Brian Chen, CEO and cofounder at ROOM, talks all things hybrid work, modular design, sustainability, interest rates, and SVB. He dives into the possible recession, economic uncertainty, the perfect number of phone booths, what the modular approach can do for you, and more in this episode of the GCUC Podcast.
It’s been a rollercoaster. For all of us who work in a business that is adjacent or conjecturally related to offices, it’s been a rollercoaster of the last three years. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
Flexibility is in demand and our products help facilitate flexibility, hybrid work, and the privacy needed for doing a podcast like this or any kind of video conferencing. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
An interesting trend we are seeing right now, we are actually seeing more inbound interest than ever before. But people are waiting for budgets to get approved and how the Silicon Valley banking crisis shakes out. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
I’ve never been more bullish about what we are doing and never more convicted in the thesis that these modular architectural products will help facilitate flexibility, help facilitate greater work environments that are perfectly adapted to hybrid work. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
I liken the process to pulling at the yarn of curiosity. The other founder was telling me that there needed to be more phone booths in the office, and I had never heard of phone booths in the office. So, I asked myself what is this and why doesn’t it exist? -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
I realized that phone booths are just a symptom of a much bigger problem. The way that offices are built out is extremely complicated and the number of stakeholders involved, the amount of time and money involved is really extraordinary. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
In 2017, it occurred to me that even with all the coworking flourishing, really for that future workplace to truly exist and be viable economically you need to make not just leases flexible, but you need to make the entire tenant improvement and furnishings aspect flexible, as well. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
When you do something like a phone booth and you expand that to the larger formats and the other architectural components of the interior of an office, what you have is a portfolio of products that are: quick to deploy, flexible to change, more affordable than construction, and more sustainable. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
Meeting customers where they are is very much part of our company, today. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
We designed our meeting room specifically with hybrid collaboration in mind. The AV setup is prebuilt, 180o camera and pre-installed monitor. This allows for avoiding the awkward angles that sometimes happen with a mix of in person and remote. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
Beyond materials, supply chain, and design, the future of sustainability is to make sure that we can eliminate those wasteful cycles of tear down/build up. -Brian Chen, CEO & Cofounder at ROOM
Click HERE to listen to the full podcast with Liz Elam and Brian Chen. It’s juicy!