The Big Players: Large Corporation’s Attraction to Coworking

The Big Players: Large Corporation's Attraction to Coworking



The term coworking space is often associated to digital nomads – commonly known as remote workers – freelancers and startups. Pioneered to cater to the needs of the independent workers of today’s labor force, these unorthodox work areas ensure them flexibility and stability by offering them the functions of a traditional office without being tied down to long term leases or expensive rates.

But as the previous years go by, experts have noticed an expansion on its target market – gone were the days when home-based entrepreneurs ruled these open spaces. When the movement’s popularity skyrocketed and the then preposterous idea became a global phenomenon, it caught the attention of the public, from budding enterprises up to well-established corporations.

It was during last year when tech giants and other large companies started experimenting with the options of flexible office space solution and other new workplace models. Whether it’s incorporating open layouts to their respective headquarters to acquiring coworking membership for selected employees or teams, the big players have joined in on the bandwagon. By the end of 2017, there’s no denying that they have now made their presence known to the community.

A recent Occupier Survey have reported that 44 percent of corporations in the US alone utilize some type of flexible workplace strategy. In addition to this, judging by the data the researchers have gathered, they expect the demand and usage for these shared offices to continue to increase in the next few years.

The important question now is, what made these big players and conglomerates move?

Even Big Players Call for a Change

Coworking spaces are widely known not only for their creative and innovative work areas but is also sought after for the seemingly endless opportunities that they provide to their members.

Startups and other independent workers flock these open spaces not only to secure a desk of their own. Almost every coworker have chased after the opportunity of expanding the reach of their professional network through its community as well as having the chance of finding prospective clients within the office.

Costs are cut without forsaking the need for the right address to do business. Its environment is inspired by the praised modern headquarters of Google and other tech giants – with pool tables, bean bags and other features that appeals to today’s young generation of professionals constantly in search for stimulating workspaces.

But the big players of the industry have finally realized that maybe they can learn a thing or two from these small enterprises – that sometimes, less is actually more.

Companies who are planning on entering new markets would make use of these shared spaces to cradle their small teams. With this option, costs are kept under control and logistics are easier. Moreover, the uncertainty surrounding budding teams drives the management of these enterprises to settle for flexible workspaces so that they can give them the equivalent treatment of a traditional office environment.

The demand for shared offices is surging not only in the US but around the world as well. Mega corporates such as Apple, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, GE, SalesForce and American Airlines have all made the move last year for the opportunities the movement offers such as recruitment of top talents, forming partnerships with startups as well as the advantage of keeping their eyes open to new – and potentially – disruptive technology.

Why You Should Spend More Time Staring Out of The Window

Why You Should Spend More Time Staring Out of The Windowv

There are certain moments in a day wherein we’d find ourselves staring into nothingness – or most likely, out of the window from the train or our office – minds aimlessly strolling away from what’s in front of us.

And when someone catches us, asking why we are in such deep thought, we’d play it off and say that we were just bored, nothing more. We just wanted to be somewhere else for a minute because of how futile things seemed to be where we currently are.

To make things worse, we’d sometimes drift off during a meeting or a lecture. Upon realization that we’ve been staring out the window for a good solid 5 minutes, we’d scold ourselves and say that we should’ve been listening to our boss or to our teacher. We probably should’ve started that task stuck in front of us instead of wasting time.

The majority equates this act to lethargy and vanity. It seemed to produce nothing, serving no purpose to any of us. Yet there’s more to it than just cupping your chin into your hands near a window pane.

See, we’re not exactly looking outside. Instead, the activity serves as an exercise as we try and discover the contents of our minds. It’s easy to voice out to the public that we know what we think, what we feel and what’s going on in our minds but it’s very rare that we recognize each one of them. A large part of what makes us who we are remain to be unexplored – carrying potential that has never been tapped.

If done right, staring out of the window paves the way for us to listen to the quiet suggestions and perspectives hidden deep within ourselves.

