Helene Tigerström is one of the people behind the coworking company Mindpark, which is located in several places in southern Sweden. The company has won an award for the best coworking space in the Nordics and we want to get to know the person behind the concept and of course, the secrets in the recipe for success!
Tell us, who are you and what is your background?
With a degree in Service, Marketing and Leadership at Lund University, I have always worked in the service sector in various senior positions. I am a person who never says no to a challenge and who always sees opportunities. For the past four years, I have been the CEO of Mindpark Helsingborg and, together with my colleagues Sanna Ekström and Karsten Deppert, have been on the journey from one to five places in just under 2 years. Today I run both Mindpark Helsingborg and Mindpark Hyllie. I have the luxury of running companies where I get to do something every day that I really like, namely see people and companies grow and create a work environment where people thrive.
[Helene at Mindpark Helsingborg]
What's the story behind Mindpark?
We dare say that Mindpark was one of the first coworking spaces that started in Sweden about 12 years ago. Two young entrepreneurs dared to invest in something they really believed in and that's the way it is. Today we are in Helsingborg, Malmö City, Hyllie and in Lund. We also have a sibling company in Helsingborg called E-commerce Park which is a coworking space for e-retailers with, among other things, its own incubator.
Who can you meet at Mindpark? Tell us about your community!
We have a very diversified group. It is everything from the completely new young entrepreneur, to large international companies that have a unit with us. They are men and women, with different ethnicities and at different ages. And they work in all sorts of different industries. We think this is fantastic and it really contributes to a dynamic environment. Every day I learn something new!
How do you create interaction and collaboration in your community?
We strongly believe that it should be easy and unpretentious with us. If anyone comes up with an idea for something they want us to implement, we are happy to implement it in collaboration with our coworker. Different events and activities of course contribute to interaction, but also simple things like votes, competitions and of course that everyone gathers at the coffee station.
How do you work to be a sustainable & climate-smart workplace?
With us, we attach great importance to these issues. We mainly serve vegetarian options in our café and in our bistro. We review how we invest our occupational pensions and we encourage people to share things with each other.
[Mindpark - Hyllie]
What is the workplace of the future?
I am convinced that coworking and the sharing economy are the workplace of the future. We see that we receive inquiries from large companies that cut back on surfaces and want a flexible solution for their employees. I also experience that the demand for small offices is increasing and that fewer people choose solutions in open landscapes. With covid-19, I also believe that more and more people will work from home to a greater extent and that what you then demand in your workplace are creative environments that can inspire and the social meeting with people.
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Lisa, CMO for DOSPACE tells about the journey from being the company's first employees to the coworking company's expansion to 8 coworking places in Linköping, Norrköping, Jönköping and Gävle. We talk about diversity, why people need people and how everyone can find a home in their premises and community.
Tell me, who are you and what is your background?
My name is Lisa Blückert, I am 27 years old with roots in Närke. University studies in graphic design and communication took me to Norrköping where I found my friends, my relationship, my adult self and the company DOSPACE. I was the first person to be employed at DOSPACE and then we were four people in three places. Through it, I have been able to help shape everything from how we build community, what our product should look like, sales work, graphic manner and finally the purchase price, which made me take the step to CMO at the turn of the year 20/21.
[Lisa at DOSPACE]
What is the story behind DOSPACE?
I think the starting shot was when our CEO Niclas Söör worked extra at Mjärdevi Science Park, met lots of cool, innovative companies and startups but panicked when he saw how sickly boring offices they all had. It was also so separated from each other outside the events and mingling that the park arranged. He gained access to a small room in Mjärdevi Science Park and created a workplace based on "you should not have to work at Google to have a really nice office".
In 2016, Dospave opened with swings in the ceiling, big quotes on the walls and nice sofas and games. a strong service-think, that the coffee would be extra good and the wifi would be extra fast. The premises were given lounge areas, meeting rooms, workplaces and were quickly filled with life - everything from startups to Swedbank. Co-founder Martin Strid was an early member who first exchanged a membership for marketing assistance and then joined the company as a co-founder.
Who can you meet at DOSPACE? Tell us about your community!
With us, you first of all meet individuals who like to be in a warm context, who like to make new acquaintances, are naughty with their knowledge and time and appreciate that everything works. If you take a few steps in, you will find those who appreciate having an office for their team where everything is there, who like to always have someone to have lunch or a beer with, but who also like to be a little outside the center of events.
In terms of industry, you will find everything from yoga instructors and psychologists to lawyers and construction consultants. Everything from someone who has just started AB and wants support from a couple of friends who have run companies together for as long as they can remember. If I were to describe our community in one word, it is DIVERSITY.
How do you create interaction and collaboration in your community?
Especially with our site managers. They are the spider in the web that sets the culture for each place, connects people, presents information, creates events and is a general gathering point. The introduction of each member is super important and can easily take an hour per person, as this is where we put both cultures and start building a context for each individual. In addition, microevent and get togethers are large community builders, along with digital tools for chat and specific digital channels where you can find like-minded people.
How do you work to be a sustainable and climate-smart workplace?
Coworking in itself is already a climate-smart alternative compared to traditional office solutions. In addition to the fact that not everyone buys a coffee machine and a typewriter, it is a matter of us gathering more people in a smaller area so that fewer properties need to be built. With our concept, we can breathe life into and reuse empty premises, which creates long-term sustainability and with shared lounge areas and meeting rooms, every square meter is made more efficient. The more we grow, the easier it is for our members and their employees to find a site near their home so they do not have to commute and save through it on their climate footprint. More day to day, we often choose local contractors for things like catering and other collaborations, we fix and wash furniture instead of throwing away and buying new ones and of course pulling our straw.
What is the workplace of the future, do you have any predictions?
I think the workplace of the future offers a concept similar to coworking but with more types of memberships - for example renting an office for a day to meet the new needs that arise the more remote working trend increases. The workplace will continue to be important as a meeting place for building culture and just hanging out, but I guess the importance of having e.g. curtains in the same color as the company logo will be seen as less important. I think we will see coworking grow stronger outside Stockholm, Malmö & Gothenburg and continue to enable the companies' employees to be spread all over Sweden, as you can hire more based on skills rather than geography.