Originally published in Interiors & Sources

01/01/2014

A New Kind of Grind

Within the next few years, close to half of America's workforce will have transitioned to independent labor, begging the question: Where will they all work?

By Erika Templeton and AnnMarie Martin
Photography by Matthew Olive

 
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    Dan Dengrove, a user at Grind’s Broadway location and founder and president of Brewla (Specialty Brewed Bars). View larger

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    The “team rooms” at Grind Broadway where larger groups can meet in a more private setting. View larger

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    The “team rooms” at Grind Broadway where larger groups can meet in a more private setting. View larger

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    A second, less dense open work area at Grind. View larger

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    There is a bank of smaller, phone-booth type stalls that allow for more private conversations. View larger

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    A display of monitors will soon allow tenants to feature their work. View larger

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    A reminder of days gone by sits by the entrance of Grind with an old Macintosh and keyboard, rotary phone, floppy disks and a clock forever stuck at five minutes to 5 o’clock View larger

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    There are a variety of rooms for different work situations including larger conference rooms and a quiet area featuring sound absorbing canvases and Vitra lounges. View larger

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    There are a variety of rooms for different work situations including larger conference rooms and a quiet area featuring sound absorbing canvases and Vitra lounges. View larger

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    A large open area is the first thing you see upon entering Grind, featuring tables in varied sizes with integrated outlets. This is where entrepreneurs of different markets can meet and collaborate. View larger

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    One of Fueled Collective’s many conference rooms, inspired by the British countryside. View larger

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    View larger

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    A snack wall at Fueled Collective is one of the many amenities Chawla hopes to improve upon in future iterations of the co-working space. In the future, he plans to have snacks provided by corporate sponsors. View larger

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    More casual spaces from Fueled Collective—above, a private conference room’s white-board shows evidence of many layers of meetings, and below, a cozy living room-like space sits front and center amid a sea of open plan desks. View larger

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    More casual spaces from Fueled Collective—above, a private conference room’s white-board shows evidence of many layers of meetings, and below, a cozy living room-like space sits front and center amid a sea of open plan desks. View larger

As we noted in our May 2013 issue, the corporate structure that rose to dominance in the 1960s is slowly starting to crumble as a new generation takes the reigns of the modern workplace. And while corporate America itself certainly isn't crumbling, it is going in for some "elective surgery."

According to the Intuit 2020 report (with research led by Emergent Research, in close partnership with Intuit), "contractors, or contingent employees, have a greater say in when and how much they work, giving them a greater work-life balance. Today, roughly 25 to 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is contingent and more than 80 percent of large corporations plan to substantially increase their use of a flexible workforce in the coming years." Their research is also showing that small businesses will similarly develop their own collaborative networks of contingent workers, minimizing fixed labor costs and expanding the available talent pool.

As these independent workers begin to account for a large chunk of the American workforce, they're going to need a place to work that isn't Starbucks or their dining room table. Enter the co-working space.

Over the years, they've evolved from simple, open seating areas with a few outlets, to full floors providing all the amenities one could ask for (including the chance to further build out your network). Co-working isn't just for Silicon Valley start-ups or urbanite entrepreneurs anymore. They're for the everyman: the freelancers, the temp workers, the part-time hustlers, and anyone else trying to make ends meet in a job market that is consistently shedding traditional virtues.

"You have to look at this globally," says Michel-Claude Fiechter, partner at TPG Architecture, designers of the luxury co-working project Silver Suites, located on the 46th floor of 7 World Trade Center in New York City. "As companies begin to work more on a consultant basis that they put together to form projects, spaces like that become very important. You need spaces for them to meet and collaborate, but don't necessarily want to sign a 10-year lease somewhere."

In fact, we at I&S have been a largely remote team since 2005, producing this publication from home offices across the country, in addition to our headquarters in Iowa. And yes, in that time, we have dreamt of the benefits of an office space. Key among them is the collaborative community a co-working space provides. As Danial Brown, co-founder of the Midwest Sustainable Cities Symposium, succinctly summarizes in an article penned in 2012 ("At Co-working Spaces, Plenty of Coffee (Without the Cubicles)", bit.ly/officehub):

Co-working spaces create a new type of economy, one that more closely resembles an open-sourced knowledge bank rather than an information silo. Furthermore, and most importantly, the co-working economy is one based on collaboration rather than self-interested competition. On a purely psychological level, co-working spaces are healthier, more productive, and more in line with a healthy society than traditional work spaces.

We took a trip to Grind and Fueled Collective, two successful co-working office space brands with hubs in NYC, to learn exactly what it is that makes these places tick, and what that could mean for office design.


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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