Welcome to the second episode of the Visionaries podcast series, presented by Coworking Values podcast, the European Coworking Assembly, and andcards. In this episode, we're excited to feature Lindsay Hedenskog, co-founder of LAMB, a purpose-built coworking space in Stockholm that aims to provide everything a person needs to thrive at work. Lindsay is a visionary entrepreneur who not only strives to ensure the happiness and sustainability of LAMB's members but also works to help companies create positive shifts in their work environments and build a more sustainable future for everyone.
In this interview, Lindsay shares her thoughts on why she considers LAMB to be a movement, the impact of LAMB's philosophy, and the unique value proposition that sets LAMB apart from other coworking spaces. Whether you're a coworking space owner, a business leader, or simply someone who cares about creating a better work environment, you won't want to miss Lindsay's innovative ideas and insights. If you're short on time, we've put together some key takeaways from the interview to help you get the most out of this conversation. So sit back, relax, and let's dive into the world of LAMB with Lindsay Hedenskog.
I believe that the coworking market in Stockholm is growing quickly and has one of the more established coworking models in the Nordic countries. However, there is a significant difference between coworking and "kontorshotell" in Stockholm, which creates confusion for customers about what each offering entails. While both are serviced office offerings, coworking has the added benefit of community and people.
Unfortunately, the majority of the coworking market in Stockholm leans towards the office hotel side, even though they call themselves coworking spaces.
Although the number of coworking spaces in Stockholm is increasing, it would be great to see more spaces prioritize people and community, as I believe it is something that the city needs.
As someone who is passionate about coworking, I believe that while coworking hotels have an attractive economic value proposition, they fall short in terms of providing a complete ecosystem of work.
Coworking hotels offer a practical solution where businesses can rent a serviced office without worrying about maintenance or long-term commitment.
However, their offering is limited to only providing office space, which ignores the significant impact of the physical environment on work.
In contrast, coworking spaces provide a comprehensive work environment that goes beyond the functional aspects of physical space. At our coworking space, we focus on creating a community-centric environment that fosters creativity, innovation, and personal and professional growth. We prioritize networking and offer opportunities to our members that transcend the boundaries of traditional office space.
When I started the LAMB project, my intention wasn't to become a coworking operator. My real ambition was to address something that's fundamentally broken with our work environments.
We've become accustomed to the idea that when we're at work, we're like work robots.
We lose the ability and the need for fundamental things like the connection with other people, physical activity, healthy eating, and mindfulness. I wanted to build a space that would make it easy for people to take care of these needs during the workday and create an environment that would change the standard for what work can and should be like. My personal experience led me to start this project.
The name LAMB is my daughter's nickname and I don't want my daughter to enter the working world with the same conditions that we are faced with today.
I believe that LAMB is a movement because we recognize the need to create better working environments that prioritize people's mental and physical health. We are aware of the mental health crisis and the stress-related illnesses that people are experiencing. It's alarming that the responsibility to fix this has been placed on individuals instead of companies and workspaces.
At LAMB, we believe that creating intentional work environments with science-backed strategies can positively impact people's well-being. By doing this as a group, we can create a culture of inclusion, tolerance, innovation, and safety. We want to provide a space where people can be themselves and grow, both personally and professionally.
Our goal is to create better work environments for future generations. That's why LAMB is a movement.
Yes, my team and co-founders share my philosophy and goals for LAMB. When I first started LAMB with another woman, we had different visions and decided to go our separate ways. After that, I went through a period of soul-searching and discussed with my husband and baby sister what we wanted the company to become.
Through those discussions, we realized that we all shared a passion for creating a more human-centric business culture and using the physical office environment to support that culture. That's why they both became my co-founders, and now we run the business together, with complementary skill sets that don't overlap.
We want to create a work environment where people can thrive, not just survive.
By making some adjustments to the work environment and being more human in our approach, we can acknowledge our biological needs for rest, movement, mindfulness, connection, and growth. We all believe that we deserve the opportunity to thrive, and we're surrounded by communities of social entrepreneurs, social innovators, and progressive businesses, all trying to solve the same riddle of how to create environments where we can achieve our potential in harmony with the rest of our planet.
