You may have heard the term “the third space”, but what exactly does it mean? The concept of third spaces, coined by American Sociologist Ray Oldenberg in 1991, refers to spaces that offer creative alternates to the home (first space) or office environment (second space). The third space can be summed up as not the home or traditional office setting – but somewhere in-between: a flexible, affordable, professional space that you have access to. The third space is seen as creating a happy medium of the first two spaces and is often the venue of choice for remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs.
During the Corona Virus pandemic when remote working was a requirement for most employees, businesses were forced to rethink the ways their teams worked and had to overcome any cultural or technological barriers in their way. In this post-pandemic world that we find ourselves living in, many of these businesses are now transitioning towards a more hybrid operating model which sees employees split between the office and home. It is due to this reason that we are seeing third spaces grow increasingly popular.
While the concept of the third space isn’t new, since the pandemic the way which people have come to embrace this space has changed. In a global survey with almost 10 000 people, it showed that 79% of them wanted a third space outside of their homes and traditional offices.
With this level of deand and many individuals seeking out these spaces, we decided to outline the many possible contributing factors that appeal to nomadic workers and the features/benefits these spaces offer that keep them going back on a regular basis.
Is the space close to home? Or on the school run? Convenience is key when choosing a third space, as time wasted commuting is time lost working. It appears that one of the biggest concerns for employees returning to their traditional office setting is the travel time and how it jeopardises their productivity. What other conveniences does the space provide? Whether it’s ready-to-go-meals, or nearby parking, all these small factors contribute to a third space’s accessibility, and ultimately to its success.
Setting and Atmosphere
Perhaps the space has a great view? Or a relaxed yet professional vibe? The ambiance of a third space is almost as important as its accessibility. Having a space that is comfortable in all sense and purposes – from the general notion of feeling welcome in the area to the comfort of the workstation you find yourself in, will keep users coming back time and time again. Often a space that is too noisy or too quiet is not conducive to working and will not see these users returning to the space in the future. Something as simple as air-conditioning to escape a sweltering summer day can be the reason a user chooses a space. The staff that work in these spaces also contribute greatly to the overall atmosphere of an area, a factor that all third spaces need to consider when appointing team members who will handle clients.
Facilities on offer
It’s all about the coffee
Let’s face it, a great cup of coffee goes a long way! Perhaps the choice of a third space is based on an amazing cup of coffee made by a skilled barista with a high-quality brand product? Or maybe an unlimited supply of coffee is what you favour? As work and coffee go hand-in-hand this is a factor that can’t be overlooked when selecting a third space. It’s also important to factor in how comfortable are you made to feel while you sit there sipping your one coffee for over 2 hours.
Good quality WIFI
Any third space must have high-speed, good quality WiFi for it to be a success. Some spaces offer WiFi free of charge, while others limit its usage with members having to pay as they go. Although we suspect that most individuals using these spaces would opt for unlimited WiFi free of charge, they may be willing to pay for it if other factors, such as convenience and ambience are more important to that user.
In South Africa this factor is sitting at the top of the list. As loadshedding continues to affect our everyday lives, the toll the blackouts are taking on businesses is monumental. Seeking out a space that has an uninterrupted power supply is a contributing factor to third spaces increasing in popularity in this country.
Do you feel safe in the environment? Having a space that you can go to and feel safe is a factor that needs addressing. Things such as onsite security, access control and secure, nearby parking all contribute to someone’s overall sense of safety and aid in the success of the third space.
Flexibility and affordability
What are the payment options? Is there a loyalty programme that keeps bringing users back? The affordability of a third space will often determine the popularity of the space. Having flexible options available for users is vital to appeal to a large number of clients who are all in different situations. Concepts such as loyalty cards and flexible payment options helps retain these users and promotes the feeling of community within
Are you looking for inspiration? Needing a change of scenery? Research shows that working from somewhere new can boost motivation and productivity as it breaks from your normal routine. When you are working from home it can be hard to be inspired creatively. A third space offers a fresh perspective and new opportunities that change the way you think. Working in a space with other like-minded individuals can open up your business to the possibility of collaboration and push it in a
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Make Connect Space your third space…
If you are looking to find your third space, consider Connect Space. With offices in Musgrave, Umhlanga and Mount Edgecombe, we are easily assessable and conveniently located near major transport routes. At Connect Space we offer private office spaces and shared workspace areas. With super-fast Wifi, barista coffee, access to meeting rooms and boardrooms – we are the perfect option for any remote workers (or teams) looking for a place to that is not home in Durban. With a focus on creating collaborative workspaces, we tailor our space offerings to our client’s needs, making areas that are unavoidably productive with agreement terms that suit your business.
We would like you to help us identify and rate the best third spaces around the greater Durban area, be they a coworking office space or café/restaurant/gym. What attracts you to that space and keeps you coming back? We want to give our clients the best experience at our office spaces so we value your opinion. We look forward to reading your comments…
We are Connect Space! Humans spend so much of their lives working, striving to find purpose and create a meaningful impact. The world of work has changed so drastically, yet one truth has endured – humanity is better when we work together. With a focus on creating collaborative workspaces, at Connect Space we tailor our space offerings to our Client’s needs, making areas that are unavoidably productive with agreement terms that suit your business. Need an hourly rate for hot desking? We can do that. Need a weekly solution while you’re in town? We have you covered. We pride ourselves in going the extra mile to formulate the best agreements with our so they can focus on what they do best. Our 3 locations in Musgrave, Umhlanga and Mount Edgecombe are conveniently located close to major transport routes. We offer a prestigious address that includes serviced offices, meeting rooms and coworking spaces, with fast and reliable wifi and shared break-out areas – perfect for meeting others and collaboration. Better together – Let’s connect and see how we can accommodate you and your business’s needs!