According to a chronicle in Dagens Industri, Sweden’s leading business newspaper, coworking is becoming more popular by the day, with new spaces opening worldwide and entrepreneurs being better connected than ever before.
These results are not any different in Sweden, and today we are proud to introduce our Swedish Partner, United Spaces, probably the world’s first coworking space, opening its doors to entrepreneurial professionals in Stockholm 15 years ago.
Today United Spaces is without a doubt the best smart activity-based workspace in the heart of the Swedish Capital. We were delighted to meet with Rob Johnson, Account Manager at United Spaces to learn all about their inspiring journey which clearly defines their engaging mission and human values.
eOffice: What makes United Spaces different from other serviced offices in Sweden?
Rob: United Spaces is a lively, inspiring, coworking office space. We have built an exciting network across the globe and have over 600 professionals from established companies based at our Stockholm site. We continue to grow and have big plans to open new offices in prime locations in major cities across the world, starting with the Nordics, interesting parts of Europe as well as the Middle East and South East Asia. This is just one reason that we work closely with eOffice, it gives us the ability to reach out to the International market and continue expanding our network overseas.
Our Stockholm office is classically designed by Katarina Strauss, a talented designer who has created a colourful, thought inspiring and sophisticated environment. We provide energy refuelling zones, creative corners, silent zones, lounges, phone booths, cafés and much more so that you have flexibility when you are at work.
Our Stockholm office is situated in the exclusive Stockholm Waterfront, just a stone’s throw from major transport links and the express train to Arlanda airport. This is key for us as a location is extremely important for our members. No time is wasted on travelling, within 25 minutes of leaving the airport you can be sat in our Business Lounge opening your laptop or preparing for your meeting.
Our memberships system is designed to give you additional flexibility. We provide a variety of products to suit your specific needs. If you are searching for a permanent office or simply a comfortable sofa to work on your computer, we can tailor to your exact requirements.
We provide an all-purpose building with meeting rooms and conference rooms for all occasions, so you have everything you need under one roof.
eOffice: How do you nurture a strong sense of community in your centres?
Rob: We believe that our network is what makes us special. Therefore, we chose to invest a lot of time and interest in building relationships and creating a thriving community environment. We regularly introduce our members to each other and ensure that they make valuable new contacts that are relevant in their line of work. This creates for exciting spontaneous meetings and long term professional relationships.
We hold over 250 events every year so there is always something going on at our sites. We provide the perfect setting for exciting companies to hold breakfast seminars and open lectures, these are available to both our members and external visitors.
Every Tuesday United Spaces provides a complimentary breakfast buffet for all of its members which is extremely popular. This is our way of showing our appreciation while at the same time creating a relaxed environment where our members can get to know each other.
We are thrilled to announce that the French, British and American Chamber of Commerce have recently moved into our office in Stockholm. We see this as a very exciting development as it gives us access to a large network of professionals looking to establish themselves in our great city. Having them based in our building has added a wealth of knowledge and experience for our other members, especially those who need assistance with business abroad.
eOffice: What type of clients does United Spaces attract?
Rob: We have an extremely dynamic network from a wide variety of industries. We see the benefits of having a mixture of ages and experience, this creates for exciting meetings in our open office areas. All of our members have one common interest, a curiosity for building a network and developing business. The majority of our members come from established companies with the same ambitious vision as we have.
We encourage people to think outside of the box by working in an open environment to stimulate creativity and innovation. We have many members that strongly believe in our community concept and this has helped us build an extremely social and welcoming workplace.
We have a lot of members from Early Stage Tech businesses, they contribute highly to our concept, with their ambitious approach and openness to change. The combination of ‘Start Ups’ and ‘Grown Ups’ as we call them, allows for creative new companies and experienced professionals to share their skills.
Our flexible solutions allow us to accommodate for people who need a permanent office 24/7 or simply a convenient touchdown for those who work outside of the city. This additional flexibility is important to our customers, so that they can choose a membership that fits them best.
eOffice: What can you offer business professionals visiting Sweden for business reasons?
Rob: We can offer an extremely convenient and modern office space, where you can feel at home when you are away from home. Somewhere you can be proud to take your customers and hold a meeting while you are visiting Stockholm. We provide first class meeting facilities and conference rooms for intimate 1 to 1 meetings or large breakfast seminars for up to 100 people.
As an eOffice member we offer you free access to our facilities on your first visit, so let us know next time you are in Stockholm so that we can show you around! If you are looking to make contacts in a fantastic network then this is the place to do it, we can introduce you the right people.
Our key location means that within 2 minutes of leaving Central Station you are already walking through the front door at United Spaces, ready for business.
eOffice: Do you have any expansion plans for the near future?
Rob: We have a large expansion plan and this is just the start of our journey. We are delighted to say that we are opening a new 1400 square meter coworking office space in Malmö in February 2017, we have signed a long contract with ‘Studio’ the cities most talked-about new build. http://www.unitedspaces.com/locations/malmo/malmo-about/
We already have a proven concept in Stockholm and are soon to open in multiple cities across Scandinavia. Our vision is to spread to all the major cities across the world, so watch this space!
eOffice: What can you tell us about Sweden’s Startup Ecosystem?
Rob: The age of larger companies is becoming a thing of the past. We are seeing a growing trend in young and experienced professionals that are breaking away and starting their own businesses. Sweden is the birthplace of many successful innovative companies, we are known as the most digitally connected economy in the world and our forward-thinking culture fosters innovation. We have numerous innovative startups at United Spaces and it is extremely exciting to watch them expand and develop right in front of our eyes.
eOffice: What is your best advice for young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas?
Rob: In my experience a young entrepreneur needs a strong network around them. However knowledgeable or passionate you are in your field you will always need a support network around you to share experience and guide you on your journey. My advice to any budding entrepreneur is to surround yourself by like-minded professionals in an inspiring environment and continue to learn from those around you.