John Arenas, Chairman and CEO of Serendipity Labs, describes the work and mission of the New York-based company, which has two open locations in the Dallas Region, one under construction, and a total of eight planned. Serendipity Labs is a national network of upscale shared workplaces for coworking, dedicated workspace for one to 10 individuals, and meeting and events for up to 100 attendees. It provides businesses with a professional and flexible real estate alternative that is ideal for distributed teams, as headquarters for growing companies, or a drop-in workplace for employees and freelancers.
How does Serendipity Labs help other businesses become more effective?
Companies compete on innovation, rapid execution, and agility. They need to attract and retain top talent, and one way is to give employees an inspirational workplace designed for collaboration and productivity. At its best, coworking can be an extension of the corporate workplace, with on-demand real estate that flexes with business needs. Short product and project cycles make it increasingly difficult to forecast workplace requirements beyond three-year horizons. Coworking gives companies the right to be wrong by providing a workplace that is always just the right size. That makes coworking less expensive than fixed traditional leases that are inevitably wrong at some point in the traditional 10-year lease term.
Not every business needs dedicated workspace, but every business needs meeting and event space. Our network has 100,000 square feet of stunning event venues that are perfect for regional team meetings, planning retreats, and customer events. In Dallas, we regularly host groups of up to 100 attendees.
Having a trusted workplace provider across the region, the state, or the nation offers our members technical security, personal safety, and the highest service levels. Our Dallas Region members can work or meet in the Uptown/Arts District, at Hall Park in Frisco, and soon in McKinney.
What differentiates Serendipity Labs from others in your industry?
Our workplaces offer meeting and events, a work club environment, and dedicated workspace. Our top-rated hospitality service, combined with our trusted, secure environment sets us apart. Companies of all sizes – from Fortune 500 to fast-moving ones – turn to Serendipity Labs because our IT platform and workplaces meet rigorous financial, health care, and e-commerce standards including HIPAA, PCI, PCS-DSS, GLBA, and Sarbanes Oxley audit trail compliance. Unique among coworking providers, our duty of care policy adheres to the same standards for safety and security that large companies follow. Meeting organizers and companies can breathe easy when sending employees and clients to Serendipity Labs.
What do you enjoy most about doing business in Dallas?
Dallas has great traditions and institutions, but it’s the people that we love. It is home to 23 Fortune 500 companies, 32 percent of the Texas high-tech workforce, and produces the fourth highest contribution to GDP among U.S. metros. Dallas has always been a regional hub and gateway to the west. Now, with its diversified economy and amazing food and entertainment options, what’s not to love? Our highly trained team is selected because they deliver white glove service. We are well equipped to introduce companies from across the country to the region.
Why did you decide to become a DRC member?
The Dallas Regional Chamber offers the opportunity to meet with other local business owners, to network, and to share ideas and experiences. We’re able to build relationships, increase visibility, and promote our services. Our membership is our connection to the Dallas community and is invaluable.
How has Serendipity Labs changed in the past five years?
There are three big changes that are reshaping real estate forever. The first has been the consumerization of real estate. Instead of office leasing decisions being made centrally by large organizations, mobile and connected workers now exercise choice about how, when, and where to work. The second is that companies are making a significant portion of their real estate flexible enough to support these mobile workers and are shedding leases to be more agile. JLL estimates this may reach 30 percent of the office market by 2025. The third is that landlords are embracing flexible work to satisfy the demands of tenants. By partnering with top coworking providers, they create their own brands, bringing institutional capital, innovation, and inspiration to those of us who are competing to offer the best solutions.