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Workplaces of the Future

As America goes post-blue, the shape of American workplace is changing dramatically. Thursday’s Wall Street Journal has a story on the latest trend in post-office environments—hotel lobbies:

More consultants, bloggers and other creative non-office types are latching on to the comfy chairs, free Wi-Fi and other amenities to be found in chic new urban hotels. Guests are setting up their laptops, iPhones, ear buds and water bottles and doing business from high-visibility library tables and quiet corner armchairs.

“It’s like the living room I could never have,” says Leslie Richin, who lives near and often works at the Andaz Wall Street, a Hyatt Hotels property geared to younger business travelers in New York. Ms. Richin, a 33-year-old social media strategist, is one of a few freelancers who have discovered an area one floor beneath the main lobby, where it’s quiet enough for phone calls. The Andaz, a two-year-old property, has a signature citrus scent, a curated selection of new music and a multimillion-dollar lobby whose modern design makes for an inspiring environment, Ms. Richin says.

This may be somewhat unorthodox, but it’s a win-win for the hotels and the professionals who come there to work. Hotels benefit from the coffee and meal tabs picked up by their new guests, in addition to the “hipness” benefits conferred by the enterprising types that set up in the lobbies. The workers themselves get a work environment far more comfortable and enjoyable than the traditional office, with its spare cubicles, bland decor, unnatural lighting and uncomfortable desks.

Via Meadia stands with the new “lobbyists.” Going into an office is so 20th century.

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  • Anthony

    “Its like the living room I could never have….” Workplace or open space marketed for both street traffic (new lobbyist) and contemporary “chic” as ancillary to commerical development.

  • Luke Lea

    That’s new? Sounds like Café de Flore. That’s Sartre over there in the corner blogging.

  • Luke Lea

    “The building we exited was another one of the terrafoam projects. Terrafoam was a super-low-cost building material, and all of the welfare dorms were made out of it. They took a clay-like mud, aerated it into a thick foam, formed it into large panels and fired it like a brick with a mobile furnace. It was cheap and it allowed them to erect large buildings quickly. The robots had put up the building next to ours in a week. . . .

  • Daniel M. Ryan

    There’s another benefit. Work spaces for “portable workers” eliminate the distractions that come with working from home.

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