The Responsibility, Importance and Expectation of Integrity in The Serviced Workspace Industry

An industry is not truly an “industry” unless it has a clear definition and useful purpose that involves multiple users and providers. Anything short of those parameters renders the activity or entity as simply being a company or a service — perhaps a useful one on its way to being an industry – and does not raise to the level of a full-fledged industry. Furthermore, a key underpinning of the industry, and how it will progress, succeed and be regarded, is how it regulates itself, plus the value and ‘values’ it brings to the marketplace and/or to the greater platform of a consumerist society. Integrity as an integral component of industry, just cannot be undervalued.

Good industries practice good ethics, and police themselves dutifully to make sure the public gets what it bargains for, and so that the ‘industry’ evolves efficiently to meet the ever-changing demands of a galloping and fiercely competitive industrial universe. Those that don’t define themselves clearly to the public, or worse yet, are sloppy with their ethical standards and conduct, put a stain on their industry that makes it harder for all players and segments to succeed — both the consumers and the providers.

Industry branding counts, and so does how an industry and its players applies its ethics and integrity.  Used car salesmen and many lawyers start off their relationship consumers in a deficit — trying to overcome the black eye and image that have plagued them for decades and even centuries, thanks to cut-throat and win (or sell) at all costs approaches of practitioners in their disciplines, that permeated when the ethical behaviors of some (maybe many) in their midst went unchecked during their industry’s formative and defining years.

Then we have the high-hospitality industries, those that built their fortunes by promising a higher treatment of their customers, in an exemplary ethical and palpably pro-consumer manner — industries which include hotels, airlines, car rentals, high-end restaurants, resorts, and the Serviced Workspace industry. That’s right, the Serviced Workspace industry!

In fact, one could argue that the Serviced Workspace industry, is the ‘highest of the high-hospitality industries’ — since unlike Marriott, JetBlue, Avis, Morton’s Steakhouse and even Disney, which have their customers in their clutches for minutes, hours, or at most days; Serviced Workspaces have their customers in their fish-bowls, expecting excellent, attentive service for days, weeks, months, years, and sometimes even decades at a time….hence they can stake a claim to being the highest of the high-hospitality industries, if for no other reason than they’re serving their clients and delivering service over much longer stretches and terms.

And in order to achieve that lofty title of the ‘highest of the high-hospitality industries’, Serviced Workspaces simply must be committed to the highest levels of ethics and integrity. They, in a sense, are outsourced providers of space, staffing and office management to the clients they sign on — and that in itself requires superior performance, integrity and behaviors that, by extension, reflect their clients’ own ethics and standards. Good integrity and ethics are noticeable … and contagious … and it’s up to the Serviced Workspace to seamlessly integrate its high integrity with that of its tenants, and be ready to lead by example for its clients and members. Serviced Workspaces are at the vanguard of their clients’ image and integrity.

As in every industry, some players inevitably fall short of the threshold of integrity that defines the industry’s brand. That’s unfortunately a common foible and reality in any uber-competitive industry that is driven by sales … and the Serviced Workspace industry is not exempt from its share of ethically-challenged actors. But the great news is that Serviced Workspace industry can proudly hold its head up high as the ‘highest of the high-hospitality industries’, because the overwhelming majority of the players — the Operators … the referral services … the service providers … and the many associations that govern it — are first and foremost, committed to integrity, honorable performance, and high ethical standards … just what the consumerist public demands and deserves.

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Ray Lindenberg

Ray Lindenberg

Ray Lindenberg is President of WANY - The Workspace Association of New York, and IN-Cert - The International Cooperative of A+ Certified Workspaces; and is the Chief Consultant & Innovation Officer at the Winning Workspaces Hospitality Group.