Ray Lindenberg, President of the Workspace Association of New York; Chief Innovation Officer at Winning Workspaces Hospitality Group; and designer/administrator of the first high-hospitality and collaboration-based Business Center community in 1991 -- the precursor to today’s Coworking and CO-BC flexible workspace model -- provides an intriguing benchmarking exercise by taking a look back… from the future.
RAY LINDENBERG: REMEMBERING 2013 (a look back from the end of the decade)...WITH ‘2020’ VISION
We made it! It’s 2020, and a fine time to look back at 2013 -- to marvel at how far Business Centre and Executive Suite Operators have evolved in just 7 short years, in the flexible, 3rd Place Serviced Workspace Industry, which is now dominated by CO-BC hybrids that cater to the newer work generations, their values, tastes and needs.
I’m still getting used to using my compu-wearables: the Samsung E-Specs and my Dick Tracy model wrist-top device that’s the craze everywhere, but frankly, I wasn’t that nifty at mastering the features of all them techie contraptions way back in 2013 either.
It’s amazing how enjoyable these newfangled CO-BCs in traditional mid-city business districts have become. I guess they have to be, in order to stay in business and remain competitive, so that the many Generation Y and now Gen-Z solo-preneurs, freelancers and Distributed Workers that dominate the market don’t work more regularly out of the home (or closer to home), with the advent of so many more choices on how and where to work at their disposal... especially now that saving time and money on commuting costs, as well as on carbon emission poisons (yippee!) is standard practice.
Today I took a day-station for a few hours in the quiet work-lounge of this Centre, which I quickly and easily reserved on-line, and which suits me quite well. I don’t need a full-time office in this multi-workway offering Centre anyway, given that I’m just travelling through on one of my sporadic visits into the city. Access to Day, Touchdown and Virtual Office offerings is bountiful, both in town, the burbs and throughout the countryside, in our seemingly wall-to-wall serviced workspace, ‘Work Anywhere’ universe.
As is typical at flexible, mid-city Work Centres these days, 50% of the space here is geared to open-plan, mobile/agile, ‘quiet and to one’s self’ Touchdown Space work needs; while another quarter of the space is dedicated to the more interactive and collaborative (and equally open-plan craving) Coworking crowd. There are plenty of ‘telephone booths’ and hourly room spaces that we can use and rent here if we really need enclosed private spaces, anyway.
All that talk earlier this decade about the total demise of the demand for full-time private offices was greatly exaggerated, as evidenced by the fact that the other quarter of the space here, and at most other CO-BCs, is still devoted to traditional, enclosed, cellular office working.
Add to that the coffee-bar in the middle of the place; plenty of team rooms with advanced E-gadgetry and capabilities; the creative, energizing plop-down spaces situated throughout the Centre in common areas; and all the networking and business development activities that are planned (besides the spontaneous, serendipitous stuff), and we really have what amounts to a lively, compelling and cost-effective flexible workplace that suits every need.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of these popular, successful CO-BCs -- what keeps me coming back for more, instead of working out of home all the time, or more frequently using those smaller