Workspace That Creates a Community for Remote-Workers, with Tom Wordie Co-Founder & Head of Marketing of AndCo [Podcast #79]
This week on the SOL Podcast welcome Tom Wordie, Co-Founder and Head of Marketing of AndCo. Our conversation with Tom was extremely insightful into the changing nature of the working environment, which increasingly embraces remote working. Therefore, this episode is a great resource for anyone, from employees to founders, who would like to find out more about how companies and employees are navigating a changing work environment.
Founded in 2017, AndCo is a new type of workspace subscription service that transforms already existing venues into ideal remote working places for people who don’t want to work from home or their company offices. Initially, they began with a variety of venues such as pubs, restaurants, and bars, but today they generally focus on hotels. Along with affordability, AndCo provides its customers with its own WiFi so that their bookers have high-speed and secure internet which they can access from all AndCo workspaces.
Our first topic was misconceptions about startups. We began by asking Tom what it is that people truly misunderstand about the startup world. We discussed how different people think about startups in the US and the UK when it comes to launching, networking and making revenue. And Tom shared with us the biggest takeaway he had from his experience about the highs and lows of the startup world. Also, we discussed how an entrepreneur’s dilemma (having the unwavering optimism of being right and being able to accept being wrong) manifests differently in both cultures and how it even affects investors. Tom explains how the pandemic offered them an opportunity to re-evaluate their strategy.
We turn our attention back to AndCo and discuss their journey. Tom recalls that the idea for AndCo originated with Sanj’s wife Nicole, who was walking home when she thought of turning empty bars, pubs, and restaurants into working spaces since she herself used to hold meetings in coffee shops, which were not always ideal environments to host clients. Tom then details how regular hospitality venues and remote working spaces operate and how AndCo is different in bringing the two sides of the market together: the venues that are otherwise empty during the weekdays and people who look for remote working spaces.
Tom says that what they do is about speed, locality, affordability, convenience and flexibility. And we talk about the change we see in the working model and the place of remote working in our time. Tom says that what they are doing at the AndCo is formalising the working model that already exists in a way that favours the employee. Community is at the core of AndCo. We talk about all the ways they address the mental health of freelancers and others who work remotely by providing specific features to clients. If you are wondering about user behaviour, you can find out how their numbers have changed drastically over the years.
Of course, as were for most companies, the early times of the pandemic were scary for AndCo as well. Tom explains in what ways they navigated the rough waters. He states that it was a period of re-evaluation and they created an online community that was much needed at the time. Finally, we asked Tom his opinion about the general understanding of the startup ecosystem and the market and how long it takes to build a successful business. So, if you would like to know more about the different perspectives about the startup world across cultures, the transformation of remote-working behaviours, and entrepreneurship, you can check out our episode above.