Coworking & Agile Working – Interview with Ana Paula Tediosi

Selma Mohr 20, Nov 2019 5 min
Ana Paula Tediosi

Coworking & Agile Working – Interview with Ana Paula Tediosi

A marketer, growth hacker, a developer and a graphic designer all come together at one place. Yes, coworking spaces make this possible. 

Whatever background you have, at coworking spaces you will find someone doing something you are unfamiliar with. 

The statistics show a significant growth worldwide in coworking spaces:

  • In 2019, already 2 million coworking members are expected. (deskmag) 
  • According to Deskmag, the IT industry has the largest number of coworkers (22%), followed by PR, marketing and sales employees (14%).
  • Women make up around 40% of the coworking workforce. (deskmag)

At Lionstep we constantly learn from our talents and their workspace expectations. A new trend is agile working and flexible work options, such as home office or coworking spaces. 

The advantages of coworking vary from being exposed to diversity, networking and communities to even enjoying benefits of productivity and cost efficiency. Lionstep talked to Ana Paula Tediosi, owner and general manager of Birdhaus, a social club and coworking space for women located in Zurich, Switzerland. Birdhaus is specifically for women-only. The end goal is to empower women to make valuable contacts, exchange ideas and develop further.  We asked Ana about her insights into coworking and agile workspaces:

Coworking is growing rapidly, according recent statistics. Why do you think is this concept becoming so successful? 

I think there are two main reasons. One is because the sharing economy is a big trend. We share costs of cars, flats and now also workspaces. Using a coworking space is less expensive and more flexible than having your own office. The second reason is because there are plenty of empty spaces downtown. Rents are very high and even big companies and well known brands cannot afford to remain in the city centers. The easiest way to use these surfaces is to create coworking spaces. 

40% of flexible workspace demand is forecast to come from large & corporate companies ( Why are corporates interested in coworking if they have their own offices?

People are asking for more flexible work environments and working remotely is becoming an essential benefit to provide to employees. If companies want to hire and retain the best talent, they need to adapt to this new expectation. Additionally, more and more professionals are not willing to move for a new job. Working remotely, by providing home office or coworking space options, is becoming a requirement to attract & retain talent. It has become one of many corporate strategies regarding talent acquisition.

Why Birdhaus? What benefits does Birdhaus offer?

Birdhaus is not only a workspace, it’s a lifestyle. At Birdhaus we offer a space where women can work, feel empowered, productive and support each other to succeed. Women working at Birdhaus are not only looking for a workspace, they want a sense of belonging to a tribe that share their same values of feminine warmth, healthy lifestyle and sustainability. Birdhaus members are looking for a place where they can share their wisdom and learn from others. This sense of belonging and “tribe” feeling is something that I see is becoming more significant in creating a comfort zone in the workplace. 

What do coworkers want in a coworking space? 

Of course our members ask for a nice and welcome space where they can focus on their day of work. But it’s about much more than that. Birdhaus members want healthy choices of drinks and snacks, they want to exchange during coffee break and lunch time. The Birdhaus community is growing and the exchange within the members is crucial to maintain a sense of belonging.  Learning and developing new skills are fundamental parts of Birdhaus tribe because members want to grow professionally. Thanks to a carefully selected events program, Birdhaus offers options for social, professional and self development, where members are active contributors to the program. 

Is there anything crazy someone has ever asked you about the coworking space?

Nothing really crazy so far, but a lot of people ask why a coworking space only for women. Leading a professional women group since 5 years and being a fierce advocate of gender equality, I get this question often. A women-only space is not about being isolated from men. It is about unlocking women’s potential, show alternatives, and shape new professionals and leaders. If you are surrounded by all kinds of professional women, from IT developers to book writers, from photographers to digital marketing strategists, you feel empowered by other examples and motivated to continue your professional path. You can achieve this only in situations where women feel free to speak up and this happens in a women’s only space. 

Considering the Birdhaus members, which industry background do they have? Please list the most common ones.

We are very proud to have a very diverse members base. Freelancers, coaches, designers, architects, writers, and people working for companies that do not have their offices in Zurich. The diversity is also present in terms of origin: half of Birdhaus members are Swiss, the other half come from all around the world. It is very enriching to spend lunch time at Birdhaus, everyone is so different! 

Thank you Ana for sharing your experience with Lionstep. We enjoy learning more about the future of work and candidate expectations. Follow our blog to stay up-to-date on relevant topics within HR and the future of work!