What You Need To Know About Third Place Working Environments
Third Place Working – Contemporary Office Ideas
For years we have operated under the presumption that we have two main places that we occupy; home and office. Our lives were structured around the places that we occupied throughout our day. We had our work place, or office, that we occupied for 8 or 9 hours until we got home and occupied our living space, or home, for the remainder of the day. We have spent decades orienting our responsibilities around these places and attempting to perfect the “work/life balance”. However, the landscape of the contemporary office is beginning to change.
In recent years a new place concept has arisen – the Third Place. The Third Place is where the home and office integrate, and the lines are blurred between where we come to work and where we come to relax. In the beginning, the concept of “Third Place Working” was structured around getting out of the office and finding an in-between environment, like a local coffee shop!
So what implications does this have on our offices?
Well, in the early stages of adoption, people saw the Third Place as a means of escapism – a way to get out of the second place and get closer to the first place. As we became increasingly more digital in the way we work, this got easier as the years went by.
Notable benefits were;
- Increased Creativity – being office bound is not always conducive to the creative process. Getting up and going for a walk, or sitting outside immediately helps kick start our creative juices
- Close and Cost Effective – Most workers select locations that are still close to the normal working environment, while also helping to remove some of the costs-per-head from the office premises (electricity, internet, space).
- Positive Atmosphere – Coffee shops and parks naturally have a less stressful environment than a packed office.
What about now?
Major corporations across the world are starting to see the benefits of Third Places, and have begun to create environments on site that echo this philosophy. They are creating comfortable, coffee shop style areas to allow people to escape their desk and change their posture for a while. Some companies have started to engineer a more natural environment for their staff to use, introducing plants, wall graphics, natural floor finishes and an abundance of natural light.
These shifts in our perceived environment have knock-on benefits across the spectrum. Staff can use a variety of spaces to achieve maximum effectiveness and creativity, this also alleviates pressure in the “Second Place” environment. With people seeking a different way of working, desk positions can become less permanent and individual ownership can be made redundant – why not share a desk that you use 40% of the time, or even better, hot desk! Overall this reaps benefits for the company, as staff become more effective and begin to alleviate costs per head, as use of space becomes more diverse and more efficient.
To find out how you can make the most of Third Place Working, why not get in touch with Innov8 Office Interiors, Irelands leader in workplace innovation.