Mind Wandering

Plato once used a metaphor in explaining the human mind. According to him, our ideas are like birds fluttering around the aviary of our brains and in order for them to settle, he understood the need for periods of calm that are free of purpose. Instances that doesn’t require us to do anything.

These occurrences of which we often perceive as moments of boredom causes us to lapse into a form of brain activity called mind wandering. And in a world obsessed with productivity, it is often seen as a lazy habit, categorizing it as a kind of thinking that we rely on when we’re not really in the mood to actually think. It is often viewed as a sign of procrastination instead of efficiency.

But in the light of the recent years, neuroscience has changed the way we view it. During the year 2010, Harvard psychologists Daniel Gilbert and Matthew A. Killingsworth released a paper in Science that documented the fondness of the human mind in disappearing on a rabbit hole of its own. The aforementioned scientists developed an iPhone app that contacts 2,250 respondents at random times to ask about their current activity and level of happiness. Results show that the participants were engaged in mind wandering 46.9 percent of the time.

Contrary to what the majority of us believes in, daydreaming or mind wandering is imperative to our daily life.

Free Your Mind and Stare out of the Window

In some way, these idle times and occasions of boredom acts as a necessary filter for when we have too much information at hand.

Science reporter Benedict Carey further explains in his New York Times article that experts believe that people tune things out for good reasons and that more often than not, it becomes a tool aiding in sorting information. Research from various fields such as neuroscience and education suggest that falling into a dazed trance allows the brain to rework the outside world in such a way that is both productive and creative.

Psychology Today even notes that it could be a stepping stone to creative productivity. They argue that when unengaged, our minds are providing us with a blank canvas, ready to be painted on with colorful ideas.

Professionals and startups who work in shared offices like coworking spaces would know the importance of having the freedom to be by themselves and reflect from time to time. Though majority of its members joined the movement in the effort of avoiding boredom and isolation, providers remain adamant in recognizing the need for reverie and introspection.

Some of them even go as far as delegating spaces for meditation and contemplation. And unlike in traditional working environments, you don’t need to worry about getting scolded or frowned upon for staring out the window, its home-grown community understands you more than you can imagine.

Our productivity obsessed societies disavow the potential of mind wandering and day dreaming, yet even famous personalities admit that their greatest insights come from when they are irresolute.

Staring out of the window is not a mere act of ennui, but instead, it stands as a form of divergence from the excessive demands of pressure.

Commuter Diaries: Making The Most Out Of Your Commute

Commuter Diaries: Making The Most Out Of Your Commute

Realistically speaking, we spend majority of our life time in transit. Almost everyone is a commuter.

Every day, millions of people globally commute to work and though we do it as often as we can imagine, it doesn’t necessarily mean we have grown fond of it.

Our commutes to work are growing longer and longer as we know it and we’re nowhere near to actually liking it. In the US alone, over 25 million employees spend more than 90 minutes each day going to and from their jobs, and approximately 600,000 of what the U.S. Census Bureau calls as “mega-commuters” travel 90 minutes each way. And in the UK, the average round-trip travel takes 24 minutes. To make things worse, professionals from most of the world’s major cities such as Milan and Manila suffer through awful traffic for over an hour.

Instead of warming up more to the activity like how one would usually become after long exposure to it, our distaste for it grows and grows.

These brewing feelings of loathe – though seemingly insubstantial – can result to serious implications in the long run. According to a 2014 British government survey, workers with lengthy travel time felt more anxious and less satisfied with their lives compared to those with shorter commutes. In addition to this, they are more prone to feeling indifferent about their daily activities. Other research suggest that they become even more exhausted and less productive at work. Moreover, they tend to have lower job satisfaction than those who live near their workplaces.

But experts believe that there’s still hope. We can still improve our individual experiences by trying out certain strategies that can make our travels happier.

Shifting The Commuter Mindset

The duration of your trip to the office can be utilized to condition yourself to get into your professional zone.

Majority of us play a specific role within the walls of our home. Some of us are a parent or a partner – maybe even both and the moment we step into our workplaces, we suit up and get down to business. After 8 hours, we’d revert back to our personal lives and would sometimes even shift back to our work self before going to bed.

