Getting ready for the pushback
In case you have never heard of pushback, it is the process of pushing an airplane backwards before the engines start running. This is performed by another vehicle on the ground. Once the pushback is completed, the tower confirms that the engines can be started for the aircraft to begin taxiing for the runway and preparing for take-off.
My life is currently at the same position, and I’m getting ready for the pushback to move to London.
Why London? To cut a long story short, for business and for WeWork. Yes, the billion-dollar co-working space one half Disneyland and the other half NASA.
You might be wondering why I am moving from Birmingham to London simply for an office space. Actually, I already moved to London a couple of years ago by travelling there three times a week from Birmingham to use WeWork. In case you are wondering how I can afford it, the answer is that I buy advance super off-peak tickets from Chiltern or Virgin Trains, allowing me to travel for just £11 return.
This method helped me gain traction for my freelance business of behavioural economics consultancy, focusing on marketing and social media applications. However, why WeWork?
The main reason is that it is like a second home for me. I have been using WeWork Spitalfields since April 2016, and they offer more than an office. It is a place where you can stay 24/7 and never worry about tea, coffee or cookies. Yes, these are really distinctive characteristics of WeWork for me. They are not unique selling points, we don’t really think about unique selling points.
Anyway, since starting to use WeWork, 90% of my clients began coming from the WeWork network, especially from the WeWork social network (both on the web and the app). WeWork’s social network is similar to LinkedIn and brings real business.
In addition, the office structure and community approach helped me meet with many people and has helped me gain more clients.
I can’t ignore my Lunch & Learn events. What is Lunch & Learn? WeWork lets you use their meeting rooms for lunchtime events, with them providing food and you providing knowledge. The event is promoted on their weekly email, website and app and event schedule. I have hosted 21 events at various WeWork offices, entitled ‘What is Behavioural Economics? With Social Media Cases’. These events helped me improve my knowledge and increase awareness of behavioural economics in the WeWork London offices. The events were hosted for free, with over 220 people in attendance. The final event I held was at WeWork Paddington with 21 people in attendance.
Community is an important factor as well. In this world you can’t meet a billion-dollar turnover company at the communal kitchen and start chatting and doing business. This is only possible at WeWork. Glass walls not only frame the offices differently, but they also make people live in them very differently.
Why? We perceive the environment based on how it is framed to us. Glass walls remove insulation from other people, making us more readily engage with other people in our office space. This contrasts with Regus, where the whole environment is designed to isolate you.
WeWork’s interior design nudges the brain (welcome to behavioural economics) and creates a new shortcut; if we can see each other at the office, why don’t we socialise? This model works very well at every WeWork office. Even though you may not wish to socialise with others, your brain nevertheless pushes to you to do it. This can result in getting your biggest client whilst waiting for your coffee.
You might be thinking that you have a private members club membership. This means that you wish to be exclusive and not easily approached. Yes, WeWork is similar to a private members club, but one that is open to everyone. Whether you like to dress up perfectly or come to the office with a chubby pug and wearing wear clothes from a second-hand shop, it’s the same. You don’t have to think in a certain way to be a member of this club.
They let you do whatever it is that you really love to do. And believe me, the WeWork team is very helpful. I’m someone who stays in the office into the night while waiting for late trains, and I’ve never had any issues. Imagine waiting for a train at a London Starbucks; it would be a very expensive affair!
I have also been tweeting this journey on my Twitter! Follow the #myWeWorkLife hashtag. It is a kind of travel journey between Birmingham and London.
I think that if I had never used the WeWork office I wouldn’t now be moving to London. The WeWork app literally made me move to London to get more of WeWork. I am even moving to a co-living space called The Collective, which follows the same concept but for living.
I am 100% sure that I will spend more time at WeWork offices than the co-living spaces. There are many WeWork offices that I haven’t been to yet and hosted a Lunch & Learn at.
This is why I mention it is a pushback for a brand-new story.