The interview starts with the history and reason behind the concept. Adam Blaskey founded The Clubhouse in October 2012 as a result of his experiences and frustration with meeting clients in uninspiring hotels and coffee shops around London. His desire was to create a better way to do business, in a way that would fill the gap between a serviced office and a typical members club, giving members an option of meeting their clients in professional places.
We are interested in knowing more about the design and continue by asking about the design strategy of the space. Adam explains that everything they do at The Clubhouse is designed to meet the requirements of growing businesses of all shapes and sizes. The aim is to make businesses more successful by offering all they need, but without having to have their own office and the overheads that come with it. In fact, the members can utilise open plan flexible meeting areas, hot desks, lounge areas, presentation and meeting rooms, board rooms, and fantastic event spaces that can hold up to 200 people – without worrying about anything but developing their own businesses.
Today, The Clubhouse consists of two locations and is housing more than 250 businesses, which constitutes 825 individual members. For the interview we are visiting The Clubhouse at St James’s Square, that consists of 12,750 sq ft divided by two floors and includes 22 dedicated desks, 40 hot-desks, 9 meeting rooms, a conference room with the capacity of 90 people, and even showers, bike racks, and phone boots. Furthermore, they have a Greenhouse where members can brainstorm ideas, collaborate, and present by using the interactive wall-screen. Not to mention, their flexible meeting space and The Clublounge, allowing members a flexible and laid-back work style in a professional environment.
We continue the interview by asking about what Adam considers the main difference from the competitors. He describes it to be their flexible, smart meeting area. “In the Clubhouse I believe we do things really differently because I believe that no one does what we do, the same way we do it.”
Moving over to their community, we learn that The Clubhouse has a great variety of types of companies; from young, funky tech companies to well-known companies such as Tesla and Samsung. In other words, their members can meet and work in an inspiring and productive environment.
As a matter of fact, this is a planned entrepreneurial ecosystem that The Clubhouse has created, and is allowing their members to collaborate with each other and invest in one another’s businesses. Adam has even experienced people joining the boards of other businesses and businesses that are starting to supply each other as a result of this Clubhouse community. Finally, the whole ecosystem is topped up with networking events with leading business speakers for their members, so all members get to know each other better.
We continue the interview and ask about the future of The Clubhouse, Adam replies that “it is now time to scale up.” He believes that the market is growing; currently, 4.5 million people are self-employed and, as a result, Adam concludes that the amount of serviced office space will, most likely, double over the next 10 years in the city. Therefore, The Clubhouse is looking to open a network of Clubhouses across London during the next few years.
In addition, Adam explains to us that they are not only looking to expand their locations, but to offer a wider range of products and services. The reason is that mobile technology and cloud computing is now a huge part of our everyday lives, and has allowed people to work in different ways. By investing in better technology, developing an app for members, and reinventing the website, The Clubhouse will be able to offer office spaces with important up-to-date features for their members.
Thank you for the hospitality, Adam Blaskey!
Now, stay tuned for next week’s Workplace Series where Pier is interviewing the founder and director of Headspace Group, Jonathan Rosenblatt!
Photo credit: all photos by Christopher Roche Photographer