The story of a successful company in a turbulent decade.
When Compass Offices was founded 10 years ago the world was familiar with business centres and serviced office products. It was a time just after the financial crisis and markets were starting to heal after the beating they received in 2008.
Starting from its first business centres in Hong Kong, Compass has grown to close to 40 centres in 9 cities and over 17,000 satisfied clients. What is the secret of its success?
The answer may sound trivial: staying truly committed to clients and staying ahead of market trends. When, not long after Compass’s start-up, the buzzword “coworking” came up, Compass kept its focus on professionals and corporate clients who chose Compass as the place to run their core business. Coworking, defined as a concept where “people not working for the same company share the same office,” was not and is not a preferred way to work for many of Compass’s clients.
Still, Compass’s clients appreciate having a more informal lounge and meeting space. This led Compass to redesign the business centre concept while staying true to the clients’ need for independent offices for a variety of team sizes, with secure local area networks for each client. A larger and more central lounge area became the design direction. The reception moved to the side to provide a more open welcome to clients and their visitors. This new concept provides a space for clients to enjoy, mix and meet with others and unwind with a nice cup of coffee or tea. All this without any compromise to security, privacy and service level. High speed Wi-Fi in all public areas ensure connectivity at all times.
This hybrid concept was an instant success. Client feedback says that where they once stepped out to a coffee shop, they now combine a productive day with a welcome break in the new lounge.
Compass’s focus on its clients’ needs and requirements was the right strategy. The flexible office market, of which Compass is a key member, is developing rapidly. Market sources expect it to grow to a staggering 30% of the conventional office market by 2030. The flexibility provided by modern technology and changes in the way people wish to work will continue to support the sector. Compass getting the model right is crucial for its future. The spectacular rise and fall of WeWork, an ambitious coworking giant that did not get the (financial) model right, is testimony to this.
As the company’s CEO, Hans Leijten puts it, “Our culture is one focused on people. Both our clients and our staff are the key of our success. By keeping in touch with market trends, listening to clients and creating a great team we stay more than relevant in a dynamic environment. We are not easily distracted by competition, those who are, often end up as a number 2 and will never take the lead. It’s the anticipation of clients’ needs that will define our success. The company tries to live up to its motto – A Great Place to Work – for both clients and our team. It’s evident that the focus on a long-term commitment to every individual client is bearing fruit.”
Compass has its eyes firmly focused on the future and will continue its growth path to more centres and more cities. Where will the journey go in the next 10 years? The mission remains to be the preferred choice for professionals and corporate clients looking for great value and services at an attractive price. Contemporary design will be a cornerstone of Compass’s product delivery.
While keeping its existing portfolio relevant in Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo, and Shanghai, Compass will continue to add new cities and countries in the Asia Pacific region.
About Compass Offices
At Compass Offices, we’re dedicated to providing inspiring workspaces supported by professional services which enable our customers to focus on what they do best. Our clientele includes Fortune 500 companies, growing start-ups, entrepreneurs, independent professionals and enterprise teams. Founded in 2009, Compass Offices has grown from its first business centre in Hong Kong, to encompass close to 40 centres in 9 cities and over 17,000 satisfied clients.
Our workspace philosophy combines affordability, scalability, technology and choice; all within a portfolio of flexible workspaces designed to make each centre a great place to work.