room occupancy reaches a 70%- 80% average, workspace operators should consider building another meeting room in their space, as they are more likely to generate more revenue this way than by renting out office space.

So much indeed, that Martin highlights how 20% of flexible workspace revenue comes from meeting rooms and virtual office addresses.

Seems like a pretty  simple formula, right? If you open meeting room space to external clients you will drive more revenue.

Well, yes and no.

Just as there are different types of offices and desks, there are different types of meeting rooms; they vary by size and purpose. Here’s a breakdown of meeting room type and capacity:

Type Boardroom Day Office Large conference Room Medium Conference Room Small Conference Room Training Room
Capacity 13-15 people 2-3 people Up to 12 people Up to 8 people Up to 6 people 35-40 people
Booking Rate 5% 25% 19% 19% 27% 4%

*Data provided by Davinci Virtual Offices

When you add this variation to the formula, things can become a bit complicated (but not too complicated, so don’t stop reading yet.)

Taking into account the different types of meeting rooms available, workspace operators need to understand who are those that are renting out meeting space and which type of space they are renting out. Davinci provided us with some interesting data and statistics.

Davinci has divided meeting room users into three main segments: retail companies, corporate users, and deposition and legal companies. Each of these clients have different behaviors when it comes to booking and using the space.

“Generally speaking,” Martin says, “Retail meeting room traffic is usually booked within 36 hours of when the space will be used. These companies have an immediate need for space and they usually don’t require larger rooms.”

Corporations and legal companies are different, Martin explains. “They tend to plan further ahead and typically book for larger groups of  people.”

Which means that you could easily be renting out your meeting space on short or medium-term notice. The trick, in the end, is to not leave your meeting room space empty for long periods of time. The need for meeting space is there, it’s up to you to decide how to best take advantage of this need in order to drive more revenue to your workspace.

The numbers don’t lie, the space is there, now go get some clients.

  • Tips, tricks, and tech to make the most out of your coworking experience

    Make Coworking Work
    After speaking to owners and employees of eight different coworking spots across the country, one thing is clear – we’re all forgetting our chargers.

    We also gathered plenty of tips on what to pack, how to make connections, and what’s considered poor form – we’re looking at you coworking nail clipper.

    What should I pack?
    The before mentioned chargers are just the beginning. Our experts also suggested water bottles, sweaters, snacks, and a good set of noise canceling headphones.

    Zoltan Szalas, the cofounder of coworking membership platform Croissant swears by JBL Everest 700 headphones. “They have an amazing noise cancellation function when you turn them on,” he told us. “Once you put on some music you won’t be able to hear any noise around you.”

    What tech do I need?
    Erin Gifford the marketing director at Cove, with coworking locations in DC and Boston, suggests myNoise, a site that allows users to customize your noise machines. (Read up on myNoise on the Cove company blog.)

    Jerome Chang, the founder, architect, and owner of BLANKSPACES, a LA-based coworking business, suggests downloading the Duet Display app on your tablet to use as a second screen.

    “If your coworking space has a communication tool (we use Slack) USE IT!!,” says Sarah Coker of Vessel Coworking, also in Austin. “It’s fantastic for networking, helping each other out with specific trades (‘help I need a lawyer/designer/UX person/writer etc.’).”

    How can I meet other members?
    Head to the pantry. Almost every coworking employee we spoke to said the pantry or kitchen was the place to meet other members. You’ll know for sure that the member isn’t busy at work if they’re grabbing a snack or a cup of coffee.

    Take your business cards out. Shana Glenzer, the CMO at MakeOffices, which has multiple locations in DC, Philadelphia and Chicago, told us.”Business cards are crucial. You’re constantly meeting new members, who may have the insights or connections to help move your business forward.”

    And take your headphones off–headphones are “the universal sign for don’t bug me,” said Stormy McBride, the community manager of Link Coworking in Austin.

    “Make sure you know the community manager,” suggested Felicity Maxwell, a partner at fibercove, another coworking space in Austin. “They facilitate lots of events and generally know everyone in the space, so when they know you, you’ll know everyone else.”

