In the changing world of workspace there are companies ready to cope with the new requirements. Mindspace is one of those companies, ready to offer flexible spaces to clients, with private offices, but also common lounges for socializing, as Mike Hapoianu, General Manager of Mindspace Romania & Poland said during Business Review’s Working Romania event.
The concept of co-working in Romania has two meanings. The first is the one already present in Romania, of open-space offices, with tens or hundreds of people, in which freelancers are the most common. They share an office and lobby area where everyone worked as a community. But these are not private offices, where you can work safely and securely, especially if you are a company that wants to keep its data for secure.
On the other hand, when you work in private offices, you have no community to share ideas with or socialize. ”And here comes Mindspace, with a different concept, addressed mainly to corporations. Employees have private offices, but they also have these common lounges where you eat, talk, or do whatever you want, a space shared by everyone,” says Hapoianu.
Many times the corporations asked how would they work in a common space if they don’t want to lose control over their data. ”Well, now it is possible, we offer them private offices, but also common spaces where ideas can be exchanged and people can socialize,” says Hapoianu.
Mindspace is a company created 6 years ago in Tel Aviv, Israel, by two friends who had this idea of common, but private, spaces and started with an office in Tel Aviv.
”The first person hired was the one who did the design, which still differentiates us from our competitors. We are now in 31 top locations in 15 cities, and the number of professionals in the community is over 15,000,” says Hapoianu.
In Romania, over 90 percent Mindspace members come from corporations, a percentage that is found everywhere in our locations. The individual ones are under 10 percent.
”There are several reasons why corporations prefer this type of office. The first is the flexibility we offer for the number of people, from a few people to a few hundred. We had here in Pipera a client who took 350 seats, the whole floor of an office building, for a period of 8-9 months, because they had a project. The alternative was to rent a floor in which to invest in design and a lease contract for several years. With us, the minimum period for rent is one month. The client did not even know exactly how long the project would take, so flexibility was absolutely necessary,” explains Hapoianu.
Then, there is the flexibility already existing; you have a private desk, a phone both for private calls, a shared lounge. In addition, you have access to all Mindspace locations, both in Romania and in other countries.
Speaking about the coming period, Mindsapce manager says the there is a list of ideas to be implemented in order to adapt to the current situation and to provide members a healthy and safe environment. ”There are several steps we can take to adapt. For example, in the lounge areas we have large spaces and we will see if we need to enlarge other spaces,” says Hapoianu.
”I believe that this work-from-home is effective for some, but not for all. The question is if you can carry this work-from-home in the long run, will it be effective? Probably not, you still need a social and professional network. Customers have understood in these two months how much flexibility is needed,” says Hapoianu. Also, employees want to work from other spaces, not only from company’s offices or from home. ”We had requests from companies for an office or two in order to provide employees with another workspace”, says Hapoianu.