Cities Support Creative Connections
The Creative Class Group shares an exciting vision of the “New Work City”, a Fourth Place custom-built at The Squaire (near the Frankfurt International Airport in Germany). This location takes advantage of the fact that we live in a globalized age of commerce. The facility is designed to offer the atmosphere and amenities that promote social interaction and the wireless access, meeting rooms, audio/visual capabilities, and other technological perks that support modern business professionals.
The goal of this New Work City is create an office hub that appeals to business travelers and local professionals alike. It’s billed as, “a central, easily accessible place where business people can network in a leisurely but intensively productive manner.” The Squaire itself is a mini-city under a single roof, and even has its own postal code. Here, busy professionals can access everything from daycare to dry cleaning as they give up on balancing work and life and finally blend both together.
Coworking from Coast to Coast
The European trend is matched by a growing taste for highly flexible, affordable incidental workspaces in the U.S. David Port writes extensively about the American coworking phenomenon in an article for Entrepreneur.com. He showcases various coworking sites across the country. Most feature the basic furnishings and equipment needed to get work done in the digital age. Some offer additional amenities such as a sense of community or on-site childcare.
Manhattan has its own New Work City under the leadership of Tony Bacigalupo, the co-founder and “mayor”. Unlike business centers such as Regus, this is a fully hot-desked environment. There are no dedicated workspaces, and conference rooms aren’t rented out. It’s all first-come, first served. Bacigalupo points to one unifying thread that seems to make the coworking concept really work. People who choose these work environments tend to be sociable by nature—and they only come into the office when they want to.
Takeaways for Businesses
What ideas can you glean from coworking spaces around the globe—both massive and modest?
- Giving employees more control over where they work can help them be more productive. For those working from home or on the go, offering a monthly stipend they could spend on a coworking space might be a great perk.
- In the office, not all workers are married to their personal workspace. Some would feel more free to get things done if they could choose a workstation that suits them based on their mood or assigned tasks from day to day. Touchdown spots, work lounges, and “Quiet Spaces” could add more choices to the work environment.
For more customized advice, contact The Office Planning Group for a one-on-one space planning consultation.