    How can I be most productive?
    “Move around in the space,” said Gifford. “Cove provides a variety of seating options, including group desks, individual desks, lounge sections, standing desks, and quiet versus social sections. Depending on the task at hand, discover the seating area that works best for you.”

    “Be consistent,” said Vessel’s Coker. “Make a plan with a coworker friend that you’ll meet for coffee there every morning at 9:00 or something. You’re on your own, so the temptation to use a coworking space as a supplement is real, but we see the most success with people doubling down and making this their work home.”

    What shouldn’t I do?
    “You never wanted to be that college roommate who left dirty dishes in the sink for days, and you don’t want to be that kind of coworking member,” said MakeOffices’ Glenzer.

    Another faux pas: “Sleeping on communal couches!” said Lisa Skye Hain, a co-founder, of health and wellness focused coworking space Primary, in New York City. “Unless it is clearly marked ‘nap area/room’, it isn’t cool to curl up on random couches in coworking spaces.”

    The most common coworking sin is speaking loudly on the phone, we were told. “Spaces have phone booths for a reason,” said Croissant’s Szalas. “Chances are no one wants to hear your sales pitch for the 20th time. You need to make calls–a lot of them? Get a phone booth for a few hours and pitch away.”

    And we think this one should go without saying, but Chang over at BLANKSPACES said, “Please don’t clip your nails here.”

    Happy coworking!

    Our Coworking Experts:
    Zoltan Szalas, Co-Founder, Croissant
    Coworking passports in NYC, DC, and Boston

    Erin Gifford, Marketing Director, Cove
    Locations in DC and Boston

    Jerome Chang, Founder, Architect, and Owner, BLANKSPACES
    Three locations in LA

    Sarah Coker, Co-Founder and Manager, Vessel Coworking
    Located in Austin

    Shana Glenzer, CMO, MakeOffices
    Locations in Chicago, Philadelphia, and DC

    Stormy McBride, Community Manager, Link Coworking
    Locations in Austin

    Felicity Maxwell, Partner, fibercove
    Located in Austin

    Lisa Skye Hain, Co-founder, Primary
    Located in NYC

    First appeared on

  • Ready, set, scale: how coworking spaces help LA companies grow
    John Siegel
    When people think of Los Angeles, they often think of Hollywood, the traffic or the beach. But as the LA tech scene continues to grow, either by attracting companies to the area or nurturing local startups, the problem of rent — both in terms of office spaces and housing — can adversely affect a company’s ability to scale.
    In the last several years, workers and companies alike have turned to coworking spaces like WeWork, BLANKSPACES and Cross Campus for the flexibility they offer. As this continues, it’s becoming more apparent that the way we are used to thinking about offices and desks is obsolete.
    According to a report by The Instant Group, an independent global flexible workspace specialist, there’s more than just a buzz surrounding the coworking trend. Driven by the explosive growth of contingent workers, which the US Government Accountability Office estimates as representing over 40 percent of the US workforce, coworking has grown more than 10 percent in the US. Combination centers offering both executive suites and coworking spaces have expanded by 12.9 percent in the last year alone.
    “I think the trend toward coworking spaces is changing the way landlords build buildings, as well as where companies put their employees and the environment into which they put them,” said WeWork’s GM of West & Central USA, Jon Slavet. “We have companies coming to us saying they don’t want to be in the business of real estate, they just want our employees to work in the best place possible.”
    As neighborhoods continue to develop and as rent — both commercial and residential — continues to increase, the options for many startups shrink. Coworking spaces offer freelancers, small companies and medium sized companies a way to work in a great area for a cheaper rate. The spaces are managed by designated community teams and are stocked with the amenities one would expect when stepping into a tech company’s office.