Each of the aforementioned alteration requires a shift of mindset. Without it, worries and other concerns that come from one role will carry over into the next one and could possibly pull us down.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles suggest incorporating small routines such as checking the news or looking through at one’s calendar for the day on their way to work. Studies says that those who maintained little regimens felt more happy about excited about their day, had more satisfaction in their jobs and were less stressed out compared to those who do not have one. In addition to this, these rituals were known to produce all sorts of benefits. It aids in lowering anxiety before engaging in vital performance tasks, increases enjoyment in activities at hand and could possibly aid us in recovering faster from failure or loss.

Pockets of Freedom

One of the many frustrating aspects of being a commuter is the scarce amount of control we have over traffic jams, delayed buses or crowded train stations. But amidst this, there is one thing that we have power over; the manner of spending our time during the trip.

Harvard Business Review (HBR) writer Jon M. Jachimowicz used the term Pockets of Freedom in an article he co-wrote discussing how people can reclaim their commute to describe our capability of utilizing the time we spend standing in line or inside cars to learn a new skill or improve our passions.

The phrase originated from his great aunt, Adela, who strived to have one dedicated hour each night for creative activity amidst the dreary Nazi occupation. We can make them bearable by looking at it as an opportunity to recharge.


If all else fails, then maybe its high time to minimize our existing travel time and become less of a commuter.

A large number of us are torn between choosing to live near work or to live in a bigger home. Members of the workforce with large families would of course opt for the latter. But as living expenses in the cities become more and more expensive, it has become harder for them to live close to their jobs.

Moving houses isn’t the only way to fix long travels to work, a much simpler option is promoting remote working.

The idea of working from home or having versatile work hours are becoming more common. The Census said that during the year 2014, 4.4 percent of the workforce now primarily works at home – nearly doubling the population since 1980.

Though admittedly, not all types of jobs can be susceptive to the nature of telecommuting but there remains to be a significant number of work that can be done within the parameters of a home office or cubicle.

Companies are understandably particular about implementing remote working for a number of reasons, but specific organizations are now giving it a try because fortunately, these progressive enterprises are already aware of the discomforts of being a daily commuter. Some have conducted experiments by allowing specific teams have flexible work hours. Their respective managements would have them join coworking spaces strategically located in cities that are not too cumbersome for the majority. These shared offices give teams their own desks or private offices without tying them down to a specific shift – they can go to work any time they please.

Though originally targeted towards freelancers and other solo entrepreneurs, providers are keeping their doors open for teams that want to give teleworking a try.

Census data shows that our commutes will continue to grow longer for the years to come; hence, they advise business owners to take into consideration the concrete ill-effects it has on their workforce.

Do You Feel Stuck? Then it’s a Perfect Time to Do More

Do You Feel Stuck? Then it's a Perfect Time to Do More


We all do it and we all have done it at least once or twice in our life.

We probably did it when were in school. We’d gather our books and other materials but end up staring at that homework – barely accomplishing anything.

We’d prepare all that we need for that new project yet we don’t even have any clear starting point.

Admittedly, we don’t really mean to do it. Sometimes we simply lack the motivation – the urgency to get things done – or the creativity to produce something we actually love. Other call it resistance. Surely, it’s frustrating and as time passes, the only thing that seems to have made progress is the hour.

It seems innocent at first until the consequences start show. We are forced behind on the output and at the worse, we end up sacrificing the quality of what we produced due to the time we’ve wasted.

Creatives and artists know these instances too well, the feeling of being stuck or blocked. Tough weeks would go by and they would force themselves to produce something almost every day. Some would be good, others not so much – but this is okay. It’s normal to have some hits and misses every now and then. However, what’s not okay is, staring blankly at an empty canvass or screen, cough up, mope and repeat the same cycle over and over and over again.

