We hit the start of 2022 with a dear interview to us, with Andreas SCHLOTE, co-founder of Hotspot Workhub, who believed since the beginning in the visionary concept of this unique professional workhub.
Can you tell us a few words about your involvement in the development of Hotspot?
The Hotspot project is an ongoing process. The first idea came out in a discussion with the REC Partners board members two and a half years ago – February 2019 – in Frankfurt. Also it was an old dream of mine and Tudor’s (Tudor Popp) to do such projects, to develop them. I have done sketches for something like this more than 10 years ago – aiming to gather a great diversity of clients in a single location and to have additional services for their needs.
So Tudor came in with a much more detailed idea and AHK Romania already became interested in it. This was a confirmation that we were on the right track and we kept our spirits high all along developing it. Now the involvement is much more than at the beginning and we have perspectives for growth.
What is your experience with offices and what brought you to Romania?
My former job was as Manager Director of Quickborner Team (QT) and now I bring all this experience in being a discussion partner for Tudor in the process of developing Hotspot – a project I trust and believed in since the beginning and in which I invested not just money but ideas and energy. I love the idea and the dynamic of this special market, because when you look back, we had lots of years with always the same boring offices and now it’s like we are in a fast machine driving to a totally different place than the past. And to be part of the development of this next big step is so interesting. This is so much more than delivering space to the customer. It is about developing services that the customer will need in the future. Offices are more and more a place where people meet and the place of working is everywhere. This makes the process of designing more fun, to make it serve the purpose of the concept.
My career in this domain started a long time ago in a consulting company that “invented” the Landscape Office (the first open space concept) and we did projects all around the world, before the so-called “cubical” office was a thing. I have worked on offices for thousands and thousands of workplaces and on important projects for big companies, gaining a wide perspective on what this kind of place means for each category of users. I come back to the saying that it is not only about the space, it’s about how a company can work best.
What are your perspectives now on what you are doing for REC and Hotspot?
As me and my team worked to develop and improve the workplaces, every time we looked at what the workers are doing and how this can be changed. I have done such a job for Commerzbank for the process of giving credit to the customers. We put all the steps involved in a scheme on a wall to make it viewable and this way we could have a different perspective and find ways to make everything more efficient, as the customers need, and transform let’s say 73 steps into just 3.
This is what I want to bring now, additional to what we are doing here at Hotspot. To offer more organizational consultancy. Therefore, we offer the space and the system for the customer to work better than its competitors. So they come to us to work better, not just for the place. It’s a big difference! This way you don’t just evolve your business, you have in the same place companies that may collaborate in the future and innovate. I see pictures from different workhubs and I see that this part is missing.
My focus is to look primarily at the process, to support it and understand all the insights. This is also the main idea behind REC and what we have done in the past for Fraport, the operating company of Frankfurt Airport. We helped them reorganize lots of things and with all this background we want to bring the best supporting product on the market now.
What was your impression when you first saw the finished project?
Tudor was and is the right person to do this. He has experience in designing, attention to details and knows how to transform into reality everything that we discuss. Otherwise, we have made the right choices for Hotspot. Can’t be better – the location is good, the building is modern, the design and the objects are top notch, the area, the restaurants…everything is perfectly linked. And putting aside the other aspects, COVID is also giving a push for this change that is needed. In a couple of years, every big working space has to have at least a part of it managed by companies like us. And landlords will have to take this into serious consideration.
What do you see in the future for Hotspot?
We see this concept developing in Romania and also in other countries, especially in Eastern Europe.