    It’s this flexibility that draws many startups to consider a coworking space over signing a lease somewhere.
    “When you’re in a high growth startup, it’s helpful to have ultimate flexibility and simplicity of use,” said Helpr Co-Founder Kasey Edwards. “With WeWork, we popped in on a month-to-month lease with no cost for furniture. As we’ve evolved, they’ve been able to accommodate our needs for space.”
    Sherif Higazy, founder of Nuclear Creative, discovered the flexibility of working in a coworking space particularly benefitted his startup. “We started in a three man office in Hollywood, and then we found that we could move to a location closer to our production partners,” said Higazy. “Then we moved into a six person office, and then a six person office plus two. This all happened over the course of a week, and our capacity doubled. That’s huge; it’s not like I have to wait until my lease breaks and I’m in an empty warehouse.”

    Higazy’s first startup saw his living room double as an office, something he found to be stressful for not only the company, but also himself. “It’s super stressful, and you don’t know what the future holds. With a coworking space, you have these visible markers of your success, of the infrastructure coming into place, and the minute that we got to move out of the living room was great.”
    The range of options coworking spaces offer startups means companies can add desks or offices as the company needs them, not before. Scaling a company, therefore, can be done to coincide with a new hire coming onboard.
    “I see one of the biggest advantages at working at a coworking space as the ability to scale,” said Austin Kim, former general manager at WeWork Gas Tower resident LUXE and current general manager of Managed by Q. “It’s hard to predict what office and staffing needs will be beyond a quarter or two because things can really deviate up or down, and we don’t want to be locked into a five year lease.”
    As coworking spaces become more prevalent in the area, the industry will inevitably adapt to the number of options available. Currently, WeWork has six LA locations with four slated to open before the end of the summer. BLANKSPACES has offices in Mid-Wilshire and Downtown, with a location in Hollywood set to open shortly.
    “I think [the coworking industry] is barely getting started,” said Jerome Chang, owner and architect of BLANKSPACES. “The industry is just entering phase two, where you might see some mergers and acquisitions, and of course some failures, but there will be more consolidation.”
    Originally posted on Built In Los Angeles:
  • Coworking Expert on Designing for Revenue

    In collaboration with Jerome Chang, BLANKSPACES

    “In a shared space, the ‘office’ is the main revenue driver. In traditional offices, the design has at best an indirect effect at driving revenue.”

    So says Jerome Chang, founder of LA-based BLANKSPACES and a speaker at this year’s GCUC.ALL conference in Los Angeles.

    Jerome is renowned for his design-led workspaces, yet he believes that many coworking and serviced office operators still fail to connect the dots between effective design and strong revenue.

    In an interview with OfficingToday, he discussed how the overall design of a shared workspace has a direct effect on driving revenue.

    “Unlike traditional offices, where employees need to occupy the space provided, shared workspaces are spaces where workers want to spend their time,” he says, “so much indeed that they pay dues to use the space. This means that a shared workspace’s design has to be appealing and attractive in order to retain clients.” In other words, “employees get paid to occupy an office; customers pay to use an office.”

    So, how can flexible workspace operators drive more revenue by focusing on design?

    Let’s start by crunching some numbers.

    The below graph summarizes the five most typical spaces that generate revenue in a workspace:

    • meeting rooms
    • private offices
    • desks
    • lounge areas, and
    • virtual offices.

    They are listed in declining order of upfront cost to build out, and of revenue per square foot:


    Each workspace is different, which is why it’s crucial to understand which type of spaces you want to offer…and can afford. This at least partly dictates the business model that you adopt and the type of members you attract.

    In Jerome’s words: “Think of this as you would do of hotels because each hotel has a different focus. Some are focused on having a high volume of suites, others offer boutique single rooms, and there are those that offer a wide choice of bars and restaurants. When it comes to your center, you need to decide what you want to offer: is it lounge areas only? Private offices and meeting rooms? Or a combination of all three?”

    Though you can mix and match your workspace offering, you need to be clear in your intention and which one is your priority – that’s where you focus your efforts to drive the most revenue..

    Once this has been established, you can begin to think about layout, design, furniture, and the investment that you will need to make.

    Let’s take for example a shared workspace that focuses on offering desks. As you can see in the graph above, desks are considered ‘medium revenue. Generally speaking, desks are cheap to install with prices ranging from $200 to $1,000 including a chair.

    In terms of monthly revenue, the number can vary from $400 to $600 a month for this approximately 20-30 sf workspace, which means that you get between $13 to $30 of revenue per square foot per month.