Design Luck writer and Medium contributor Zat Rana advises in an article

“When you’re stuck, do more”

Stuck? Then Stop Waiting

Though forcing yourself to write a new song or draw another portrait is often seen to be counter-intuitive, action brings something to the table that could help spark artistry.

Majority of us would assume that in order for one to take action, there should be inspiration present through imagination or enthusiasm, when in reality, it’s the complete opposite; the need to act is what forces ingenuity.

This hindsight is expected of with the various misconceptions surrounding breakthroughs and how they are made. Stories like how an apple falling led Newton to discover gravity made it easier for us to fall into thinking that they come naturally.

Truthfully, they do happen yet they often occur sporadically. There’s a huge chance of failing if we only sit and wait for inspiration to strike.

Rana claims in the aforementioned article that action stimulates inspiration more than inspiration stimulates action. A certain song or art piece can inspire us and spark a brand new idea but nothing will come off it until we actually start doing.

The moment we start doing, we gain enough momentum that we become even more energized to continue the process. The more we become invested and engaged in the activity, the more we become inspired to learn, to improve and to finish.

The Art of Doing More

Instead of coercing yourself to do a task of importance half-heartedly, cut loose and let it go. Make a list of other smaller tasks that needs to be accomplished within today and start from there. Go through your emails or clean your room – these seemingly menial tasks can help you gain enough push to create a domino effect to tackle more.

Freelancers who’re fortunate enough to be members of coworking spaces can switch from one work area to another in between tasks. They can sit down by the communal areas to meet with partners and other collaborators or get a private desk of their own for some brainstorming. As they go through their To-do list, they gain enough momentum and end up finally sitting down on that great big project.

Inspired by the concept known as activation energy in Chemistry, these seeming menial tasks once done serves as the base amount of energy needed for a reaction to move forward. You now have enough energy to tackle a task that seemed difficult earlier.

At the end of the day, its core is finding a way around whatever it is that’s stopping you. Give yourself the freedom of having easier alternative and let it help you in finding the right direction.

Feeling stuck is alright, but staying isn’t. So go do something.

The Philippines is Considered as a Digital Nomad’s Paradise

The Philippines is Considered as a Digital Nomad's Paradise

Twenty years ago, Hitachi executive Tsugio Makimoto envisioned a revolution. One wherein technology would change humankind’s way of working. No more commuting or dull cubicles. The high speed wireless networks of the future will help millions of employees turn their dream of following their wanderlust into reality.

His vision later appeared in a book he wrote together with David Manners during the year of 1997 entitled Digtial Nomad but the public turned a blind eye to it. Years later, the concept resurfaces in a 2007 best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. American entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss gave the world a sneak peek of globetrotting as they do their jobs over the internet.

Neither of them ever foresaw the impact modern technology could bring to our daily lives nor did they ever predict the rise of a new complex industry that will change what work is for us

A Brand New Workplace

An entire industry was born out of the booming sharing-economy. Originating from the remote workers of today’s labor force, digital nomads are this generation’s lucky freelancers who have made the world their office.

It has distinguished itself from traditional telecommuters by combining remote working and travelling – a dream that most Millenial’s have. It’s the ideal lifestyle for those who want to carry on with their usual business while on vacation.

In the US, 43% of employed Americans have experienced remote working last year at least some of the time according to the Gallup post published last February 2017. In addition to this, both the length of time working remotely and that of employees working full time continues to expand every year from 39% during the year 2012.

Its burgeoning industry had made easier for everyone to work remotely from the streets of Greece down to the nearby café in your area. Since its rise to fame, shared offices that allow professionals to rent work areas for temporary use made its rounds around the world. The most famous one being coworking spaces with over 13,800 providers globally.

Digital nomads can now easily transfer from one country to another without sacrificing their efficiency and productivity.

Philippines: A Nomad’s Paradise

Though often seen as a tourist destination, the Philippines have become one of the most sought after countries by international enterprises and is now considered as a digital nomad’s paradise.

