These days, Liz Elam is a household name in the coworking industry. As the Executive Producer and Founder of GCUC (The Global Coworking Unconference Conference) since 2011, she’s produced and co-produced 26+ coworking conferences all over the world, from New York to Beijing and London to Sydney. She is the founder of Link Coworking, which she recently sold to Common Desk. Liz is also a Partner at Deco Group, a global coworking consulting firm.
Liz first experienced flexible working back in 1999.
“I was a brand new field sales rep for Dell in Atlanta,” Liz told me. “And there was a gentleman who was showing me the ropes. He’d booked us a meeting at a business center in downtown Atlanta. So we went to this place, and it had these dark mahogany walls, and there was a well-dressed man with white gloves that greeted us.”
Liz hadn’t seen or experienced anything like it before. “It was very formal and awkward. Honestly, it was weird.”
“And so I said to my colleague,” Liz continued, “‘what is this place?’ He told me it was a business center and that there was a network of them all around the country that you could just drop into. I thought it was an interesting idea, but the experience of the place made me feel super uncomfortable.”
A short while later, while staying at a W Hotel in New York City, Liz needed to get some work done. As one naturally would, Liz headed down the lounge to set up shop. It was then that she noticed the vibe and atmosphere of the place. It was near happy hour time. Other people were hanging out, drinking cocktails, and also working. “And I was like, ‘Huh, you know, if we could marry that business center with the W Hotel lobby, that would be a really cool place to work.”
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