    Whether the model you choose is successful and profitable only time will tell, though financially speaking your IRR (Internal Rate of Return) should yield 10% to 20%.

    Ultimately, design can be pivotal to the effectiveness of your office space and a major factor in driving revenue. In today’s competitive market, shared spaces that are both visually attractive and financially efficient may seem hard to come by, but they’re certainly not a myth. After all BLANKSPACES is one of them.

    By lining up side by side the design of your space with the financial model, you’ll be able to see for yourself how these two components go hand in hand.

    Stay tuned for upcoming articles on design and numbers, including upfront costs, profitable workspace types, and more.

    *Feature image courtesy of Jerome Change (Blankspaces Mid-City location in 2008).


    Originally Posted on Officing Today:

  • From Blank Canvas to Community Spaces

    GCUC-logo                    Jerome GCUC 2016


    Since launching BLANKSPACES in 2008, Jerome Chang has made a respected name for himself in the coworking arena.

    As the first coworking space in SoCal and one of the first in the US, Jerome has become a go-to source of inspiration and knowledge. In fact, he put his experience to good use in 2011 by hosting one of the first national gatherings of coworking space owners and operators, which led to the creation of the League of Extraordinary Coworking and

    It’s fair to say he knows his stuff. So when he took to the stage at Camp GCUC, the workshop for novice operators on day one of this year’s All.GCUC Conference in LA, OT’s Ceci Amador was all ears. Here’s what she learned:

    On Design:

    Jerome’s coworking space is BLANKSPACES by name, but not by nature. Design, he says, is all-important, as coworking and creative offices are slowly turning into one and the same thing.

    A space that is “efficient, vibrant, and attractive” is your ultimate goal in coworking, as this enables you to use more of your space in a greater variety of ways, which is “the trick to revenue”.

    Jerome discussed “design by numbers”, which associates the architecture and design of a coworking space with the actual revenue, and made the case for good design not only attracting prospective members but also underlying retention.



  • Taiwanese-American Chamber of Greater LA Investment Forum, May 28th 2016

    The Taiwanese-American Chamber of Greater LA – Junior Chamber for years has been advocating the necessity of information exchange and the acquisition of innovated knowledge. On May 28th, 2016, we are going to hold an “Investment Conference” at JW Marriot Los Angeles, LA Live. This is a one-day event and we will have 40+ speakers and VIPs talk about various topics related to innovation, startup, and funding, which I believe that will align with the interest of the audience. The program outline is listed below.


  • RE:WORK | APRIL 2016



    Let’s Celebrate, We’re Turning 8!
    cal-blueendar 16.Apr.05
    blog 1

    When we first opened doors in April of 2008 I had only hoped that we would continue expanding the brand and co working community across Los Angeles. Fast forward a few years, a couple locations, and hundreds of members later we are beyond excited to have been the first co working space in Southern Los Angeles and look forward to the next 8+ years.In honor of our birthday, we are introducing a few special deals:

    1) For the entire month of April, if you sign up for a month-to-month WorkBar membership at either our Downtown LA or mid-Wilshire locations we will offer it to you for $88/month!

    2) Also, if you would like to establish a business presence without physically going into an office, we’re cutting our month-to-month Virtual Office plans to $88/month!

    We want to thank our members for this continued success, and as we grow, we hope you grow with us.

    Jerome Chang
    Head Honcho

    Event Highlight
    cal-blueendar 16.Apr.21

    Alter Spark: Psychology for Digital Behavior Change
    Thursday. 4/21 (DTLA)
    Friday. 4/22 (DTLA)
    9AM-5PM – 2 Day Workshop


    ABOUT THIS WORKSHOP: Over the course of 2 days, you will learn how to apply the same psychological strategies that drive the world’s most successful websites, mobile apps, and social media campaigns. You will obtain exclusive psychological design resources and develop the ability to recognize and apply over 50 principles of persuasive psychology.

    This workshop is great for interactive designers (UI/UX), digital marketers, content specialists, and web/mobile developers. Learn why so many of the world’s leading technology companies, corporations and brands have already attended.

