Coworking for Good: a Q&A with Amy King from Good Coworking
Amy King is doing something extraordinary at Good Coworking in Dallas, Texas. The co-founder and Chief Eternal Optimist, King has created a shared workspace focused on social impact and environmental responsibility.
Combining her passions of community building, workspace design and impact, King is on the leading edge of coworking and the future of work with Good Coworking.
We chatted with King about the Good community, her recent SUPER (Single-Use Plastic Elimination or Reduction) Bronze certification, her ongoing LEED and WELL certification processes, the forthcoming Coworking Climate Commitment, and people working with purpose and impact in her space.
Cat Johnson: What was the inspiration for Good Coworking?
Amy King: I was working in leadership and organizational development for the U.S. Green Building Council in D.C. when I learned about coworking as a concept. It was a huge lightbulb moment for me and I knew that it would be my future business. I saw coworking as a way to combine my passion for community building and workspace design, and to bring a new element to the coworking industry using my background in sustainable spaces and impact. I truly believe that people care about having purpose in their work, and our offering allows them to align their values with their workplace.
You were recently awarded Super Bronze certification. Tell me about that.
Super is the new certification aiming to combat plastic pollution through single use plastic reduction. It shows a commitment to completely eliminate single use plastic from our operations and as you can imagine, plastic is pervasive in everything from events to office supplies. As leaders of a community of businesses where we can affect behavior change, we wanted to set an example by getting this certification. I’m a huge believer in the power of certifications for my business and we are also pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) and WELL for our building at our flagship location.
You have a massive amount of space at Good. What have been the biggest challenges with the space, itself, and what is the benefit of having so much space?
Yes – our team manages our 60,000 sf building, with 30,000 sf of it being coworking space. I could do cartwheels in here! A huge benefit has been that in the past year of Covid, people felt safer here because they can really spread out.
We have also been able to try a lot of tasked-based work zones, where people can get different types of work done, and include essentials like nap rooms and a parent room. And last but not least, there is room to grow. I am planning additional dedicated desk zones for later this year. We wouldn’t be able to be this spread out in a more dense, expensive city like New York or San Francisco, so I know that we are super lucky.
How has Satellite Deskworks helped you manage such a large space?
We chose Deskworks because of their unique ability to track when people are in the space, which allows us to digitally “punch the card” for our 10-day pass members. They also give us the ability to message members with vital community information, which is incredibly convenient as it takes less time than creating a newsletter.
What’s the Good Coworking community like? Who is drawn to your space and community? Is there a connecting thread?
One of our values for our business is diversity, so we set out to be super inclusive from day one. The result is that we are 65% female, 41% BIPOC. The types of businesses in our space are just as diverse, from marketing agencies to creatives, financial advisors to non-profits. The common thread is that everyone here believes in having purpose in their work, and enjoys our wellness and sustainability features. Together, we strive to have a more positive impact in our community and reduce our carbon footprint as businesses.
What’s your big picture vision for Good? What would you most like to see happen?
I see a demand for our brand of coworking space (impact / wellness/ sustainability) in more progressive urban markets across the country, but first, I’d like to expand to additional locations in Texas. I also want to have a positive influence on the coworking industry by helping other operators raise the bar with their sustainability commitments.
What’s next for you and Good Coworking?
I plan to do some sustainability and wellness consulting for coworking operators and also launch the Coworking Climate Commitment to encourage other operators to up their sustainability game. I’m also working on getting my WELL AP credential. And in terms of the future, my family is in the Bay Area, so I definitely have my sights on California. In the meantime, I am enjoying Texas and everything it has to offer.
Thanks, Amy! Anything you’d like to add?
I feel like I won the lottery in terms of career choice, as coworking is truly the future of work and the people in our industry couldn’t be more incredible. Other women operators have become friends and mentors and I learn daily from this network of pros. I cannot wait to see how our industry evolves in the next five years, since Covid truly accelerated the evolution of the workplace.
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