Its booming economy allowed them to take over Mumbai’s position as the second top ranking BPO destination in the world. The local workforce composed of literate young professionals and their competitive labor rates cater to the numerous countries who plan on establishing their offshore sites. Several universities and schools encourage developing skills needed to be part of a competitive global labor force.

Besides the general considerations in terms of doing business in the Philippines, their lifestyle and culture also play an important role that favors the country as a digital nomad paradise.

Foreigners live comfortably in the nooks and crannies of the archipelago due to the hospitable nature of Filipinos, be it in terms of business or leisure. Locals are quick to give out a hand to those in need. No need to worry about getting lost in translation, most of them are good English speakers.

Wanderers would enjoy the Philippine shores and its breathtaking landscapes. Several world-class beaches can even be found 4 hours away from the bustling Metro Manila. Quick getaways are possible because of the several convenient ways to get around.

And when it’s time to start grinding, remote workers won’t have to worry about where to stay. The country’s capital alone is home to several coworking spaces that allows you to avail a membership or simply a dedicated desk that you can call your own for a few months. Most providers offer flexible rates and can accommodate a solo member and a whole team of professionals.

The Philippines is most certainly a country where digital nomads continuously thrive.

Brand New Workplace Rules for Small Businesses

Brand New Workplace Rules for Small Businesses

Entering the world of business meant becoming part of an environment constantly in a state of flux. Solutions that worked this year, might not be as feasible the next and what some might see as a preposterous idea might become the greatest one in a short span of time.

And over the last two years, the world experienced what experts view as one of the most momentous shift in the SMB ecosystem. By the end of 2016, over 472 million entrepreneurs can be found worldwide and annually, a total of 305 million startups are built. Angel investors, startup accelerators and incubators help these budding companies thrive.

Digging a little deeper, a major contributor to these changes is the new technology we now have. It has radically changed the way we work and humankind welcomed it with open arms – resulting to a new set of workplace rules for businesses in reaching success.

New Ways of Doing Business

The ever-changing environment of the market pushed the majority to implement new strategies in doing business.

Unlike before when SMB owners base majority of their decision making to their ‘gut feeling’ and only the big players get to access tools for business analytics, the emergence of innovative business software models made it easier for budding candidates to obtain market research, future projection and other cost effectiveness studies.

By using good data and research, owners gain a great advantage against their competitors. And though admittedly, having a hold of such information can guide them to success, another crucial quality that they must possess is adaptability.

Today’s market coerces enterprises to be fluid. Creating a system and standing by it in the hopes of producing results bring unwanted risks. The constant changes brought upon by several other factors have led the world of business become Darwinian. No one knows what kind of trend will rise the next day or whether when a new competitor will come.

In the US alone, hundreds of stores close down every year and thousands of jobs diminish. These large retail stores, despite of having consultants and analysts, still fail. The ones who adapt easily guarantee survival in today’s market.

New Workplace Rules

The strategies businesses are using to remain relevant to the industry aren’t the only one’s undergoing constant change. Our modern private offices have become something else entirely. One major crucial factor to this is the growing number of employees opting for remote working or telecommuting.

Though constantly going under scrutiny from academics and other agencies, people simply can’t ignore the benefits it brings to their respective lives. And in order for companies to stay competitive in terms of talent recruitment, it’s a must that they give enough leeway to their respective workforce to have flexible working hours.

Larger enterprises are now acquiring coworking space memberships for some of their employees. These unique shared offices allow small teams and individuals to have more control of their workday. Giving them 24/7 access to fully-fitted workspaces, they get to choose when their day starts and ends without sacrificing their utmost productivity.

This new way of working is much more beneficial to small businesses. It helps them cut operational costs, keeps their teams happier by improving their respective work-life balance and expands workplace rules, therefore, presenting them with brand new opportunities.

In today’s world of business, the strongest no longer dominate. Instead, those who are flexible enough to adapt win the game.

See the magic of fluidity with Sales Rain and talk to us today!

Searching for Style and Substance in Coworking Spaces

Searching for Style and Substance in Coworking Spaces

The competition among coworking spaces is tight and searching for the perfect workspace can be a daunting task.