    The workshop will inspire you with new ideas, give you a fresh perspective on digital motivation, and empower you to build influential technologies. After, you’ll never look at technology in the same way again.

    Learn more and RSVP


    CRAZY 8
    $88/Month Special!

    Virtual OfficeMemberships,
    WorkBar Memberships (Mid-Wilshire orDowntown LA)
    or call 213-550-2235
    Televisionary Writer’s Workshop
    Saturday, 4/10, 4/17, 4/30 11AM-1:30PM
    Advanced Spec Lab
    Saturday 4/23 2:30PM-5:30PM
    UX Study Group and Peer Mentorship
    Tuesday, 4/12 6:30PM-9:30PM
    Advanced Comedy Pilot Lab
    Saturday 4/9 1AM-4PM
    Saturday, 4/30 1AM-4PM
    Advanced Pilot Lab
    Sunday, 4/24
    Command B Fellowship Panel
    Saturday, 4/23 11AM-12:30PM
    facebook twitter Linkedin yelp flickr   |   |   (213) 550-2235
    BLANKSPACES is a coworking community of entrepreneurs and freelancers who share office space in order to collaborate.
    Workspaces are available on-demand, by the hour, day, or month.
    Welcome to our semi-monthly newsletter providing information regarding upcoming events, new promotions, and services.
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  • 30 Most Influential People in Coworking 2016

    30 Most Influential People in Coworking 2016

    Coworking, by its very definition, is rooted in community, growth, and innovation.

    Because of the passion and dedication of thousands of coworking community members, the industry has expanded to what it is today – a revolutionary movement that is shaping the way our world views businesses, offices, and the way people get work done.

    By the end of 2016, there are expected to be 10,000 coworking spaces throughout the world – 28% growth from 2015.

    This leads to some very important questions for 2016: as coworking goes “mainstream,” will the originality and unique roots of the movement remain?

    Where is the line between coworking and just working, and how do we ensure that we’re remaining authentic to the foundational elements of the industry?

    Leading up to the major 10,000-space milestone in 2016, there has been a strong community of influencers who have helped shape coworking into the high-growth industry it is today.

    These are pioneers, revolutionaries, and next-level leaders who are all tied to one very strong belief: that coworking is changing the way we work and is here to stay.

    We asked the coworking community to nominate influencers they feel have had a significant hand in building the coworking movement, accelerating the movement’s growth, and/or ensuring the movement stays on the right track.

    We received tons of awesome nominations and have broken up the influencers into six categories:

    Read on to find out more about each category and the influencers!

    Is this list missing an influencer that’s impacted your coworking experience? Let us know here.

    Most Impressive Networks Coworking Influencers 2016

    Most Impressive Networks

    These individuals have established themselves as thought leaders with some of the strongest communities of members, leaders, and influencers.

    Mike LaRosa Coworking Influencers 2016

    Name: Mike LaRosa
    Company: Coworkaholic
    Location: Washington, DC
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    He is truly passionate about coworking. It’s most clear in his ability to bring communities together to collectively propel the industry forward.

    Jean Yves-Huwart Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Jean-Yves Huwart
    Company: Coworking Europe
    Location: Brussels
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    He’s one of the biggest voices of coworking in Europe, and has brought together a community of coworking spaces through Coworking Europe, where we can learn from each other and discuss the future of our industry.

    Tony Bacigalupo
    Name: Tony Bacigalupo
    Company: New Work City
    Location: New York City
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Tony is truly passionate about the collective good of coworking, bringing together coworking owners to ensure that whoever wants to be part of the coworking movement can be.

    Ramon Suarez Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Ramon Suarez
    Company: Betacowork
    Location: Brussels
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Ramon quite literally wrote the handbook on coworking, and he’s done a great job of using it to connect individuals interested in coworking from throughout the world.

    Liz Elam Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Liz Elam
    Company: GCUC
    Location: Austin
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    She hosts the GCUC [Global Coworking Unconference Conference], and has dedicated herself to her passion of connecting and informing the industry.

