Meet the Maker: The Office Group
20 Oct 2015
The Office Group are the leading provider of flexible coworking spaces, challenging outdated structures which no longer meet the needs of inner city workers. With spaces set up in 29 buildings across London, The Office Group aims to respond to changing requirements of the modern workplace and create an environment which offers support to workers, creating a sense of community.
Recently, they launched a pop-up in Old Street Station offering commuters a free place to work and a chance to experience the collaborative working ethic that they try to promote. For The Office Group, this has been great profile, gaining attention from the property industry and expanding their customer base. We caught up with the team behind it all to hear what is has been like creating an experiential pop-up.
What are your expectations for this pop-up?
We want it to be a billboard for co-working and hope that we can fill it with people just walking in and being able to get online, work and meet other like-minded people. We’re not charging for it, but we hope that it acts a showcase that will result in people taking space with us in our buildings in Shoreditch.
Why have you chosen Old Street Station as the location for your pop-up?
We have a number of buildings close by and have just opened our latest building, Albert House, which sits right outside the station. So this is a way of our marketing our flexible work and co-working spaces for the area. We also love the overall branding of the shops in Old St which very much sit with where we want our brand to be.
You say that The Office Group aims to challenge outdated ideas in terms of creating a work community- how does this resonate in the fit out of the pop-up space?
Technology is driving changes in the way we work. We’re seeing that in behavioural changes where people want speed, immediacy and convenience and the pop-up meets those demands very precisely. We’re also very driven by design so the pop-up reflects our approach to style and aesthetics, with furniture and lighting used from our buildings. And people are working shoulder to shoulder so it’s a clear representation of how people are now comfortable sharing space and facilities.
What do you think a modern day work community and shared work space looks like?
It should be considered, interesting and stimulating space. We’re all seemingly spending longer at our places of work and so it’s only right that we invest more effort into how we experience those spaces. They should be beautiful and light, giving us a choice of how we can work, as we all work differently from day to day. We all need variety in atmosphere and comfort, depending on the task at hand. And it should facilitate the ability to meet other like-minded people from start-ups to established businesses, creating social workplaces where we can work and play together.
How did you translate the work you do in your permanent spaces to your pop-up in Old Street Station?
We’ve had to be more cost sensitive and work with limited space so it’s forced us to work harder to get the space right, but I think that’s forced us to be more creative and come up with an offering that’s very much in keeping with what we do in our buildings. Every building is designed differently for us, so it’s in our mindset to be a bit adventurous and we enjoyed the challenge.
What do you think are the benefits of using an experiential pop-up?
It’s a very difficult thing to be different, interesting and exciting with leaflets – most people don’t want to be hassled with them. With the pop–up, we’ve had incredible positive engagement. And we’ve been able to produce something that is dramatic and turns people’s heads as they walk past, piquing their curiosity. Add to that the ability to actually experience co-working in the space, it’s been brilliant and we’ll be doing it again.
What is the reception you've had from the pop-up so far?
We have had amazing feedback from people who have used our pop up space. It’s been a tremendous showcase for our business that has been brilliantly received by our clients and the industry generally.
The Office Group will be at Old Street Station until 30th October.