Waggle dance and the Hive


Creating a new shared workspace environment is just like foragers starting a waggle dance. It is nature of business, belief that one can do it different and better, and it triggers continuous search for a hive that will flourish. Every day we learn something new and share information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar and pollen.

Ideas are readily available from established collaborative working spaces, related industry literature, online resources and studies, word of mouth, and anything in between. It is often difficult to sift through all that data and find the guiding light in foggy waters.  We were lucky to come across this invaluable resource in early stages, Planning Office Spaces: A Practical Guide for Managers and Designers , which is still helping us on the quest for the ultimate workplace experience.

We could not better define workspace objective and the book offers an excellent insight into planning, designing, and managing of collaborative spaces. Ideas on how to build Hivers Workspaces were in large borrowed from this book. It also provides an excellent framework for narrative, and we will use it to reflect on first building and now managing flex office spaces.

This post is the introduction into the nine part series about the the workspace objectives and how they shape office as a service industry, namely

  • Enhance Productivity
  • Reduce Cost
  • Increase Flexibility
  • Encourage Interaction
  • Support Cultural Change
  • Stimulate Creativity
  • Attract and Retain Staff
  • Express the Brand
  • Reduce Environmental Impact

While researching available business models, we focused on what makes companies such as Industrious and Spaces different and successful. Borrowing the same bee and hex branding imagery, arguably some of the best examples in the industry, we decided to embrace their business storytelling and take it to the “next flex” level.

On the other hand, selecting wood, and using the birch plywood to design and manufacture everything from office walls, conference tables, ergonomic adjustable desks, reception to bar makes us the first office as a service company that integrated manufacturing as essential and complementary component in the shared spaces business model. It will not only help set our stores apart, but offer eco friendly and price competitive alternative for office furnishings that is made in Canada, and help any company design and furnish their workspaces as well.

This is the foundation to become a modern domestic manufacturing company that changed shared and flex office service model for better. Opendesk lends ideas as why this makes sense, and we hope to become a part of their global network as well.

From the start our plan was to look around, learn from the best and entrepreneur a company that will rival anyone in industry if not with valuation than with vision.

For example, we selected our first location on the business principle called “Follow the Siren”, now our coined term. Yes, it is Starbucks, located steps away from our shared offices, not one, but the cluster of four Starbucks stores in a very small radius, and the school of Sirens luring us with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck our hive on the rocky coast off their island. And we did it.

Our goal is to create a network of conveniently located and company operated office and special event venues around the Greater Toronto Area at first, provide professional business products and services to corporate office clients, and eventually form partnerships that will help landlords lease underutilized real estate.

Please support Toronto public libraries. They are in large part responsible for this venture. Internet can be often gated wall of knowledge, and your library is the only way to get access to some of the most current and relevant works in the industry, a walk away, and an invaluable and free tool to learn and become an entrepreneur. Below is just one library list of books we borrowed on this journey, showing some gems that helped us on the path to create this new and unique shared workspace environment.

Hivers Workspaces – Where work and hospitality coincide

We provide short and long term office, conference, and special event space rentals with all amenities and managed hospitality services in Etobicoke, across the street from Sherway Gardens.