    Coworking Influencers Coworking Innovators

    Coworking Innovators

    These individuals are visionaries that are pushing coworking forward both creatively and strategically.

    Craig Baute Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Craig Baute
    Company: Creative Density Coworking
    Location: Denver
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Craig uses his solid business background in his approach to coworking – at the end of the day, we’re all running businesses we want to succeed, and he a forward-thinker who can help get there.

    Drew Jones Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Drew Jones
    Company: OpenWork
    Location: Austin
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    He has an intuition for where the future of work is heading not just within coworking, but within the entire corporate working industry as a whole.

    Jeremy Neuner Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Jeremy Neuner
    Company: Google
    Location: San Francisco
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    He’s proven time and time again that he’s a builder and curator of great communities.

    Chelsea Rustrum Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Chelsea Rustrum
    Location: San Francisco
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    She has a true vision when it comes to the sharing economy, and has helped the coworking understand where it fits into this new revolution.

    Iris Kavanagh Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Iris Kavanagh
    Company: NextSpace
    Location: San Francisco
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    She’s the community expert – she knows how to build, foster, and optimize growth for communities of all sizes and types. Most importantly, she’s a pleasure to work with!

    Coworking Influencers Best Commercial Successes

    Biggest Commercial Successes

    The title says it all – these individuals have achieved significant commercial success in their coworking ventures.

    Adam Neumann
    Name: Adam Neumann
    Company: WeWork
    Location: New York City
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Adam built the biggest coworking space chain in the United States. It’s hard to argue with that success!

    Joshua Abram Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Joshua Abram
    Company: Neuehouse
    Location: New York City
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    With Neuehouse, Joshua shows a serious coworking model of how work collective will look like in the future.

    Nick Jones Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Nick Jones
    Company: Soho House
    Location: London, UK
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Nick successfully built the most loyal, high-end worldwide coworking and travel community.

    Jim Newton Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Jim Newton
    Company: TechShop
    Location: Menlo Park
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Jim started techshop in 2006, way before anyone thought about hardware startups. Now, he provides the world with a community garage full of tools to build their dreams.

    Howard Schultz Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Howard Schultz
    Company: Starbucks
    Location: Seattle
    Social media: Twitter, Bio

    Undeniably the biggest, easiest to access coworking space worldwide.

    Most Active Community Builders Coworking Influencers 2016

    Most Active Community Builders

    These individuals are gold mines for knowledge on all things coworking, and they do a fantastic building communities centered on their passions.

    Jerome Chang Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Jerome Chang
    Company: BLANKSPACES
    Location: Los Angeles
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Jerome is always contributing to help fellow coworking space owners. He also opened the the first coworking space in SoCal and SF, long before anyone else.

    Alex Hillman Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Alex Hillman
    Company: Indy Hall
    Location: Philadelphia
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    He’s been a community builder since the start and runs the most popular coworking podcast.

    Bob Summers Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Bob Summers
    Company: TechPad
    Location: San Francisco
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    He’s a true entrepreneur, and is the perfect example of someone who can use passion to drive community.

    Jared Kenna
    Name: Jered Kenna
    Company: 20Mission
    Location: San Francisco
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Jered’s created the landing hub for every entrepreneur arriving in San Francisco.

    Jacob Sayles Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Jacob Sayles
    Company: Office Nomads
    Location: Seattle
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Community runs in through his veins: he’s a builder and contributor to Open Coworking, the coworking wiki, coworking visa, and Coworking Seattle.

    Coworking Originals Coworking Influencers 2016

    Coworking Originals

    These individuals have been part of the coworking movement since the beginning, and helped pave the way for industry influencers to come.

    Jamie Russo Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Jamie Russo
    Company: Enerspace
    Location: San Francisco
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Jamie’s always willing to share her experience when pioneering spaces in Chicago and Palo Alto.

    Amit Gupta Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Amit Gupta
    Company: Jelly
    Location: Portland
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    He introduced coworking to NYC [one of the industry’s biggest hubs] with Jelly.

    James Wahba Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: James Wahba
    Company: Projective Space
    Location: New York City
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    James and his brothers stay true to community coworking in NYC and constantly experiment to bring the best experience to their members.

