CEO of Flexday is Revolutionizing the Way we Use Co-Working Spaces
IN THIS SERIES, WE PROFILE ENTREPRENEURS APPROACHING THE TOP OF THEIR GAME, AND ASK THEM HOW THEY GOT THERE. THIS WEEK WE SPEAK TO JUSTIN RAYMOND, CEO OF FLEXDAY, A CO-WORKING APP THAT, THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS WITH LOCAL SPACES TRANSFORMS UNDER-UTILIZED SEATS IN HOTELS, RESTAURANTS ETC. INTO CO-WORKING SPACES DURING THE DAY.
Face it, the ever-growing number of co-working spaces is not a new trend, they have been sweeping the business landscape as a much needed adaptation to the needs of the modern worker. But Flexday is taking it one step further.
At the heart of most co-working spaces is the universal struggle of putting in long hours and the feelings of isolation working from home or coffee shops create for many entrepreneurs — a sentiment Justin Raymond, founder and CEO of Flexday is familiar with. “The idea for Flexday came about when I was going through this exact struggle myself, of trying to find the right balance between interacting with other like-minded individuals, harnessing creativity and getting work done,” said Raymond.
However, most co-working spaces still play to the traditional constraints of an office: a set location, generally with a paid membership for freelancers or entrepreneurs to come work, network and share ideas — solving that feeling of isolation yet bringing with it the same long-term commitment of a permanent location found in the ghost of jobs past.
Flexday has taken the concept of a ‘traditional’ co-working space and further morphed it to become malleable to the lifestyles and ever-changing daily needs of today’s business professionals. “We’re living through the Fourth Industrial Revolution where younger Canadians hold their work and personal lives in the palm of their hand and, as a result, are questioning the 9-to-5 lifestyle and are demanding more trust from employers when it comes to where and when they work,” explains Raymond.
While traditional co-working spaces are viewed as the evolution of the traditional office, Raymond points to Flexday as a “revolution in how people interact with a variety of workspaces.” Flexday partners with a variety of venues across hotels, retail shops, restaurants and coworking locations to open access to their under-utilized seats during the day, with dedicated spaces for Flexday members within those venues – complete with fast WiFi, power outlets near every seat, and perks like free coffee. All users need is the Flexday app to get started. On the flipside, it also helps generate a new source of revenue for retail/restaurant partners. Today, there are more than 50 Flexday locations in Toronto offering workspace freedom to more than 8,000 members.
Here Justin Raymond shares quick q’s on advice, lessons and how he balances his workday.
Q & A
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.
What is one trait you have, that you find has attributed to your success?
I always challenge myself to be open-minded and curious.
What is the lesson you took the longest to learn?
The power of trust – both in yourself and others.
Who are your some of your role models?
My father for work ethic and perseverance. Mark Joseph for leadership and the importance of listening. Ray Dalio for open-mindedness and accountability. Brene Brown for self-esteem, courage and vulnerability. Elon Musk for his boldness and his execution.
What makes it all worth it?
Working with a brilliant team to build a category defining company. This is exactly what I love to do.
How do you balance your work and personal lives?
Prioritization is the only way. Family first – then my team and the business then close friends and personal time.
-I’m up every morning between 5:30am and 6:00am and review the workday ahead. This usually involves making a latte and getting some uninterrupted thinking done before the kids wake up and start their day.
-I can easily get lost in my work. When I struggle with distractions, I stay focused by setting up work sprints with teammates to hold one another accountable. As a startup CEO, my day is filled with many different tasks. These days, most of my time is spent leading a new B2B project we are testing, with the balance of my time being shared between team one-on-one’s, project update and planning meetings, investor relations and overall strategy. I enjoy eating lunch with my team. It provides a good forum for connecting and catching up on life. I’d recommend C’est What for a business / working lunch with your team any day. The Butter Chicken or the Jambalaya are unreal!
-I meditate everyday. It has calmed my mind and dramatically increased my ability to manage stressful situations. I try to workout every other day. My preferred workout is anything on a bike…I love mountain biking, gravel biking and I love our Peloton.
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For our team, we use Monday.com to keep us all focused on the most important projects and tasks. This is a great accountability and productivity tool. The Flexday App gives us 50+ amazing workspaces across the city. Before these apps, we were far less productive and we spent too much money on an office space that we only used 20% of the time!