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We took a few minutes to sit down with Fora CEO and Co-Founder, Enrico Sanna, to talk all things office space and the changing world of work. Here’s what he had to say about leading the workspace revolution…
So what exactly is Fora?
Beautiful, inspiring, professional, flexible offices throughout London and Reading. Designed with the more progressive and discerning individual or business owner in mind, it’s a hub-and-spoke network of premium, well-designed, flexible offices. You’ll come for the design but stay for the service. At Fora you become a Resident, not a tenant. If you think about the fusion of a fine hotel, a private members’ club and the serviced office of tomorrow – you’re close to what Fora delivers.
It seems co-working is the buzzword of the moment. What makes Fora different?
This isn’t traditional co-working, this isn’t your usual serviced office. You haven’t seen this yet. This is the future of workspace. We call it ‘pro-working’.
Is co-working working?
Yes, for some. The problem with a lot of co-working spaces is that it’s quite hard to actually get any work done. Where do you go if you want a flexible, modern workspace without the risk of ending up in the middle of a 72-hour hack-a-thon or being interrupted by a game of ping-pong outside your meeting room? We designed Fora from a genuine passion to deliver a productive workspace. The difference is beautifully designed space, hotel-like hospitality and members’ club style service for people that are passionate and focussed about work.
We’re state-of-the-art throughout, from superfast fibre Wi-Fi, to secure and quiet spaces. Every Fora space contains multiple zones so you choose an area to suit the way you work. We’ve got a 24-hour concierge, bookable meeting rooms, lounges, a library and facilities such as bike racks, showers and even somewhere to dry your towel. We really have thought thoroughly about the whole experience – so you’re free to throw everything into your day and your business – while we take care of everything else.
Our product is premium and bespoke. It’s built around our Residents’ modern workspace needs from the ground up – our buildings are owned and therefore not restricted by leased floor plates that cannot be adapted. Backed by Brockton Capital, a leader in property investment in London with an exemplary track record of creating amazing buildings, we scour London to buy and renovate the finest properties in great locations, and also create stunning new builds.
What inspired you take this approach?
The office of today is changing. The trends and needs of the workplace for both employers and employees are becoming more design, experience and service-led. The same applies to the economics. The long lease is dated and companies need more flexibility than ever before, that’s why we offer frictionless 30-day contracts with no minimum stay. Our research also shows that office design now plays a key role in talent acquisition and retention. What your office says about your business has never been more important.
I want to set the standard for a new way of working. We don’t sell desks, we deliver an employee experience. Our offices are designed to enable our Residents to choose how, when and where they work. It’s about improving productivity and wellbeing in the workplace. I believe the workspace is the next sector to enter the hospitality industry (space as a service). We aim to lead in this sector, in thought and in delivery, by evolving the hotel guest experience into the workplace and employee experience.
So what should you expect when you walk through the door?
Quite simply, the difference is in the design and service. We have worked with leading architects, interior designers and hospitality consultants to create an experience akin to a fine hotel. The first thing you (and your guests) are greeted with is warm hospitality and leading design. You arrive into our spacious lobby complete with dedicated concierge team, lounge, event space, restaurant and bar. As with any fine hotel, all our Fora locations will offer an exceptional quality of food and drink.
Fora – Clerkenwell – Central Street incorporates not just any restaurant but Palatino, a destination restaurant open to all. It was forged in partnership with leading restaurateur Stevie Parle, chef-owner of the phenomenally successful restaurants The Dock Kitchen, Rotorino, Craft London and Sardine. Our great service extends beyond business as usual, to networking, education and collaboration. Our talented concierge creates meaningful connections between like-minded residents and gives you access to a network of curated professional and lifestyle contacts.
We have an exciting calendar of curated events, insightful talks, private views and other events for our residents throughout the year. Our service extends to a wellness studio hosting yoga and personal training classes, as well as a treadmill, cross trainer, rowing, free weights and workout area.
What are your ambitions for Fora?
My ambition is that Fora becomes a change agent for work, enabling companies to experience the future of work – today. Fora is bringing something completely different to the world of working, or ‘pro-working’ as we like to call it, taking the best of the hotel experience and applying it to the work environment. Fora delivers a cohesive, productive resident experience rather than merely supplying a desk. Through extensive research, we have developed a ground-breaking concept that will give all residents the space to be brilliant. Enrico Sanna is Co-founder and CEO of Fora.