    Tina Roth Eisenberg Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Tina Roth Eisenberg
    Company: Friends
    Location: Brooklyn
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    For Tina, coworking is and has been a natural lifestyle and source of inspiration.

    Alex Linsker Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Alex Linsker
    Company: Collective Agency
    Location: Portland
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Alex is one of the most consistent shapers of the coworking culture.

    Rising Newcomers Coworking Influenceres 2016

    Rising Newcomers

    The newest generation of coworking influencers, these individuals are going to play an integral role in taking coworking to the next level.

    Scott Cohen Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Scott Cohen
    Company: New Lab
    Location: Brooklyn
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Scott shows how an interdisciplinary, creative work facility can lift up and position an entire borough.

    Rabih Helou
    Name: Rabih Helou
    Company: Beauty Shoppe
    Location: Pittsburgh
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Rabih built the biggest coworking space in Pittsburgh and is a role model space for up-and-coming cities.

    Jamie Hodari Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Jamie Hodari
    Company: Industrious
    Location: Brooklyn
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Industrious is the fastest growing coworking space in the US.

    Zoltan Szalas Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Zoltan Szalas
    Company: Croissant
    Location: New York City
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Zoltan made what many have waited a long time for – a space on demand from your phone.

    Jason Widen Coworking Influencers 2016
    Name: Jason Widen
    Company: HQ Raleigh
    Location: Raleigh
    Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn

    Jason proves that the entrepreneurial spirit is what drives thriving coworking communities.

    To download the 30 Most Influential People in Coworking 2016 list, please click here.

    A little bit about why we built this list:

    We work with hundreds of coworking spaces throughout the globe, and we feel lucky to have been an integral part in the growth of these organizations.

    Through our work with coworking spaces, we’ve seen the impact coworking has had on individuals, companies, and the overall way our society thinks about the workplace.

    As the industry gains more and more momentum, we wanted to take a step back and honor those who have played an integral role in helping the movement get to where it is today.

  • Dear Furniture Industry, Love Coworking

    This article originally published in Business of Furniture on January 27, 2016 under the title, “Industry Can Learn from Coworking Movement” and can be found at this link. It is republished here with permission.

    This post appears on HuffPost:


    Amanda Schneider

    Workplace Trends Passionista


    The coworking craze is infiltrating American work life in a big way. According to a report from the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, reported on recently in Inc, since the first coworking space opened in 2005, the number of coworking spaces in America has gone from 1 to 781 as of 2014, and is likely even higher now. More importantly, that trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In just one year, between 2012 and 2013, the number of spaces increased by 83 percent and coworking memberships increased 117 percent in that time.

    As the coworking revolution takes hold, it will have a big effect on the landscape of the future workplace. While coworking companies are beginning to garner a lot of attention, there are also new spaces echoing coworking concepts that are popping up with increased frequency: in hotel lobbies, corporate atriums, and even local YMCAs. As technology and corporate cultures allow workers to be more mobile, the integration of these types of spaces will expand at a rapid rate. Forward-thinking furniture companies must respond with new types of furniture, expanded purchasing options, and innovative sales strategies.





    Coworking spaces need affordable, attractive, ergonomic furniture choices with multiple purchase options to avoid running through a lot of capital at the outset, and furniture companies need the security to know that any risk taken to get a company outfitted with furniture won’t come around to bite them if not successful. There is still a bit of a gap from what the coworking trend needs from the contract furniture industry.

    Jerome Chang, owner and architect at Blankspaces in Los Angeles, sees the true value in contract furniture and leveraged his knowledge of the industry when he opened his first coworking location in 2008. Chang says, “Then, I was the only coworking space that put a strong foot forward for needing real contract furniture. Most were going Ikea or West Elm. As coworking takes hold, there is a growing need to differentiate with the look, feel, and function of the space.”





