This blog is the last in a series of three (you might be relieved to hear!). The first, titled ‘The Uberisation of Workplace’ was a call for a platform and a technology to support the convenience of anyone working anywhere. The second, not unpredictably titled ‘The Spotification of Workplace’ was another rallying cry to property developers and software developers for a more personal, easy and pleasurable experience wherever they might choose to work. And in this last blog we bring it all together, asking what if the spirit of ‘Belong Anywhere’ could inspire the workplace of private public space like a cafe, library or museum, or a private space like an office of even a home.
This is ‘The AirBnB-iation of Workplace’.
The journey would begin with a website for people to list, find and rent unique workplaces from local hosts all around the city, and beyond. Wherever you are you can browse the available accommodation, maybe you are travelling light today and you just want the free wifi in the square and a chair with a back (Ping! Try the Smokehouse in Regent’s Park) or maybe you are meeting a new client from Seoul and you want a private room in an old pub because the atmosphere will be a treat (Ping! The Summertown Coffee House perhaps?), or maybe you want to be surprised and inspired by something near the river (Ping! Try the top floor of The Savoy), or just a place to print out and collate a document while you have a coffee and feel the warm glow or reward for finishing it! (Ping! Try ‘We Work’ beside Liverpool Street Station).
The AirBnB-iation of Workplace is inspired by the trend we see all around us, in every cafe, on every bench, we want our working environment to be wherever we want it to be, we want it to be convenient, and pleasurable and we are not adverse to seeking out special places to enhance our industrious endeavours. And as a Local Host what could be better than to find walk-up tenants to inhabit empty seats and unused rooms, new people looking for new places to spend their time and their money, all together inspiring new businesses, new infrastructure and best of all, new relationships. And where much of the working population used to be hidden away ‘in work’ they are now free, free to work anywhere, activation hidden pieces of the city with every mouse click and every sip of every flat white.
This is the near future… of course.
And for a little evidence have a look at Timberyard (a recommendation from Phil Dearson). Timberyard seems to take note of this trend for on-demand working space but recognises the vital need for ‘belonging’ too; so here we have a tribe of independent workers being park of something bigger than a single location.
So, one very last time, calling all property developers, corporate occupiers and software developers, lets open up the city, free the data, and let people and places find a new work/life narrative! ‘Belong Anywhere’ indeed!