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50 Innovators of the Year 2022

Proximity— simplified, powerful workspace management

Proximity— simplified, powerful workspace management

Working in organizational or management roles within a successful company, regardless of size or industry, goes hand-in-hand with making important workplace-based decisions.

These decisions span a variety of choices—from minimizing business disruption and maintaining focus on overall business goals to navigating a pandemic and prioritizing employee experience, safety, well-being and morale.

So how exactly do you cohesively manage all of these decisions, inquiries, requests, and choices? What is required to ensure a frictionless workplace where employees are safe and happy, the overall execution is smooth, and the general management of your workplace is as productive as possible?

This is where workplace management technology can make an enormous impact.

A workplace management platform makes it stress-free to manage the day-to-day operations of your office and is essential to improving business processes and employee experiences.

Proximity, a Colorado-based company, offers some of the best and most innovative workplace management solutions in the market today, built to enhance the way people work and collaborate.

Josh Freed, CEO of Proximity, spoke exclusively to CIO Bulletin regarding his firm’s innovative culture, business model, and more. The following excerpts are taken from the conversation.

Q. How do you build an innovative culture at Proximity?

At Proximity, true innovation drives us individually and as a company. We believe that connecting people together in meaningful ways will change the world.

There is a big shift occurring in the way we work: jobs are increasingly flexible and remote. And while this makes connectivity a challenge for businesses, we have the platform, the tools, and the team to help ease frustrations and provide much-needed relief.

Q. Is your leadership team aligned on the need to innovate and willing to model and support the behaviors necessary for innovation?

Our leadership team has such a unique form of balance, patience, accountability, and kindness, and I cherish all of it. It is in our shared humanity that we find true community. We celebrate our differences and encourage collaboration.

We believe in transparency, honesty, and doing what we say we will do. We also believe in abundance—someone doesn’t have to lose for us to win.

Q. When the pandemic hit, did you have to shift your business strategy to ensure innovation could continue to occur?

We originally built the Proximity platform because we needed a solution to manage our coworking spaces. After more than a year of searching for an answer, we came up dry. No platform offered an integrated solution with powerful features or was easy to use—much less at an affordable price. So we set out to build our own system. That was the whole plan. But it didn’t quite work out the way we intended.

Other spaces started to hear about the platform (we hadn’t even named it yet), and we realized that maybe we weren’t the only ones who needed a better way to manage our coworking spaces. So, we got to work and launched the Proximity platform.

Then, the pandemic hit…

The pandemic resulted in a sudden acceleration of flexible and remote work practices for thousands of companies and millions of workers. As a result, companies started to seek long-term solutions to manage this strange and unfamiliar mix of remote and in-office employees.

And while the rush to figure out “the new normal” was happening, the world was feeling less connected and more scattered than ever. We knew Proximity could provide a solution for businesses and offices trying to keep up.

We had the technology, so we quickly decided to expand and help bridge the gap for the thousands of businesses attempting to navigate their distributed workforce during the pandemic. The Proximity network is exponentially growing and continues to help businesses and coworking spaces streamline their day-to-day operations. We also offer flex space software options for those who want to meet the inventory demands of an evolving workforce and turn their commercial real estate assets into flexible workspaces.

Q. Are you satisfied with how you managed your business and people during this time?

Earlier this year, Proximity received the Great Place to Work Certification™ which recognizes companies that genuinely provide a great company culture. I was honored to learn that 100% of employees at Proximity say it’s a great place to work – compared to 59% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company.

I think this says a lot about our culture and our team. I’m not sure how I got so lucky to work alongside the amazing people behind Proximity, but I cherish it daily.

Q. What’s next for Proximity?

We believe that people will create things to make the world better when given the tools they need to succeed. We are proud to continue playing a small role in providing these tools and supporting the future of work with innovative solutions - all with a focus on enhancing connectedness between people and spaces.

Driving innovation in workplace management with thoughtful and intelligent solutions

Josh Freed is the CEO of Colorado-based Proximity. As the company’s leader, Josh provides a diverse background in management, finance, marketing, advertising, and investment strategy. 

An established visionary, Josh has spent years helping businesses develop strategic plans that ignite real results. He is proud to be a leading voice in the movement to create a new work model in which distributed and remote workers are fully connected and empowered through technology.

“Workplace solutions for hybrid organizations.”

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