It’s true that most businesses today recognise the value of diversity. Through strategic recruitment policies and the development of an inclusive culture, business leaders strive to leverage a variety of backgrounds and perspectives to create a commercial advantage. But when limited by your own industry sector, is there a limit to how far you can go in achieving real diversity? Soren Trampedach, founder of Sydney’s most unique working space, Work Club, thinks there is.
Soren said “I believe collaboration between people from diverse backgrounds improves the individual experience and the business outcomes.
“I conceived the idea for Work Club in 2005 and created it as a space for people whose paths would not ordinarily cross.”
With a professional background focussing on developing connected workplace strategies, advising on think tanks and consulting with global CEOs, Soren knew what great workplaces were made of. According to Soren, exposure to other businesses will become increasingly preferable over single company locations. And it is this exposure he feels generates true diversity.
“Having worked specifically in the workplace industry for over 20 years, I’ve been able to see what works and what doesn’t,” Soren said.
“Work Club is leading the future of work by providing diversity and encouraging collaboration.”
Soren says that gaining exposure to a variety of ideas that challenge your own views proves difficult for many businesses, large or small.
“Innovation and new ideas are rarely triggered through your normal business or personal network. The ‘spark’ is more likely to happen outside your normal network.”
And diversity at Work Club doesn’t happen by coincidence. Its membership base, the product of the business, needs to be carefully orchestrated. Not to be mistaken with exclusivity, Soren asserts, Work Club’s application process is crafted to place members from a range of industries with a variety of experiences.
“Our members are conservative, progressive, young, old, female, male – it’s about creating a mix that will benefit everyone in Work Club and offer more than just a very pleasant workspace.”
Taking the process very seriously, Work Club is currently turning away applicants to maintain its commitment to diversity in membership.
While Soren understandably remains discreet around Work Club’s clients, its [diverse] pool of members so far include: philosophers, various family offices, a musician, a poet, lawyers, authors, public speakers, sporting legends, entrepreneurs and social media experts amongst others.
Not just a co-working space, but a carefully designed venue and platform for people to engage with external organisations and individuals, it’s no surprise that Work Club is almost at capacity in Sydney. But it certainly won’t end in Sydney. Already having plans to launch in Melbourne next year, Soren said there are plans to take the concept overseas.
Soren also hopes that Work Club’s network of speakers, the Florence Guild, will expand internationally, operating out of global Work Club spaces, sharing speakers and networks.
“What’s most exciting about expansion for me is the kind of diversity we’ll be able to achieve in cities like New York, London, Berlin and for cross-pollination between hubs,” he said.
An emerging work culture; our view of the modern office could soon be changing if Work Club’s progress is anything to go by.