Office space providers come up with the most unique ways to ‘wow’ its members from an airy loft down to outdoor bars – impeccable interior design have become a detrimental factor in winning over prospect members.

And though admittedly, an individual’s working environment plays a significant role in their productivity, it’s also important to make sure that they have all the technical tools needed in order to guarantee the efficiency of one’s work day. More than anything else, your workplace should be able to help you accomplish more tasks rather than just inspiring you with its aesthetic.

In order to know whether a shared office carries both the style and substance needed for a happier work life, there are specific factors to remember in choosing your shared office.

Branding Matters

Each space around the world carry their own identity, with a specific set of values or culture that speaks to a segmented audience. Certain workplaces are focused only on one specific industry and serve to their distinct needs. Hence, it’s only apt to pick one that matches your personality and can also serve the needs of your business.

Sancar Ayalp, managing partner of NYC-based The Farm Coworking, said in an article from New Worker that they have a clear persona for their community. This is so that they can tailor everything to address the needs of their members.

And as an average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, it’s only apt to pick one that matches your personality. Look for providers that can serve the needs of your business and could possibly help it grow. Check its location, demographic and allot a time to visit it to get a feel of the community and the vibe of the space in general.

Searching for Event Schedules

Coworking spaces pride themselves in encouraging collaboration amongst its members. A great deal of them will use their strong sense of community as a way to market membership but a qualitative measurement that they really do take it seriously is by searching for company hosted events. Your chosen provider should have a balanced number of informative events, such as workshops or talks and community-centered ones like after-work drinks, game nights and even exercise classes, both in their upcoming and past events calendar. These type of occasions can spearhead collaborations among members from different industries and create relationships from unlikely friends.

Evaluate The Benefits

As mentioned earlier, it’s detrimental to evaluate how you can use the space to the benefit of your business – and we’re not just discussing free coffee or printing. Certain partnerships with companies related to your field can be of big help. Moreover, there’s also opportunities of expanding your professional network and even chances of mentorship. Though these factors may vary, it’s helpful to remember these indicators to ensure that the resources you have will increase as you stay.

Oversee The Facilities

And more than anything else, make sure to check out the facilities that they offer. Check the layout of their office and see whether the seating arrangement would work to your liking. Ensure that they have everything you need in order to have a productive day because weighing the practicality and aesthetics of a shared office allows you to pick the best workplace for you. Eager to see what a coworking space with both style and substance looks like and book a tour with us today!

Understanding Serendipity, a Fortunate Happenstance

Understanding Serendipity, A Fortunate Happenstance

In the 2001 American romantic comedy film Serendipity, two strangers are brought together by fate in New York City. Jonathan Trager and Sara Thomas’ story starts at Bloomingdale as they end up buying the same pair of black cashmere gloves. Though both parties are in individual relationships, the feeling of mutual attraction leads them to a restaurant called Serendipity 3. And as the two go their separate ways, fate guides them back together. The two then decides to test where it would lead them, years later.

The very idea of a greater force stringing together unplanned, independent circumstances and situations to bring something great sounds a lot like fairytale to most of us. On certain days, when the traffic is a little less awful or when you got the last stock of the pretty shirt you saw at the mall – serendipity happens to us at least once. Just like luck, its context is vague yet we all believe in its power every now and then.

Serendipity, A Fortunate Happenstance

New York Times contributor Pagan Kennedy wrote an opinion piece called “How to Cultivate the Art of Serendipity” asking for further research on the subject. She firmly believed that it’s more of a talent of finding what we’re not looking for. She further discusses her concept by saying that the original meaning of the word is very far from what we only assume as pure ‘dumb luck’. In its inception, it’s a talent of making discoveries by accident and several scientist have already conducted tests on the originator’s theory.

Kennedy says that by expanding the existing available literature on serendipity, we may be able to create unexpected discoveries in the chemistry lab, the newsroom and even in business. She suggests that by observing and documenting these encounters, we might have a systematic understanding on how it all works and how we can measure it.

