We recently spoke with Justin Raymond who is the founder of a company in Toronto called Flexday that helps link underused spaces with the clients that could use them. Got a space that you rent that sometimes sits unused? Try Flexday to maximize your profit on that space. Looking for a workspace? Flexday passes start as low as $5 a day.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Flexday. At Flexday, we partner with retailers and restaurants that are traditionally underused during the day and they create dedicated spaces for work within those venues and offer Flexday members guaranteed WiFi, power outlets near every seat, and perks like free coffee.
You can work where you want, when you want and you only pay for what you use – and with day passes starting at $5, it won’t break the bank. Today, there are more than 40 Flexday locations in Toronto / GTA, offering workspace freedom to more than 7,000 members.
What made you want to do this work?
Just over two years ago, I was working for myself as an entrepreneur and was convinced that I could do the job successfully from a home office. Instead, I felt suffocated in my own home. It was lonely and isolating and I found it difficult to stay engaged in my work. In an attempt to foster productivity, I tried working in public spaces near my home. A wine bar above a nearby supermarket was quiet, but the Wi-Fi was unusable and slowing me down. Another café felt unwelcoming, and I often felt watched by other patrons when I set up my laptop. These work sessions all ended in a similar fashion — I would leave, frustrated, hop on my bike and try to find a new space. That is when the idea of Flexday began to take shape. I started this company because I’m determined to pull people out of the confines of the daily grind. Working in changing and interesting spaces is ammunition for innovation — it awakens your senses, improves productivity and re-engages you with your community.
What problem does this solve?
The way we work is undergoing a massive and fundamental shift. We’re living through what’s being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Mobile technology has put a complete office in the pocket of even full-time employees, who can now connect to anyone, from anywhere at any time. And younger Canadians have dramatically different expectations about work than their parents did. The concept of keeping work in a ‘nine to five’ box is obsolete.
But the “where” of work hasn’t caught up to these changes. Right now, you really have only three alternatives to a traditional office – and none of them are very good. The first option is working from home which can be lonely and isolating. Camping out in a coffee shop all day is far from a conducive work experience, especially offensively small tables, spotty wifi and loud guests. And finally, co-working spaces are expensive – and truthfully, in many ways, simply replicate the traditional office structure – just with cooler furniture. Flexday offers Torontonians the option to have more workspace freedom – they can work when they want, where they want, at flexible prices, with all of the options at their fingertips with the Flexday app.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Our clientele initially started as entrepreneurs, freelancers and individuals that would identify as being part of the gig economy. But we are seeing the interest in Flexday grow significantly with small organizations giving up office space completely, cutting down on overhead costs and giving their team Flexday accounts. Larger organizations are also looking at Flexday as a benefit they can offer their employees and looking to create corporate accounts to provide their team members more workplace freedom.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
Flexday is set up as on-demand service, allowing members to pay for services as they use them. Each host location has a certain day rate ranging from $5/ day to $25/ day.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
There are over 40 Flexday locations all across Toronto and the GTA. Whether you are on King Street or in King City, there is a Flexday location nearby. For a full list of locations, simply download the Flexday app and use the map to check relevant locations.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
How is Flexday different from other co-working spaces?
We like to say that co-working spaces are an evolution of the traditional office set up – but Flexday is a revolution. Flexday allows employees true workspace freedom. Members can work where they want, when they want and only pay for what they use. There are no long term commitments and no large overhead costs.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part about working on Flexday is knowing that our solution saves people time which can be re-deployed into family, friends and personal growth. Increasing the number of Flexday locations provides faster access to a productive place to work which helps reduce stress as well. The hardest part of working on a startup like Flexday would be pushing aside self-doubt and finding the strength to push through the never-ending, ongoing challenges.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
I think anything to do with remote work and work from home are pretty funny like: Are you working remotely or not even remotely working?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
I love Jiffy. Very useful service with a strong value proposition because I like leaving that kind of work to the experts.