Many businesses are straying from the traditional office environment, towards a more open and collaborative space. Google, Foursquare, and other tech giants are relying on professional frathouse-type areas where a mix of creative workers can exchange ideas, bond, and work together to improve their benefactors’ bottom lines.
With the rising importance of branding, team workspaces are becoming more and more, the norm. Companies can spend more time coming up with clever ways to differentiate themselves, if the atmosphere favors employee motivation and tireless dedication.
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An interesting idea in the world of creative office-setups comes from a complex called “Due North”. Due North operates off the coastline in Australia's progressive capital, Sydney. It was started by a family of right-brained enthusiasts, and meshes the ideas of a staying in a comfortable bungalow on the beach, with working from home on your favorite couch.
The complex features a handful of single-office rooms, common areas with dining tables, and suites for relaxation. Cherry-wood flooring and light-green wall paint create a yoga-studio like atmosphere, where work and creative thought can coexist naturally, amidst the backdrop of the local, laid-back beach lifestyle. A place like Due North seems like a charming, and productive alternative to your average faceless, eyesore of a multi-office building.
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Due North also features an idea called a ‘hot desk’, which is a collaborative work environment that makes use of natural lighting, house plants, and ecological function to maximize workflow. Get me into one of these offices, and I’d be on the cover of Forbes in a week.
Director Zoe Ritch claims Due North’s interior design is paying tribute to Australia’s maritime industry and the local culture. The economy is booming because of areas like Due North, where people can work at their preferred, leisurely pace. Residents can always access the other parts of Sydney through ferries running all day, so they are not just confined to the complex.
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Still, you don’t have to travel all the way to Australia to find collaborate workplaces, like Due North. Right here in the Big Apple, are a few similar ideas.
1. General Assembly is located in the flatiron district, and features a 200-person event space, a classroom, library, meeting rooms, and a full kitchen/bar.
2. Fueled operates out of Soho, and features a popcorn machine, snack bar, and ping-pong tournaments for residents. Hot topic startups, like Foursquare, choose to operate out of open-forum space like this.
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3. We Work Labs offers private office space, conference rooms, discounts and benefits for members, and a video-game arcade for breaktime. There are several locations around lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
4. Protective Space delivers collaborative workspace to tech-themed companies.
5. New Work City represents founder Tony Bacigalupo’s vision for a team-oriented space, that allows freedom from imagination oppression, caused by traditional hierarchies common to the western business model.
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If you have your own ideas for a collaborative and creative workspace; France and Son would like to hear about them.