By studying its nature, businesses around the world would see that serendipity can be responsible for several innovation, breakthrough discoveries and other enticing outcomes.

A New Business Model

Serendipity seemed to play an important role in today’s business industry and the recent years allowed us to witness a handful of attempts in institutionalizing this delicate phenomenon. Those who are one step ahead have articulated how it took place and have created environments that can help cultivate it.

In a Deskmag article, coworking leader Angel Kwiatkowski discussed a book entitled ‘The Serendipity Machine: A Disruptive Business Model for Society 3.0.’ written by Avans University professor for autonomy in art and design, Sebastian Olma. According to her, in the book, Olma discusses how companies can reinvent their culture to become serendipity machines – redesigning their workspaces to become places that are prone to these valuable encounters.

Kwiatkowski says that in essence, the author is encouraging businesses to become more like coworking spaces. She says that upon joining, you instantly become part of a community. By simply taking a seat, your very first interaction begins; people ask your name and what you do. Some even invite you to lunch and when the community manager says that someone is in need of the expertise you happen to offer, you end up with a new gig.

These scenarios aren’t just imaginary instances, it’s a common phenomenon in coworking spaces everywhere. These are the kind of accidents that lead to abundance, emotionally, professionally and often, financially.

And though Olma claims that fixed spaces are flawed, he claims that the level of potential serendipity is limited to the number of members, however, Kwiatkowski says otherwise. Coworking communities are a mere one organism in a large ecosystem, constantly improving for the good of everyone. They don’t isolate themselves from the rest of the world but rather encourages individuals to collaborate with one another.

By the end of the movie, Jonathan and Sara ends up in Central Park ice rink where they went during the evening that they first met with the pair of cashmere gloves. For the first time, in a long time, they formally introduced themselves to one another.

The Third Place, a Modern Day Community Builder

The Third Place, a Modern Day Community Builder

American urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg said in his award winning book entitled The Great Good Place; humans have three main places they go to in their whole life and as individuals, they should see to it that they spend a balanced amount of time in those environments.

Oldenburg describes the first place as our home or our foundation. Our workplace as the second one and the third place being a space distinct for socializing with like-minded peers. In his book, he emphasizes its importance and how it could help build communities in neighborhoods and even to organizations.

Today’s generation of urban planners and designers now utilize it in strengthening humankind’s sense of community.

The Third Place

At first glance, Oldenburg’s description of the third place seemed vague. He coined the term to define a social surrounding separate from the two usual social condition of the home and the workplace. They are the “anchors” of community life that helps foster broader interaction among individuals.

The book suggested specific hallmarks that makes a “true third place”. Oldenburg says that first and foremost, it should be free or inexpensive. Food and drinks are important, though not essential. Its location needs to be highly accessible or proximate for many at the very least. Its vibe should be welcoming and comforting.

Fellow scholars have summarized his view of third places as a neutral ground wherein occupants are not tied down to the area and can go whenever they please. It puts no significance to an individual’s status in a society. Their economic or social standing does not matter in these environments. Its main focus of activity is playful and happy interaction although it’s not required to be the only activity. It is readily accessible to everyone and can accommodate their needs.

Oldenburg suggested that its existence is a must for a healthy life. Moreover, he advocated that it brings several important social values by discussing its historical role to the American Revolution.

Several suburban developments are now using ‘third places’ to address the deterioration of the American community.  As a result, office space providers saw an opportunity for a new kind of workplace that can reframe interpersonal interactions of employees.

Modern Offices

The annual Staples Advantage Workplace index provides an overview of the latest workplace trends and sentiments from several business decision makers and employees from both US and Canada.

Last year’s presentation highlighted the increasing number of workers facing longer hours; resulting to an augmented feeling of stress and being tied to their desks. More and more professionals are looking for ways to fight dullness in the office while a handful of them are moving to healthier spaces that can provide them with a new environment.

The index also showcased a growing demand for designated collaboration spaces and public spaces. And it’s not only coming from the younger generation, majority of the respondents that they find this feature most interesting in an office.

