Third Workplace: the perfect alternative to neither work from home nor the office
We talk a lot about hybrid work at deskbird as our goal is to support businesses and their employees in creating the best hybrid experience. While flexible scheduling is often referred to as a mix between the home office and on-site days, there is actually a third workplace where workers like to get their job done. Working remotely does not only mean operating from home. It can also be working from anywhere like a coworking space, a park, or a chilled corner in a coffee shop. Since we prioritize creating a good balance between coming to the workplace and staying at home, we found it interesting to also highlight these ‘third places’. Because flexible work practices can take many forms and are a major way to attract talent, this article will hopefully help you learn more about these other work environments.
What is a third workplace?
A third workplace is any area outside of the home or the formal office space where employees go to work. It is a great medium between avoiding commuting to the workplace and enjoying the flexibility of being able to work from anywhere. There are a lot of reasons why your team members may choose to work from a different work location rather than doing home office or coming on-site every day. Their motivation can be that they live in a noisy neighborhood where it is hard to concentrate, for instance. Some may simply want to differentiate their personal living environment from the location they work.
With more work flexibility, employees can finally choose the workplace that suits them the best. Some prefer to be in a quiet place surrounded by nature, while others feel ultra productive sitting in a coworking area with other remote workers. It can also improve work-life balance as they can find a spot close to their children’s school or their fitness studio and avoid driving around the city, for example. In an era when fostering an employee-centric approach is a huge component of success, implementing the third workplace in your hybrid work policy is a step in the right direction.
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What are the types of third workplaces?
Coworking spaces have existed for years now and offer a great opportunity for remote workers to get their job done in an enjoyable location. However, this is not the only option that employees have when they want to work somewhere other than their home or the office. Even though the alternatives are countless, a few types of third workplaces are paving the path for this modern concept. Among these, you can now easily observe people working from their laptops or attending a meeting in:
- hotels: some of them are even creating specific remote work areas where workers can come for a few hours to get their job done;
- restaurants: it has become more common to see remote employees sitting at a restaurant table outside of service hours. Some places go beyond by providing coworking services during those timeslots (power outlets, wifi, free water, coffee, etc.);
- coffee shops: they used to be the cliché working spots for digital nomads. Cafés are now one of the main places to get some work done;
- outside environments: with a fully charged laptop and phone connection, working on the beach, in a park, or anywhere outdoors is also a great way to enjoy a different setting and trigger creativity.
These are just common examples as there is no rule about where the third workplace should be. As long as it allows your team members to concentrate, be productive, and feel good, it can be anywhere.
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Why are flexible work practices developing at a rapid pace?
A positive consequence of the pandemic
A few years ago, having a lot of freedom in choosing how to work was only an option for digital nomads. Today, the post-pandemic workforce is also embracing the advantages of flexible work practices. This is directly leading to higher usage of alternative work environments. For many months, both employers and employees have experienced the benefits of the home office. Companies realized employee productivity was actually better than when people were operating on-site. Even though the lack of real-life social interactions was hard, in February 2022, ‘84% of workers who had to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic said they planned to carry out a mix of working at home and in their place of work in the future’ according to an article from the ONS. For these reasons, although it is possible to return to the office, many businesses have decided to keep a hybrid work model.
A solution to overcome the Great Resignation
As many industries and companies are currently suffering from the Great Resignation, they need to find solutions to overcome this issue and retain their workforce. Hybrid work undoubtedly has a magnetic effect to attract new talent and reduce turnover. According to the hybrid work study 2022 from Cisco, ‘62% of employees agree that their ability to work from anywhere impacts whether they stay at or leave a job’. Implementing a flexible work policy and going the extra mile by allowing the use of a third workplace is an advantage that employees appreciate.
An answer to employees’ expectations
As we recently discussed in our blog article about employee expectations, knowing and trying to meet your workers’ needs is crucial for a successful business. As companies intend to focus more on this aspect, the blend of different workplace archetypes is one of the most important topics to consider for a happy workforce. In a world where working virtually has become the norm for many people, where your team members choose to work from shouldn’t be a problem. It is an opportunity to give them the chance to have a better work-life balance and to feel more valued and trusted.
The possibility of working from a third workplace is playing a bigger role in HR goals to answer people’s needs, overcome employee exodus, and provide more flexibility. Is this option one of the flexible work practices included in your hybrid policy? Keeping track of who is working where and when can sometimes be challenging, what is your management strategy? Is it easy for your workers to book a desk or a meeting room when they come into the office? The use of the workplace is being completely reshuffled. To help you embrace the new ways of working, deskbird provides you with a holistic digital tool. Request a free demo to learn more about the deskbird app.