Disclaimer: This article was first published on LinkedIn by Brad Hyett – Head of Business Development UK & Ireland at SlimPay – on August 09th, 2015
This is great news for the team looking to grow the SlimPay business across the UK and Ireland – and it has me wondering if this new innovative use of office space is the future way of working for all types of businesses?
In looking for space in the first place, I encountered a number of unexpected challenges. Firstly, the traditional serviced office providers are so mundane, boring, inflexible and tired that I couldn’t find a cultural match for the young, vibrant, entrepreneurial feel that our Paris location has about it.
Secondly, even when we did find a couple of providers that matched, they either didn’t have the locations we were looking for or were inflexible on the amount of space we could take and the ability to support us as we look to expand and grow the team.
WeWork were a great partner on all counts for this and as I settle in to our first space, I look forward to the opportunity to expand and make use of the full facilities on offer. With a multitude of communal working space, conference facilities, printing services, table tennis, a cafe area on every floor with coffee, iced water, biscuits and beer – they are covering a lot of bases.
I can imagine these locations sprouting up all over the country as they have in the U.S. – space is at a premium in London and therefore shared working spaces give a relatively low monthly outgoing for residents while bringing a premium rental return for the owners. This business model will no doubt be easily applied to all major cities in Europe and it will be interesting to watch what happens over coming years.
However, as I sit on what is a relatively empty floor so far, when the offices around me are full – I can imagine the facilities that are so appealing today could become stretched, less available and potentially unusable. I look forward to seeing how building managers cope with this challenge and balance maximising space and revenues while not overcrowding.
And even in this up to date new facility, we did encounter a nuisance when it came to paying the bill. As a French company, we were unable to pay from our French account – apart from setting up a wire payment at a significant premium (double what a UK account holder pays). We are looking to solve this problem not just for WeWork, but all WeWork residents too – enabling recurring billing across Europe with SlimPay’s automated digital direct debit solution.