Naomi is one half of the husband-wife duo behind The Office Space. She is a highly sociable person who enjoys nurturing relationships and has put an emphasis on crafting deeply personal connections in her coworking business. Without further ado, here’s Naomi’s future of work in her own words.
Why should big corporations have all the fun?
When my husband, Boris Tosic, first started setting up workplaces, coworking didn’t even exist. He was a builder who was building multi-million-dollar offices with beautiful interiors for major corporations. Realizing that he wanted to work in those stimulating environments himself, he built an office with the same attributes of design and scintillating décor that could bring out his best work.
He started with one floor in Sydney’s Surry Hill neighborhood, which then grew into four floors and our first Office Space location, the Reservoir office. With the vision of “elevating the significance of the workplace in our society,” we began our foray into the coworking industry in 2004.
Fashioning ourselves as a boutique shared workplace, we pride ourselves in staying small and growing steadily. It’s easy to get carried away with hefty expansion plans and throw a lot of money to make that happen. But at The Office Space, we like to take a more restrained approach. We like to take our time with the architectural elements and the interiors to create a unique working environment.
Only recently did we open up our second location – the Paramount which is also in Surry Hill. This new location was designed for individuals that value luxurious design and prestige. It has won awards for its bespoke interiors, and we greatly enjoy that aspect. But, at the same time, we want our offices to have complexity and depth of character. That is when we decided to incorporate key differentiators in our business.
Delivering impeccable concierge services
Hailing from Melbourne, at some point, I had gotten wrapped up in the idea of expanding into my hometown. However, when that project fell through, I came to realize the importance of growing inwards and perfecting the business infrastructure before embarking outwards.
I realized that the coworking community is looking for more than some nice furniture and fast internet. In fact, when you’re asking people to pay for your space, you ought to have value-added services to make yourself stand out.
Thus, when tying this back with our infrastructural building efforts and my effort to find a differentiator, I decided to train our staff to deliver concierge service like no other. This was our way of complimenting our office space and providing a genuine human experience for our customers. We felt that every point of contact that our customers had needed to be personalized and welcoming.
We then went about integrating this concierge style approach across all members in our team. We didn’t want to single out one person with the task of animating the space and making people feel connected. We wanted the connection to happen a lot more organically, so all of our team members deliver the same service.
Community is central to a coworking space
As a former physiotherapist, I have a knack for forging deep ties with people. I love bringing people together, which is why I also oversee the community building aspect of our business.
As human beings, we crave connections even if we’re not actively talking to people. I encourage my staff to introduce people to others in the workspace. This can be tricky because people are there for work and it’s hard not to seem intrusive, but this is also a great space to allow for genuine, authentic, non-superficial connections to be made.
Extending the idea of forging relationships in intimate settings, I organize and host the Insight talk series. It brings together Sydney’s trend-setters in front of a small crowd and opens up the board for deeply personal conversations about anything that’s relevant in the moment.
Having been in the industry for almost fifteen years, it’s very interesting to see that more people are thinking about the future of work and what their workplace can offer them. That’s why I’m glad to be at the center of this conversation at The Office Space as we look to expand.
Naomi Tosic, Business Manager of The Office Space, as told to the Optix Team exclusively for the Optix blog.
The ‘Future of Work’ series shares insights from thought leaders who are on a mission to drive the future of work forward. We speak with members of our diverse network of entrepreneurs, journalists, flexible workplace operators and others, then distill their insights into a 5-15 minute read you can enjoy while sipping your cup of coffee and preparing to start your day.