Strength in numbers. That’s what you get in a coworking community.
Humans are a social bunch, which means they’re exchanging ideas. In a coworking space, people will collaborate with their neighbors and even hire them.
Humans are also mobile. Two legs will get you quite far.
Starting this month, you can now travel from your coworking space to a coworking space in another city and collaborate there. Several coworking spaces across the country have bandied up to form “The League of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces”, or LEXC, to extend each of our local networks to other coworking networks. If you’re a member of one LEXC venue, you’re a member of them all. It’s finally time that we spaces collaborate with other spaces as we’ve seen our own members collaborate with each other.
Big picture, we think that this new model is the future of coworking, and we intend for LEXC to be an advocate for extraordinary coworking experiences. Interoperability is the first step, and will help our communities flourish in new ways. We also intend to be a steward of innovation in our industry—always experimenting, always improving.
To be fair, for years, the coworking world has generally accepted the coworking visa, for which you can use up to three days in another coworking space. But without a platform or easy system to honor this transaction, you would never really know if your visa would be honored. Because the system was informal, it never encouraged the kind of active, deliberate cross- pollination and “ergonomics” of space that we know have non-trivial benefits for workers and whole communities.
Enter LiquidSpace, a mobile app that facilitates workspace reservations at thousands of participating shared office spaces.– ¨LiquidSpace provides a real-time system that allows LEXC venues to manage permissions and privileges for their members via virtual visas, sharing inventory in real-time. Any member can freely reserve work and meeting space anywhere in the LEXC network using the Liquidspace web and mobile (iPhone/Android) booking interfaces. Once members arrive at their reserved venue, the platform provides authentication, automates check in, and unlocks amenities and special LEXC member privileges.
BLANKSPACES in Los Angeles is one of those founding spaces in LEXC, along with WorkBar (Boston), NextSpace (Bay Area, L.A.), Link Coworking (Austin), CoCo (Minneapolis), and 654 Croswell (Grand Rapids, MI). We wanted to enable our members to collaborate in a larger geography, and also accommodate people from a larger geography.
One of the opportunities we hope to serve is when companies need workspaces in multiple cities. These companies would want to coordinate with a single entity, not to broker workspace plans for each city. These companies would also feel more at ease that they’re situating their employees in spaces that are more consistent with their own experiences, versus the sometimes unknowns that arise out of the huge variety of coworking spaces out there.
Why would companies want to seek out coworking spaces?
To reduce real estate overhead
To reduce commute time by providing workspace closer to home
To provide productive, collaborative work culture
…and the list goes on.
Companies have moved beyond focusing on reducing costs; rather, they’re seeking alternative work strategies (without spending their own extra money to execute their own strategies) to provide an engaging workspace–one which offers what coworking provides — community, collaboration, and productivity.
The Internet has changed many industries for the better, and the workspace is no exception. Today’s collaborative sharing economy, evoked by LEXC, is brought about by advancements in mobile computing, widespread smartphone adoption and the idea that we can do more with less.
There are a wide array of opinions in the coworking world about whether the corporate invasion of coworking would ruin coworking cultures. One opinion that the founders of LEXC share is that we not only embrace corporate participation, we aspire for a ton of it.
There is a new and growing ecosystem that is evolving the places we work, the way companies view real estate, the way workspaces are physically designed, and the role of the community in supporting sustainable economic development.
Thanks to LEXC, we can now grow our communities nationally.