We Work, Differently: A Letter from our Founder
The last few weeks I’ve been glued to the news; WeWork, once representing the heights of dramatic success in the co-working industry, has hit catastrophic waves of uncertainty; where charisma and hubris fall away to reveal empty promises of community and a potentially unsustainable business.
It’s enough to make any founder of a co-working business stop in their tracks and think… ‘have we got this all wrong?’ Kindred is a business that was built on the belief that truly focusing on community could be profitable – something that WeWork also promised – because people were telling us that they were looking for opportunities for authentic human connection.
The co-working boom has disrupted our traditional nine-to-five and preempts a future of work where human beings will need to distinguish themselves from the vastly more efficient A.I. by working creatively, flexibly and collaboratively. To be productive in this new way of working means being particularly mindful of your environment; asking yourself, who am I surrounding myself with? Is this space sapping or stimulating my creativity? Is this a community I want to be a part of?
As we come up to our first birthday in December, we are so proud to see members joining us because they feel genuinely aligned with our values. My promise to this community as a founder is that we will continue on this track. We’re not selling lofty ideals, but instead the basic fundamentals of what it means to be human. We’re bringing back the lost art of connection and creating a home for community through the small things; Monday morning coffee club, TED Circles, river walks; anything that helps you bridge the gap with the people working alongside you every day.
While WeWork’s troubles serve as a stark warning to the rest of the co-working business community, I take encouragement through the support we’ve received from our members that we’re on the right track for them. Kay Morgan, one of our founding members expressed this beautifully in her Member Spotlight interview:
“It really struck me that Kindred are doing co-working in its truest sense. To me it doesn’t feel like a marketing ploy, it’s not a catchphrase for their website, it’s not ‘let’s pretend to do this to get people in’. I feel like every single member of staff, from the top down, genuinely care about our individual journeys as freelancers and entrepreneurs.”
This tells me that the key to growing an engaged community of people who are willing to support your business is to be authentic. Nothing flashy, no grand exclamations – because the truth is, people eventually see past the smoke and mirrors, and all they really want to see is something that’s honest and human to be a part of.
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