What is the “third space”?
Put simply: the first space is home, the second space is work, the third space is where you go to escape the stresses of the first two spaces.
Or so this is how the story used to go.
Today, spatial boundaries are blurred. There is much less distinction between home, work, and play. For many, the home has – in varying capacities – become the office. And consequently, it no longer suffices for the office to simply be ‘the office’.
In today’s competitive market, to attract and retain tenants, the office must incorporate the third space. Going beyond a flexible workspace, strategic approaches to elevate tenant experience are required.
For asset owners, incorporating the third space into the office translates to built-in amenity. This may be self-performed or outsourced to a trusted partner for seamless experience. Much like the hotel sector, we will see the continued diversification of product: cost-effective to high-end premium.
So, in a world where work is de-centralised, how do you create a transformational office – the newly fashioned third space?
Here are 7 trailblazers:
Food & Beverage: Lantern Coffee @ Little London (London SE1)
Whether for stimulative or social moments, caffeine will always fuel the office. Multi-tenant workspace Little London have delivered their own in-house coffee shop offering, Lantern Coffee. High quality coffee, freshly made sourdough sandwiches, sun-trap courtyard – why go to Starbucks? With 26% of managers looking to invest more in on-site F&B, coffee shops are a solid bet (Envoy 2022 Workplace Trend Report).
Retail start-ups: Ebury Edge (London SW1)
As well as office units, café, and community hall, this lively street presence includes 6 retail shops housing independent, small businesses. They offer a smaller ‘retail incubator space’ for young start-ups to test services or products in a flexible short-term pop up. From 130 sq. ft., the smallest of spaces can be made vibrant and transformational.
Fitness: Cannon Green (London SW1)
This workplace partnered with hip boutique chain Gymbox to redefine the way people experience fitness. With mesmerising concrete and steel interiors, LED lights, and unique classes with nightly resident DJ’s – going to the office has never been so invigorating.
Wellness: Uncommon (London N5)
With yoga and mindfulness classes, in-house nutritionist, ample biophilia, tree-lined walks, ergonomic furniture, hanging chair pods, relaxing scented air – you may forget it’s also a flexible co-working space. Uncommon have crafted a workspace that makes you feel good, so you do better.
Hospitality: Here + Now (Reading RG6)
Nestled in a 22-acre landscaped business park, Here + Now has redesigned the third space, radically combining work and play. It features an outdoor cinema with deck chairs, beanbags, and natural planting: a workplace which transcends the 9-5.
Technology: Unity (Brighton BN1)
The office for this growing tech company is an immersive digital experience. It features a games room as well as multi-purpose virtual reality lounge to explore new technologies and create unique experiences.
Outdoor space: 16 Laystall Street (London EC1)
Meters away from the hustle and bustle of Leather Lane market, this former warehouse offers contemporary office space coupled with beautifully landscaped private garden terraces. A tranquil oasis with timber furnishings, herb garden, and hanging pod chairs: the perfect space to unwind – without having to step foot out of the office.
Landlords and asset owners must now ask the question: what transformational value can be added to a traditional office space?
By merging the second and third (office + play) spaces – through coffee shop, tech, or wellness offerings – the office becomes vital for the cross-contamination of ideas, inspiring community, and pleasure.
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