We have already seen the positive impact of the LAMB movement through our unique and welcoming community experience. One example is a large FinTech company with 200 people that integrated into the LAMB community over six months, initially treating it like a normal office, but eventually changing their behavior and fully integrating into the community. They loved it so much that they didn't want to leave when their time was up.
Another example is a member who experienced a mindset shift and started taking advantage of the retreat rooms and gym regularly after initially only coming to work.
We hope that more people will join the LAMB community and experience similar positive shifts.
At LAMB, we are always looking to improve and offer a unique approach to our members. We aim to create a shift in the standard of work environments and see our space as a living lab where we can test new ideas and help other companies implement our model into their physical space and culture through consulting services, workshops, and team experiences.
In the long term, we plan to digitize our approach and create a digital platform to make it easier for companies to adopt small changes in their culture.
Our goal is to help companies make a positive change in their culture and create a shift in the standard of work environments.
Events and rooms on the fancy LAMB app developed by andcards
At LAMB, we believe that focus is crucial in the workplace, and we have created a designated area called the "library" where complete silence is maintained.
We have implemented a simple yet effective system of using boundary cards to reinforce this boundary.
These cards are postcard-sized, with one side being green and the other being white. If you're focusing and don't want to be disturbed, you can put the green side up, and if you're open to chatting or being interrupted, you can put the white side up.
I also believe in the potential of digital tools to enhance productivity and focus. By utilizing science-backed data, we can create tools that have been proven to work.
For instance, we can provide users with a simple checklist of three tangible tools to improve their focus, such as snoozing all notifications, using a boundary card, setting a focused work timer, and playing music or binaural beats.
When we spend two hours focused on our work, we can reap multiple benefits, such as feeling accomplished, and productive, boosting self-esteem, and calming our nervous system. These effects don't end there, though. They can spill over into our interactions with others and the world around us.
After being productive and focused, we're likely to be more collaborative, creative, and engaged in conversations and meetings. We may also have a more positive attitude and behavior toward our loved ones.
It's fascinating to think about how small changes in our routines can lead to such significant positive impacts on our lives and the people around us. The potential of digital tools and science-backed data to help us achieve these outcomes is truly exciting.
Our culture code is at the core of our mission to improve lives through building a partnership with our members.
It's a set of shared expectations that we ask all members to sign and commit to, including values like generosity, inclusivity, vulnerability, and respectful sharing.
We hold each other accountable to these standards to ensure that we are creating a culture that prioritizes what's best for human beings. Our members are excited to sign their membership agreements because they know they're joining a community committed to creating a thriving and fulfilling workspace.
I believe that vulnerability is essential for personal growth. It allows us to take an honest look at ourselves and identify areas where we can improve.
Without vulnerability, any changes we make will be superficial and short-lived.
In our community, we encourage our members to be open and honest about their struggles and their journey toward self-improvement. We believe that by sharing our experiences with each other, we can create a supportive foundation for growth. We're not here to judge each other or strive for unattainable ideals, but to celebrate progress and encourage each other every step of the way.
If you're ready to embrace vulnerability and take the next step towards self-improvement, we invite you to join our community.
Our community is primarily made up of solo entrepreneurs, consultants, coaches, and independent workers, but we have seen an increase in small teams who find our coworking space beneficial for their business needs.
At LAMB, we understand that starting a business can be overwhelming, and it's important to remember that businesses are made by people, for people. That's why we offer a co-creation approach, aligned with the values of small business owners who wear many hats and need support to build a sustainable culture focused on human beings.
Our co-working space provides a flexible office solution, but it's more than just a workspace. It's a community of like-minded individuals who inspire and support each other. Our methodology and vision scale beyond the physical space, allowing us to solve cultural building block issues that small companies face.
Let's co-create and build a sustainable future for your business together.
Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey to explore the world of coworking and entrepreneurship. It has been our pleasure to speak with Lindsay Hedenskog from LAMB and learn the recipe for work-life balance.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Our next stop is Ipade—the first Black woman-owned event and meeting space in Washington DC designed for women of color entrepreneurs, professionals, and creatives. We are excited to bring you more engaging discussions and unique perspectives from coworking leaders around the world.
Don't miss out on our upcoming episodes by signing up for our newsletterfollowing us on social media channels for all the latest updates and interviews, and checking our Podcast page. As always, Coworking Smarts is your go-to resource for all things coworking, so be sure to check back regularly for more cool stuff. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time!