Freelancers Embrace Subscriptions for Personalized Work Tech, Says Groove CEO

man working from home

As freelancing, remote employment and other new models of work emerge, coworking app Groove is seeing demand rise for subscription services that can aid consumers in structuring their workday, building their own tech stacks suited to their needs.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Josh Greene, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said that as nontraditional career paths become more mainstream, people are realizing the importance of investing in the infrastructure that supports their work.

“I think there is just an understanding that the infrastructure that I need to make my work life sustainable and enjoyable is something I have to invest in,” Greene said. “And I see that people are building a tech stack around themselves in a variety of different ways, whether it’s financial management, whether it’s supplier management with CRMs, whether it’s a sales pipeline, or [this] human infrastructure piece that we’re building.”

This shift in mindset has made it more normal for individuals to view subscriptions as critical business expenses rather than optional add-ons.

Groove, for its part, recently launched its paid subscription, grouping users for one-hour virtual coworking sessions, and noted that many consumers who were using the service for free were willing to spring for the paid plan.

Greene emphasized this high conversion rate, expressing surprise at the level of enthusiasm and lack of resistance to the change. Additionally, he said the subscription enhances the social component of the service by guaranteeing for users that everyone else on the call has literally bought in, and in turn that they are more likely to give the work sessions their all.

“People who hadn’t used the product recently re-engaged with the product and bought subscriptions,” he observed. “The subscription is a great value filter for the seriousness of the people that are using the product.”

Indeed, a significant share of consumers works from home, and those with cash to burn are more likely to work remotely than those without, according to research from PYMNTS Intelligence’s study “The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: Digitally Divided – Work, Health and the Income Gap,” which drew from a census-balanced survey of more than 2,700 U.S. consumers.

The report revealed that 71% of high-income consumers (those who make more than $100,000 a year), a projected 45 million individuals, do at least some of their work remotely from home. In contrast, only 52% of those who make between $50K and $100K a year and 40% of those who make less than 50,000 said the same. Additionally, high-income consumers’ engagement with remote work was on the rise, while low-income consumers’ engagement held roughly flat.

Looking ahead, Greene anticipates an inflection point where the company might expand its subscription service to delve into more specific types of groups. He envisions a core user base that has integrated Groove into their daily lives, prompting the company to explore more ways to optimize the experience for various different applications.

“I think in 12 months,” he predicted, “we’ll have a good idea of, ‘How do people really want to use this? And how can we support them in better ways through technology?’”