Interview: networking, flexibility and free sweets – the perks of co-working spaces » SMEInsider

Interview: networking, flexibility and free sweets – the perks of co-working spaces

WeWork space

Co-working spaces offer a stimulating, creative environment for small businesses poised to make their mark.

We spoke to Sebastian Steinhauser, founder of mail delivery app Parcelly, about how the business has grown since setting up in a WeWork co-working space, and asked him for tips on how SMEs can make the most out of theirs.

What led you to the decision to set up Parcelly at a co-working space?

We had already been looking for a new office space for quite some time when someone from the WeWork sales team approached us – they were looking for tech startups who might be interested to join their London-based office community.

During an initial trial period at Devonshire Square in the City of London, we very much appreciated the contemporary design of the facilities, the professional office equipment, and above all access to the exciting WeWork community. We signed for an office space at WeWork’s newly-opened Moorgate office straight after.

What does WeWork’s space offer that wasn’t available to you before?

First of all, flexibility. We are a young but fast-growing company. Since the rental terms of WeWork are based on a rolling one month agreement, the WeWork system allows us to adjust our office size according to our actual need and upgrade to a larger space as and when required. This has a significant impact on our overall cost efficiency as a business.

Secondly, the community aspect and potential for professional synergies are fantastic. There is hardly one coffee break at the shared kitchen space without being introduced to a new and interesting WeWork member and learn about their business or startup venture.

Parcelly has grown dramatically in the last five months – to what do you owe its success?

We believe we have a unique business proposal. Parcelly aims to make failed parcel deliveries a problem of the past via its smartphone-based network of parcel collection points. Our mission is to allow consumers to collect their online purchases or parcel deliveries where and when it is most convenient for them.

Online shopping and the number of parcel deliveries are growing exponentially, and so is the need for convenient and innovative click and collect solutions. Parcelly solves this omnipresent problem, which every one of us has likely experienced in the past.

Parcelly also has an impact on local communities, as we turn online shoppers back into footfall for local businesses. These benefits drive our continued growth to now more than 190 Parcelly locations in Greater London and the rest of the UK. And we continue to expand our network every day.

What tips do you have for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to get the most out of a co-working space?

Try to integrate and interact with the community. The community aspect and its potential to benefit your own business through synergies and collaboration can be huge. Meeting as many people as possible from the very start is key. WeWork for example offers almost daily events which provide plenty of opportunities to network. So join in, get involved and swap business cards.

Tell us a secret about your WeWork co-working space.

The reception desk always has a big bowl of sweets and candy to welcome visitors. I rarely pass reception without taking a little afternoon treat when passing by in-between meetings.