‘Third places’ gaining steam for remote workers

Yet another new normal is coalescing in the office sector as working remotely is becoming no longer exclusively synonymous with working from home.

That’s according to JLL, which recently revealed that more and more people are finding places other than the office or homes to knock out their to-do lists. Per JLL’s Worklplace Preferences Barometer report, remote flexibilities are empowering more employees to clock in from cafes, hotel lounges and co-working spaces.

Roughly 36% of employees are now working in “third places” at least once a week, up from just 8% last year. It’s a trend that’s showing no signs of abating any time soon, with third places maintaining their appeal in the future to 33% of respondents to a JLL poll.

“Hybrid work now means much more than just the home and office,” Flore Pradère, work dynamics research director at JLL, said. “A variety of locations form part of the typical working week as employees seek boundaries between personal and professional lives.”

What does that mean for office real estate? JLL suggests that the shift is correlative to more companies planning on the addition of more flexible space as part of their post-pandemic work strategies. Forty-one percent of tenants anticipate increasing their use of flexible space, according to JLL’s 2021 Global Flex Space Report.

Meanwhile, as tech becomes even more important to the increasingly mobile and remote working populace, the availability of technologically advanced tools — as well as the support of that equipment — is becoming an arrow in the quiver of companies enticing talent. About 60% of participants in a JLL poll named tech and equipment as the primary support they expect from their employers.

“One of the reasons employees miss the office environment is the access to everything they need to work, from amenities to the right type of chair and IT support,” said Pradère. “The pandemic proved how poorly equipped we were for working at home. In this context, giving people access to a highly equipped work environment close to their home place looks very attractive to the workforce.”


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