The concept of third places have become the most common solution to the predicaments today’s workplace is facing. And the rise of the ever popular shared offices and coworking spaces, is living proof of the need for a middle ground where work and casual meaningful interaction meets.

These unorthodox work areas take pride in the community they curate among like-minded individuals. Members are gratified with the connections they make and the work that they do. And this alone isn’t just coming from their individual opinions and reactions, surveys from around the globe back this up with statistical figures; clearly strengthening Oldenburg’s claims.

And though admittedly, third places won’t solve all of the problems present in today’s modern offices, we also can’t ignore the rewards it has provided us with. Moreover, it certainly meets the needs of the diverse multi-generation labor force.

By coming up with the appropriate flexible layout for your own team, it can be of value to the business. Lastly, as Oldenburg said in the book, it breaks down all the barriers between people and creates a positive public sphere that anyone of stature can enjoy.

Who knows, it can just be what your team needs. Talk to us today and get a sneak peek of a true third place.

Don't Pick One, You Have The Power To Choose Both

Don’t Pick One, You Have The Power to Choose Both

Don't Pick One, You Have The Power to Choose Both

Resisting mob mentality is hard.

More often than not, people get easily swept by the latest trend taking over the internet. Be it the newest challenge or a song that have gone viral. People consciously follow them religiously and those who say they don’t, subconsciously stays in touch.

It’s the prevailing mindset of everyone particularly in terms of modern technology. A year after the much-awaited release of Apple’s Iphone 6, fanatics immediately dropped them when announcements for the newest model made its rounds. It is easy for society to simply drop the old ones to make room for the new ones.

And though it’s hard to believe, sometimes, opting for what’s new won’t go the way we want it to. Instead, finding a way to utilize both the old and new is the best way to go. One great example of this principle would be during the peak of electronic books or e-books in the market.

When electronic reading mediums such as Kindle was introduced to the public, the printing industry was put in danger. Between the years 2008 and 2010 alone, the sales of e-books escalated to 1,260 percent causing a few print booksellers to into bankruptcy. It seemed then that the time that print books is almost over.

But much to the surprise of many, instead of going to an upwards trajectory, e-book sales began to decrease. In the first few months of 2015, it already fell by 10 percent. All the while, the American Booksellers Association expanded to 1,712 member stores in almost 2,227 locations within the same year from 1,410 in 1,660 locations five years earlier.

The Power to Choose Both

Amidst the numerous publications who have gone digital, one company made the conscious decision to choose both.

Penguin Random House decide to expand and update its warehouses as well as speed up the distribution of its books by investing nearly $100 million on the shift from their traditional operations. Some have traced back the inversion to print to the escalating prices of e-book while there are some who said that a handful of bookworms who still missed the feeling of a heavy paperback in their hands. Other buyers have said that enthusiasts have found a way to utilize both e-books and actual books.

In the end, consumers created a middle ground for both traditional and modern tool to contribute to the overall pleasure of reading.

By knowing what both sides have to offer to the situation at hand, we get a better understanding of how the Both/And principle could fit to certain circumstances. Kindle may never replace the feeling of an actual paperback, at the same time, books can never recreate the immediate assistance of Kindle’s dictionary system. Both the old and the new carries distinct individual strengths, hence, having the option to choose both isn’t a bad idea after all.

There are several other existing examples that fortifies the advantages of the principle to always choose both available options. There’s the commercial real estate market who have taken use of it to their advantage.

The innate nature of the world of business to be in constant state of flux have rendered office space providers to become innovative and adaptive to the passing trends of the industry. As modern technology made it much easier for humankind to work anywhere they want, more and more people are turning away from traditional work areas. Pioneers of the new movement found a way to instill the need for an actual office to the newer needs of professionals. Serviced offices such as coworking spaces and private offices made sure that the new generation of startups remained true to the tradition of having their own headquarters. Though they started catering to most remote workers of today, they still managed to aid the needs of the older members of the workforce.