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Interview with The Workspace CEO, Mari Schourie

Interview with The Workspace CEO, Mari Schourie
March 17, 2017 gnuworld
Mari Schourie

In just a few sentences, can you tell us what you think is special about The Workspace? What makes it relevant in South Africa right now?

I currently have 16 years’ experience in running and managing fully serviced offices, and the work environment as we know it has been changing. The Workspace is designed to tie in with these changes.

Our offices and coworking are perfect for the growing number of South Africans who work outside formal offices. Everything’s already set up – business infrastructure, meeting rooms, business services. There’s no obligation to sign lengthy agreements, and the setup of our branches makes it easy to network with like-minded professionals.

All those things make it easier for our entrepreneurs and small businesses to survive and thrive.

Also, our staff, including on-site managers, go through extensive training. It’s of utmost importance to us that we listen to our clients and keep adapting our model and offerings to suit their needs. We don’t only run our own business – we support our clients in running their businesses too.

How much has The Workspace already grown?

Today we have 10 branches and a total of 53 staff.

Currently our branches are at Melrose Arch, Sunninghill, Morningside Manor, Wynberg, Pietermaritzburg, Midrand, Centurion, Randburg and Pretoria.

What have you personally found rewarding at The Workspace? Have you had any memorable or special experiences with clients, for example?

There are so many great stories I can tell – clients walking in as a one-person business growing to 10 staff members…wonderful, exciting, very well-known bigger brands opening satellite offices within our branches. Clients networking and generating income within our branches.

In your experience, what do existing clients at The Workspace like the most?

I’m proud to say that clients are constantly complimenting our staff, the office and coworking environments we provide and the networking that takes place within and between the branches.

Have you faced any particular challenges so far? What’s an example of something that hasn’t been easy?

Something that’s never just “easy” is keeping up with new technology. We aim to offer the best technology at all our branches at all times. We’re always looking at new technology and line speeds.

Do you have plans for growth in the pipeline? Can you give us any details or “sneak peeks” into what the rest of this year holds?

I’m excited to say that we’re currently busy with six new projects. We’re looking to open branches of The Workspace in Parktown North, Blackheath, the Jo’burg CBD, Centurion (this branch will also offer storage), Sea Point and Ballito. We’re investigating some other areas too. So 2017 is going to be an exciting year for The Workspace.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about The Workspace or your experiences as its CEO?

I think of The Workspace and I can’t help but get this enormous smile on my face. My team at head office assists me in creating these stunning spaces for our clients. My staff at all my branches makes me feel so proud. I’m privileged to be part of such an amazing company and group of people – people who all have the same passion for what we do.

We work hard and we all love it.  Every time we reach another milestone together, it’s the best feeling in the world!