How hybrid working is inspiring innovative urban planning

Projecting with pencil on the big urban drawings. Town planning

Demand for more workspaces close to where we live, socialise and relax is on the rise, and buildings are shape-shifting to cater for the hybrid world of work

Spaces has been advocating the virtues of a more flexible way of working for some time. Now that professionals have experienced the benefits of working remotely during the pandemic – cutting out the daily commute, giving them more time and energy to maintain a healthier work-life balance – the aim now is to make these improvements long-lasting…

A hybrid model for ultimate work-life balance

Today, hybrid working is what forward-thinking companies are striving for. This model lets staff divide their working hours between their home, the company headquarters and a flexible workspace close to where they live. It means they can benefit from the perks of each working environment when needed, empowering them to be their most productive selves, and giving access to high-quality workspace in the heart of their cultural and social communities closer to home.

This year, as companies have overhauled their approach to workspace in the wake of the pandemic, we’ve seen a staggering demand for more flexible office space close to where employees actually live, relax and socialise. This is sparking a more imaginative approach to urban planning, with flexible office space being integrated into pre-existing buildings – shops, hotels, airports, stadiums and more.

Here are a few examples of how the hybrid work model is being brought to life in innovative and imaginative ways…

Innovative office space

Amsterdam’s oh-so-edgy Westerpark district lies just west of the capital. It’s a hotspot for creatives, where fresh ideas breathe new life into its former industrial buildings – its former gasworks, Westergas, for example, regularly hosts fashion shows and art festivals. Spaces Westerpark delivers up-to-the-minute workspace innovations including the European launch of Spaces’ Open Desk concept, which was first seen in the recently launched Spaces Napa Valley, USA, and will also be rolled out at select future locations around the world.

Designed to feel like an extension of a living room, the Open Desk concept has been inspired by hybrid working to create a cosier home-from-home feel. Made from eco-friendly materials, its modular pod-like design has a wall of shelving for adding your own creative touches, while cleverly placed textile panels create soundproofing and privacy.

Making the most of empty entertainment venues

Demand for local flexible workspace has surged so much, Spaces is filling arenas. In Paris, Spaces has partnered with Accor and moved into the city’s Accor Arena, converting an area of the venue’s into shared workspace for 200 freelancers, entrepreneurs and company employees. Occupying three levels, the flexible office space has open plan lounges, as well as lodges that serve as private offices for up to four workers, complete with a sofa, TV and high table.

Pop to the shops – and into Spaces

Feeding into the 15-Minute City model, flexible workspace is popping up at retail hotspots, making it easier for people to get their work done and carry out personal errands or catch up with friends over lunch in the same vicinity.

Over in California, Spaces Napa Valley in the midst of 130,000 sqft of boutiques, concept stores and restaurants. Similarly, in the Netherlands, IWG – Spaces’ parent company – has teamed up with convenience store chain Wundermart, which will open fully automated grocery stores in select locations – so people can buy fresh food and supplies 24/7, moments from their desk.

Airport locations help productivity fly

Hybrid working is about having the freedom and facilities to be productive from the location of your choice, including while you’re on the move. Having high-quality flexible workspace at airports – such as Spaces Conference Schiphol Airport, which is integrated into one of the airport’s business lounges – lets business travellers use their time wisely while waiting for a flight, or handle urgent business as soon as they land, with comfortable workspace, high-speed WiFi and fresh coffee to stave off the jet lag.

Hybrid hospitality

Hotels typically enjoy enviable locations in the heart of communities, cultural hotspots or regional business clusters, which make them prime spots for flexible office space that helps people drop in and work from anywhere. And the collaboration between Spaces parent company IWG and Leonardo Hotels is seeing the hotel group’s rooms transformed into flexible workspace offices at selected properties – allowing hybrid workers to also make use of the hotels’ gyms, meeting rooms, hire bikes and even laundry services.

The growth of hybrid working means flexible workspace is coming closer to where you live. Find a Spaces location near you to become part of a local creative business hub

Enjoy this? You might also like these Spaces magazine stories:

Five ways to boost your productivity in a hybrid world

How hybrid working is boosting local communities

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