July 13, 2021 by Andrea Rajic
We’re able to achieve amazing things thanks to collaborations with people who share our vision, are enthusiastic about what they do and are happy to help workers around the world enjoy flexible and comfortable workspaces.
One of these people is Natasha Mohan, CEO, and co-founder of WorkSocial - a wonderful co-working space that offers flexible offices and a chance to connect with like-minded people while working on your own creative stuff. Enjoy the interview!
I’ve got 20 years of residential real estate experience, as well as hospitality, and business management. I’ve also dabbled in some creativity as I was a makeup artist for five years - it was like a hobby for me while I was raising my two kids.
Coworking, as an industry, was in its infancy stages when the idea of WorkSocial was born. We had a small office that we tested to find out what coworking is like, and what a shared office can be. Our concept was built and based on that model. What makes us different is our hospitality and health awareness.
People want to be their most productive selves, and stay healthy at the same time. But how many times do we forget to drink water? Or eat while at work? Or what do we even eat to gain energy to help us get through the week? That’s our own spin that we put on the concept of coworking.
Offices are the people, not just the space. And I think people who own coworking spaces will need to hang in there because this type of work is here to stay for a long time.
The pandemic showed people how much they can enjoy the flexibility of working from home. They don’t have to travel so much anymore, but a coworking space gives them a chance to visit a place where they can work and meet their teams in person while saving time and energy from commuting.
I loved the passion that your CEO showed when she contacted me. I’m the same way - I go out of my way to make sure everything is set up correctly, whether it’s a partner or a client. It’s because we value open and honest relationships.
We’re all about connection. Our motto is ‘Connect, Create, Grow’, so we want to connect dedicated entrepreneurs, help them grow their business, and give them a space that inspires creativity.
We’ve been able to put all these things together in a workspace and provide an amazing experience for our clients. Our members keep telling me how much they like it - it’s clean, it’s not over the top, it’s vibrant.
So, when I see their passion, and their hard work, I know those are the people I want to see here. I enjoy connecting with them and talking to them to discover the ways we can help them grow their business.
I try to step out of my office and have at least a few conversations a day, to get to know the people and find out how their day is going. That’s useful because I can find out if something isn’t working in the space, so we can quickly fix it and keep working on client experience.
It took me six months to find ideal locations for our coworking spaces. It was never just the space, but also the neighborhood. I wanted our locations to be accessible to people.
In New Jersey, there’s a train station right across the street, a garage, lots of eating areas, bars, hotels, and it’s easy for people to walk there. For New York, it’s a smaller location, but it kind of fell into our laps. It has a post office nearby, a couple of Starbucks shops, a nail salon, a gym - the list just goes on and on.
Everything one needs on a daily basis is around us, so it wasn’t just about a great space and good lighting, it’s also about accessibility.
We’re still new to New York, and learning about small businesses in the area. But in Jersey City, Gia Gelato, Loradellas, Raaz, and Komegashi are nearby and we did look to support them during these times.
After the pandemic, we decided to cater our member lunches through small businesses in the neighborhood - it’s one of the ways WorkSocial contributes and supports their hard work.
We’ll continue doing so in the future, as our emphasis has been on supporting small businesses and giving back to our community. It’s fulfilling to make sure that everyone around you is picking themselves up.
We have open desks, but we set up our space with more private offices, and especially now after the pandemic, we’re happy we did just that. Coming together to work behind a closed door will be vital for teams.
What does an average day look like? I see people coming in with enthusiasm, meeting their teams, leaving their respective team office to make a phone call, then coming back, grabbing a snack, which is usually fresh fruits and veggies to keep you going throughout the day and by 5, 5.30 pm is when I usually see most entrepreneurs leave. It’s because, when someone comes in, they’re looking to be productive. And when they finish, they know they’re done and want to go home and unwind with their families. It seems that mostly the solopreneurs stay after that time because they are handling so many different aspects of their business.
We spend half of our life in the office, so creating a warm and friendly environment was a big part of our design idea. Being in a space full of serenity and good vibes that invite you to come to work, but is still different from your home, allows you to come back to work without feeling overstimulated and anxious.
Companies are changing their work model right now. We’ll see a lot of hybrid, work-from-home models, they may work from the office a few days a week, etc. The traditional office space won’t be needed anymore. Creating satellite offices around the globe will be incredibly valuable for every big company out there.
The benefits are going to be enormous: the employee travel time will be reduced, they’re going to be more productive, and the time with their families will be of higher quality with having a clear line between working and being at home.
Employers are going to need to emphasize taking care of their people wherever they work - whether it’s the office or a coworking space. It’s part of our nature that we want to be taken care of, even in the workspace. So, both mental and physical health will have great importance and employers will need to research this to enhance their office spaces to help their employees feel safe and not under stress when working.
We enjoyed our chat with Natasha Mohan so much! Do you share her viewpoints? If you’d like to catch up with her, sign up for Gable to book a seat at WorkSocial and enjoy a productive workday in this amazing coworking space.