To meet rising demand for flexible workspace, this new Signature location will offer 58,000sqft of coworking and office space from a prestigious New York address
While vaccination programmes around the world are allowing office doors to reopen, it seems that not all employees are keen to walk through them every day. After more than a year of working remotely, staff are expressing their desire for more flexible working practices. According to Forrester, it’s likely that 70% of firms in the EU and USA will adopt hybrid working models in the wake of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, new research from IWG shows that the pandemic has had a significant effect on people’s priorities. It found that 72% would prefer a hybrid way of working to a full-time return to the office – even if going back to the old Monday to Friday routine meant earning 10% more money.
Hybrid working – an approach that allows employees to split their time between the company office, home and a third location such as a nearby flexible workspace – is now the preferred model for a great number of firms. NTT, Cisco and Standard Chartered bank are among many organisations that have signed deals with IWG in 2021, providing their people with access to local, professionally equipped office space.
Altogether, IWG has seen a million new users join its flexible workspaces this year, with a further million lined up to do so. Data shows global demand for its flexible workspace increased by 15% in June 2021 alone, while demand in the USA soared by 43% year-on-year. New centres are opening throughout the country in order to meet this need.
Five-star service, iconic buildings
Among IWG’s raft of new locations is Signature Manhattan, which will offer 58,000sqft of luxurious workspace to those seeking a professional work setting that’s close to home or public transport.
Signature is part of the IWG stable, which also includes Regus and Spaces. The standalone brand provides workspaces in the world’s most iconic buildings. Designed to offer impeccable attention to detail and a level of service typically seen in a five-star hotel, Signature centres can be found in top-tier cities around the globe, including London, Tokyo, Paris and – with the opening of Signature Manhattan – New York.
The location, at 250 Park Avenue, is a joint venture between IWG and landlord AEW Capital Management. The space has been updated with new windows, restrooms and a modern lobby area, as well as a state-of-the-art security system that uses Apple technology to streamline employee and guest check-ins.
Located above Grand Central Station, Signature Manhattan boasts four meeting and board rooms, plus a mix of private offices and coworking spaces with more than 200 workstations.
Offering easy access to a wide variety of public transport links, Signature Manhattan is just a short walk away from many shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. The space has also been optimised to include a dynamic, customisable video ceiling that will display a rotating gallery of curated works by established and emerging local artists.
Into the (hybrid) future
“We are pleased to be working with our long-standing partner AEW on 250 Park Avenue,” says Michael Berretta, Vice President of Network Development for the Americas at IWG. “We couldn’t have asked for a more fitting location for the opening of our first Signature in New York.”
Meanwhile, IWG founder and CEO Mark Dixon says the launch reflects the accelerating trend for hybrid working. “The opening of this latest location is a demonstration of renewed confidence in the New York City market and will meet the growing demand for hybrid work solutions,” he explains.
Living and working locally
The 15-Minute City theory – brainchild of the Sorbonne’s Professor Carlos Moreno – espouses redesigning towns and cities so that they work around basic human needs. In essence, a 15-Minute City is a place where everything a resident requires – from work and education to restaurants and parks – can be reached within a quarter of an hour on foot or by bike.
Flexible workspaces that are close to people’s homes will play a key part in realising the ideal, and the idea has already taken hold in parts of Europe and the USA. While prestigious locations such as Signature Manhattan will always be a key part of the IWG network, Dixon points out that “during the past two years in the UK alone, IWG has opened almost all its new centres in non-city centre environments. Today, we are seeing enquiries and demand for suburban locations across our brands, including Regus and Spaces, increase exponentially around the world.”
As businesses recognise the need to be where workers already are, the demand for flexible workspaces in suburban areas will continue rising. With locations throughout the world, Spaces serves large cities and small towns alike – so it is ideally placed to help people to live and work locally.
As Dixon says: “People have been proven in recent months to be just as effective and productive away from company HQs – not just at home, but also in offices ‘around the corner’. Just when local cities and towns seemed to be dying, Covid-19 may have come along and saved them. People want to work close to where they live. It’s going to stick.”
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