First thing’s first—what is the third space? The third space commonly refers to the space between home (the first space) and the workplace (the second space).
With the rise of telecommuting and office employees working from laptops, the line between work and home has become increasingly blurred, creating a need for a more casual, comfortable place to collaborate and get work done. Common third spaces include cafes, parks, and other public places that foster socialization and a sense of community. In a workplace, the third space is somewhere between our workstations and formal conference rooms where employees can meet freely to share ideas on the fly.
How Do I Add a Third Space to my Office?
A well-designed third space can accommodate a range of functions in one location, increasing productivity and creativity by offering employees different ways to work. When adding a third space to your office design, keep in mind the mobility of the space, the comfort, and the aesthetics to make the space a functional and enjoyable place to be.
Mobility Is Key
The third space won’t work if your employees are chained to their desks all day. If possible, give your employees the option to work with a laptop, and then give them the freedom to work with their laptop anywhere they want. Even if your company hasn’t embraced working from home yet, allowing employees to work in other areas of the office aside from their desk will get those creative juices flowing, energize them, and make them more productive.
Let Them Lounge
A third space should feel like a home away from home, and you wouldn’t fill your home with a bunch of uncomfortable furniture, would you? Of course not. That’s exactly why we recommend equipping your office with a comfortable lounge area complete with sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, and maybe even a television. Now that your employees have the freedom to work anywhere in the office, you’ll notice more of them using these comfortable lounge areas to get their work done. Changing up the scenery fosters a greater capacity for creativity and boosts morale, giving employees a newfound enjoyment for their work.
Bring in a Beautiful Breakroom
Even if you don’t have space for a full lounge, most offices have a breakroom, and you should design it wisely. Studies have proven the importance of stepping away from your workstation from time to time to reenergize, and creating a beautiful breakroom will keep employees inspired while they’re away from their desks. It’s important to design a space in which employees want to spend time. That way, you increase the chance employees will utilize the space and take that extra time to relax during the day.