Digital nomads are those who have the unique ability to work from anywhere. While we often imagine the traditional digital nomad working from an exotic tropical destination, a new form of digital nomadism is emerging—one where people are not wandering far from home. Today, we see a wave of digital nomads whose lifestyles don’t necessarily allow them to work from paradise. Instead, they’re setting up at a coffee shop down the street or a community park with access to WiFi. With the rise of the “work from anywhere” movement, fewer people will return to the office in favor of working from home permanently and becoming digital nomads themselves.
Digital nomadism continues to blur the line between live, work and play. As our spaces continue to adapt to our future needs, we’ll likely see more collaborative, communal zones where people can relax, shop, and work. Additionally, as more companies give their employees the option to work from home indefinitely, there is a new opportunity to transform empty offices into spaces that support various activities.
Simple additions such as comfortable seating, outlets or charging stations, and even desks will immediately provide a touchdown space for work. © David Whitcomb.
Lobbies As An Amenity Space
Prior to COVID-19, lobby spaces have been fairly nonfunctional. Historically, lobbies have acted as a large empty space that people pass through to get to their destination. Now, however, COVID-19 has created an increased desire to socialize and have human connection again. The mere size and space of lobbies provide an enormous opportunity for them to now become the destination—a place where people can gather. As office buildings continue to become amenity-rich as a standard, these reinvigorated lobby spaces will give people a reason to visit. Additionally, as employers search for a way to entice staff back into the office, they can do so with this type of experience—one that will also attract digital nomads and diverse members of the community.
The potential for lobbies to serve as an additional amenity space is seemingly endless. These large spaces often used as a buffer between the office and the outside world now sit empty. Even with the expected return to the workplace, we can anticipate that the lobby space will remain reasonably quiet as some staff work remotely. To utilize these spaces to their full capacity and bring more community members in, simple additions such as comfortable seating, outlets or charging stations, and even desks will immediately provide a touchdown space for work. Choosing warm colors and soft textures can also make these once cold and empty spaces more inviting to people.
More considerable additions such as small coffee stands, private phone booths, and reservable co-working spaces will draw people into a building that they would never have stepped foot in otherwise. By including rentable multipurpose rooms and break-out conference rooms with lots of embedded technology, people will see lobby space as an easy meeting spot. Delis and name brand cafes like Starbucks will ensure guests are comfortable, and will not need to leave the building to grab a coffee or quick bite to eat.
People can skip the commute to and from far away offices by choosing to work from lobbies …….