    Rebecca Brian Pan describes her experience with furniture buying after opening up several coworking spaces including her most recent endeavor, Covo, “There is one company, Turnstone, which specifically targets coworking and alternative workspaces. They are at a more reasonable price point and have much faster turnaround than most contract furniture. But that is the only contract option I’m familiar with, assuming they upgrade from Ikea or West Elm, which means a lot of coworking spaces have the same furniture and look. It is difficult to connect coworking operators with the more creative contract furniture providers who want to have these conversations and forge new paths forward. The market is still so nascent, it’s hard for furniture providers and coworking operators to find one another.”

    According to Liz Elam, Founder of Link Coworking in Austin, “After you figure out the rent, the second most expensive investment for a coworking operator is the furniture. The industry is so used to going after the corporate world they rarely focus on the emerging trends like Coworking. Right now, you typically cannot get a lease until you’ve been in business for three years. Since coworking is an industry that is pushing the boundaries of how people choose to work we will also challenge the furniture industry with how to facilitate these new ways of working.”






    Henricksen, one of the largest and most successful dealerships in the country, is one furniture dealer who is answering these calls from the coworking community with fresh, new ways of thinking. For example, in recent years, they have partnered with Catapult in Chicago. Catapult describes their business as a unique cross between an incubator and a coworking space, with a peer-selected community of talented, ambitious, like-minded entrepreneurs. What differentiates their concepts from traditional coworking spaces is that the goal is to get tenants to leave: that is grow, prosper, and leave. As these companies leave, they need furniture. Russell Frees, EVP & Principal says, “When I first heard about Catapult, in my head it sounded like a great idea, but they wanted a lot for free. It was a great vision, but they had no track record. It was a total leap. In a business like ours you can only take so many leaps. But we did, and it has paid us back tenfold. Not just in financial rewards and business, but in networking opportunities and our ability to evolve our business model.”

    Frees explains, “Here’s why it’s a big risk: a lot of these entrepreneurial companies don’t want to or cannot pay for the furniture in advance. They request financing over the term of the lease. We are already at really low margins because they are comparing contract grade furniture to product in China or Ikea. But they NEED contract grade furniture if they want it to last and keep looking good.” Just like the old adage, no one ever washes a rental car, Frees points out that in these new coworking and coworking-like concepts, people are leasing or temporarily using space. At the end of the day, those people are not going to be as careful and gentle on furniture as if it were their own. The quality of furniture needs to be robust enough to withstand people beating on it… a lot.

    Because of their early risks to help Catapult get set up, Henricksen now has a solid and very innovative partnership with Catapult. When companies outgrow Catapult, a rep will meet with them. Typically their initial ideas of budgets are not something that any contract furniture dealer can meet. That is always the struggle. Henricksen has to educate them on the value proposition. They also have to create robust lease, lease to purchase, and payment plan options to meet evolving needs. Dealers must understand the need to get complex expenses off the balance sheet, which in turn allows them to depreciate the product efficiently over time and focus investments in the core of the business, but there is still a premium. If you are going to lease over five years, the overall cost will still be a bit more over the life of the product. Forward-thinking dealers like Henricksen understand these complexities and are also open to working with each company to devise personalized financing arrangements. This can include payment plans as they are growing the first few months out of the coworking space.





    Frees also describes another innovation in the furniture buying process. Building management companies are getting more innovative, as they have realized it is becoming a huge market to buy furniture and wrap it into the rental lease. Many companies don’t want to deal with coordination with a general contractor and hassles of a build out. This is becoming another innovative way in which smaller companies can finance their furniture needs. Frees says, “There are a couple of dealerships in Chicago that are doing it well through their connections. What we have done is gone to manufacturers, negotiated unbelievable prices based on volumes we believed would happen, and they have.” Together with the building, Henricksen presents options within a limited finish scope, still allowing choices in design for their space. If they select choices outside the negotiated package, Henricksen simply communicates those price changes to the building management, who adjusts rent accordingly.

    On the topic of coworking, Frees says, “I get that there is some frustration with us as an industry. I don’t believe we are the most forward-thinking industry all the time. If they are not connected to the right company to help them realize their vision, it can be a bad experience. The right dealership who gets the bigger picture will help them achieve their goals. There are a lot of really good contract dealers out there that want to have these conversations. It is all about raising the bar of how people see us as the contract furniture industry.”