The Rise of the Third Space

The way we meet and where we accomplish our daily work is changing every day. At first glance, it was all for the benefit of our collective health and safety. But as we look towards the future, we see it can be a positive change for almost every type of industry and work space. Thanks to COVID19, the third space is, inevitably, on the rise.

This week, we sat down with representatives from our premier office furniture supplier, The HON Company, and our own Director of Furniture and Design, Linda Groover.

Data has consistently shown that we spend at least 1/3 of our lives at work. Making sense of the time we invest away from our family is what we do; we’re human. Selecting organizations where we feel valued and “at-home” is going to weigh in on where we work and how we work. It also gives us a lens or a bird’s eye view into the companies who we choose to partner with in business.

“I just got off a webinar call about remote business culture and they confirmed that people miss people,” Linda empathizes. “Focusing on the casual gathering space is important; we just don’t use formal conference rooms like we used to.”

Ever heard of the “hallway collision”? Though it sounds like a nightmare for Human Resources and Safety Councils across the globe, it’s not. According to Harvard Business review, setting up spaces where spontaneous innovation can take place improves overall performance and productivity. Essentially, we need to focus on that “third space” like lounges and cafes.

Groover continues to paint a picture of what our future office and workplace life will look like.

“I see a couple of outcomes in the pipe. Real estate in the physical office will continue to diminish.  As companies and workers get used to working remotely, I can see the trend of co-working stations and collaborative spaces continuing to rise.  Dedicated work spaces will be less of a focus which leads into the idea of communal gathering spaces. The relaxed atmosphere of working at home will have continued influence in the corporate office.  I believe our current work from home mandate will show owners and managers that workers can and will work well in a relaxed, ‘come as you are’ space.”

There’s a lot to be said of the camaraderie that continues to surface throughout the pandemic we’re all experiencing. In a lot of ways, we’re collectively grieving what was and we’re trying to make sense of what is. Spaces where we gather to work are going to have to adapt to the new challenges we face.

Ultimately, we couldn’t agree more with our friends at The HON Company. “’We’re in this together’ has become an important, meaningful call to action in the last several weeks, but at the office, it’s always been that way. Even when we’re at odds, engaging in debate, or frustrated with our co-workers, we’re all on the same team. And that sense of belonging, of camaraderie, can keep us going in the face of enormous challenges.” Read more in their blog post, What Office Spaces Mean to Us.

At FriendsOffice, our customers are our top priority. Many of you have entrusted us with your brand. We’ve made it a point to help bring out the best in you whether through the selection of your physical furnishings to the lighting and artwork chosen in finalizing your space. Your image and your workplace are important to us because they’re important to you. That will never change. We are proud to continue to be your local resource and advocate in all things office furniture and design!

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