The Man Who Commuted between Two Continents
The #FlowSpaceMeets series will be focused on shining a spotlight on the innovative voices of our time affecting the future of work.
First up is our co-founder and inspirational leader: Hayri Demircapa. We have long been waiting for Hayri to sit down and share his story. He and his wife Idil have been busy recently welcoming their first child Leo to the world and adapting to life as a start-up-pappa — so he’s excused for it taking so long!
Life before FlowSpace:
Q: Tell us a bit about your work before FlowSpace and how that has influenced you and brought you here.
I started working very young, working in factories and my father’s shop in Istanbul. My business life started very early, but no matter where I worked the working day was always long, 8–6 at work plus the travel time. And I lived in the Asian side of Istanbul and commuted to the European side 1.5 hours each way, so 3 hours total commute time per day! This drain on my day led to a tiring life and almost 1000 hours of commute time each year. I might even have spent 1 full year of my life commuting! I was always tired and never doing my best work in any direction.
Q: You were a very prolific international architect for many years, what projects are you most proud of and why?
The one I’m most proud of is Istanbul city museum. We did all the delivery of that project. The reason it’s so exciting is that there is so much history and culture in Istanbul. There is so much to see and learn in the history of the city. The museum will be a space that everyone can have a flavour of the history of the city and that touches people’s lives. When we were working on this project, my team was so excited and motivated, the reason was because it will truly touch peoples lives for decades and decades to come and we played a big part in that.
Q: Moving from architecture into technology is a bold step, how does the work from your past connect to that of your future?
Architecture is all about touching people’s lives through the spaces they live, work and visit. At FlowSpace, what we are building is also touching and enriching people’s lives — giving them more time with their family, friends and for themselves through a new approach to workspaces. That’s where I see the connection with architecture. But also on a lot larger scale. With a big residential architectural project for example you could touch the lives of 500 people. FlowSpace has the potential to do a lot more than that all over the world.
“Changing mindsets is our biggest mission”
A workspace doesn’t have to be and won’t be one physical location in the future. Our significant mission and responsibility is to be a driving force in shifting the mindset of people with regards to their approach to where work happens. These mindsets have to shift in many different directions. Company leaders have to lead this thinking and work with their teams to build the future. Landlords’ mindsets will have to shift towards the future of real estate and build a new reality instead of trying to maintain the old.
Our biggest challenge will be changing the mindset of others to the future reality and crucially, helping them to adapt and succeed in the new world.
The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the world into adopting remote practices and opening minds as to the possibilities. Pre-covid, this was an edge of the conversation topic it was too big of a challenge for people to connect to it. The reason we’ve been stuck in the 9–5 for too long is that it’s been too big a challenge to tackle for people. The pandemic has made this a possibility.
I want FlowSpace’s legacy to be connected to changing mindsets. Airbnb did this for travel, they enabled you to live in the city as opposed to visit it. I want people to remember FlowSpace as the people who led the shift into hybrid working and who helped many companies make a huge success of it.
As Socrates put it: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
The future is hybrid
Q: Let’s talk about your vision for FlowSpace and the future of hybrid work…..
Q: Why is this important to you:
The commute has such a negative affect on lives! I actually like the office. I’m a very social person. But I always have hated the long commute and that alone was making my life miserable. Psychologists often quote that the biggest correlating factor with the unhappiness of a person is their daily commute time! Time is so valuable for us. Whether you spend that extra 3 hours with your family or doing sports — you feel better about your life. The commute has been a very big pain point for society for too long a time.
But working from home all the time doesn’t work either. You need to invest time to build connections with your team and with your clients.
That leaves us with one option: hybrid. We’ve spoken to hundreds of companies over the past year with FlowSpace and what’s entirely clear is that every company will have different needs, a unique mix and meaning with hybrid. The nature of work is different and every company and team member will find their own balance. We want to show a different vision for the future. A hybrid and hyper-flexible yet easy to manage way forward.
Every company will be hybrid in the future.
Q: How can FlowSpace help?
Companies are yet to be shown the options of what is possible for their hybrid approach. We can offer the flexibility and alternatives that they require, everywhere. If a company of 50 people want a workspace for 20 people for a few days a week and access to a broad network of meeting spaces — we can create that package for them now. And we have the platform that enables them to manage all those variables within one tool.
So essentially creating tailored workspace plans for any company where everything can be managed in one platform.
We have just launched our hybrid team tool on our website that allows teams to build their plan focused on their specific workspace needs! It’s truly unique! Check it out for your team.
Q: Who are you looking to help now? Who is the person you want to talk to?
Forward-thinking companies who care about their tea, their time, their budget and want to learn what’s available for their to create their new work week. Every company is worried about paying their valuable money for the time in a workspace that they aren’t actually using or any team that looks for flexible options built around their needs and managed in one tech platform.
I want to show teams and companies that there are alternatives and we’re just beginning on this journey of workspace subscriptions built around you. So anyone who is looking for a solution to help manage their team’s workspace needs in a new way — I’d love to talk to you and share what we can offer at FlowSpace.
Drop by www.flowspace.co and explore the magical, empowering world of hybrid workspace plans.
Take back control of your life and ensure that none of your very special team ever feel the way I did when I commuted 3 hours a day between Asia and Europe. That’s our responsibility for the future.