Q&A: Jamie Hodari, CEO of Industrious

What was the experience of starting Industrious like?

What was complicated wasn't the concept or the activation energy, it was that my cofounder and I both had full-time jobs. I was running a pretty big organization for someone my age [31, at the time] and was going back and forth between Rwanda and the U.S. Trying to get a side hustle going felt daunting.

What impact do you think co-working and remote work has on our society and workforce?

I think the impact is making a better way to work, a more productive day, and a less lonely environment. [Co-working] is becoming a very big, formidable, and sophisticated industry and I predict that in the future, nearly 30 to 40 percent of workplaces will be run by companies like ours. I think people are going to be really happy that there are experts who spend all day thinking about what makes people happy and productive at work. People didn't used to spend time trying to get to the bottom of that concept.

Will you be expanding internationally?

Yes, we want to get mature domestically beforehand, though. We're in almost 50 cities in the U.S. and close to 100 locations, so it's definitely time. We're starting expansion in Mexico and Canada and then countries in Europe.

What excites you about Hudson Yards?

The quality of the buildings themselves and the attention to detail. The combined effect of Industrious and Equinox is quite powerful. Hudson Yards itself and the views were part of the planning that accomplished that. People don't want to go up to their desk for 10 hours, take the elevator back down, and leave at the end of the day. Now, parts of your daily life are stitched into the workday, like going to the gym, or walking to Rent the Runway to return your clothes. There's a much more holistic connection between work obligations and other obligations in your life. We get really excited about [incorporating Industrious into] buildings that have all the amenities to foster this connection. Hudson Yards is the ne plus ultra of that stitched together, campus experience. 

What do you find exciting about being an entrepreneur?

For years after college I had this list of 25 business ideas I wanted to start. But deep down, I never felt like I had the wherewithal to actually pull them off. Finally taking the plunge is such an empowering feeling. It's so exciting to realize that it's possible to come up with an idea, build a coalition of colleagues, investors, and early customers, and make it a reality.

What's your fitness routine?

I work out with an Equinox trainer a few times a week and then do maybe one class on weekends. I'm getting married in January 2020, so that's been a great motivator to stay on track. But now that I've started working out regularly for the first time in my life (I was never an athlete and this shift to involving fitness regularly in my life has come pretty late), I think this is just going to be a constant part of my life moving forward. I just started dipping my toes into yoga recently and it’s amazing! Maybe it’ll become a routine soon.

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