Riveter members might recognize Heather Carter. Formerly having served as the VP of Operations for The Riveter, Heather is using her knowledge gained in coworking to make a smarter, more efficient business in this new work from home/ hybrid work landscape. Launching The Coterie Club, Heather is using the skills and smarts from past start ups Helper, Soothe, and Heal. Pull up a chair to read our latest Founder File with Heather, and then make sure to reserve your seat on Coterie ASAP!
How do you think coworking has evolved because of the pandemic?
The pandemic spurred a massive shift in how and where people work, and with that, we’ve seen a changing of attitudes from both employers and employees placing high value on flexibility and productivity. The 26B market for flexible workspaces will only grow as more companies adopt a “work from anywhere” approach with 55% of employees globally expected to work from home through 2021. The extant players capture only 18% of the market while paying high rents for mostly empty spaces — having seen a market decline of 12.9% in 2020. I think the co-working industry will bounce back as post-pandemic life resumes to meet the growing market need, but will need to adjust price and policy according to a more cost, value, and contract conscious customer.
How will the shift in hybrid working change the way we work?
People were forced to work smarter during the pandemic while out of their usual structure and routine and juggling home life concurrent with their work day. We learned that any meeting can be a call or an email because it HAD to be, and we were forced to be more decisive and intentional about our day. While anecdotally I hear workers enjoyed elements of remote and more flexible work, we are by nature social creatures and Zoom can’t solve for the contact high you get when amongst like-minded and purpose-driven people. I think we will see workers actively seek IRL engagement but on their own terms.
Tell us about Coterie! How can we join, and when is it coming to other cities?
The Coterie is a new approach to flexible work. We are a membership-based app connecting demographically aligned flex workers with underutilized and under activated space in hotels such as lobbies, business centers, conference rooms, and other amenities. Members also enjoy discounts on food and beverage, private spaces, and more. Membership is just $25 a month for unlimited coworking. We just launched in L.A. with our founding partner hotels and will be adding new hotels very soon. We plan to launch in NYC, Miami, and Chicago by 2022.
As a founder and veteran of many amazing startups, what advice do you have for women looking to start a business?
I applaud and encourage any woman who is considering a business venture. My advice would be to first validate your idea for the business — is this needed and who are the competitors? A SWOT analysis is a good exercise in the beginning before you’ve invested any more time. Then ask yourself if you are willing to bet your time, money, reputation, and sometimes your sleep on that idea. If you’ve done your research and are good with the tradeoffs then my second piece of advice would be to start networking and making inroads with people that can be influential for your business — The Riveter is the perfect community for this.