Creating a Work from Home Space at the Club
We all have a new calendar designation now, "Working from Home". Just two years ago, we were all except of course for our heroes, the health care and first responder folks – THANK YOU!" working in our pajamas, every day. Despite some weight gain issues, many of us embraced the new normal and its inherent flexibility and found hours from nonexistent commutes. As we work out of overburdensome restrictions, we seem to be reaching a middle ground of sorts.
The New Work Week
Most of us have, in some cases kicking and screaming, have found our way back to the office for at least part of our work week. But things have changed. Work habits, schedules and accessibility have adjusted. I know the lines separating the weekends from the work week have blurred for me and expect that to continue for a long time into the future. I find myself carving some time out of every day to check email, put in a half hour of writing, or just check back with clients. And I have found that this is not exclusive to me.
Flexibility in our Workdays
Many members I speak with are enjoying newfound flexibility while also experiencing a higher expectation of availability. So how do we accommodate our members when they want to put in a little work time when they are out for a round of golf, dinner, or an hour on the treadmill? Members are very uncomfortable setting up in a closed dining room or a corner of the locker room to get a little work done. There is a need for space.
The Milbrook Club | Greenwich, CT
Creating a Work from Club Spaces
Enter today's version of the "business center". I loath to use that term as it provokes visions of library study carrells and stiff uncomfortable chairs. But what is a good term that accurately describes a space one can use for some mid-day work. Some call it "Starbucks Space" which pays tribute to what the coffee chain has been able to accomplish in changing society's image of relaxing and working on the run. That will not suffice in most instances. However, one of my recent master plan clients termed it the "E-Lounge". I like it!
What does the private club "E-Lounge" look and feel like?
Well first, it is easily accessible – not tucked away in a space that is "useless for anything else". It is casual. It has a variety of seating types and configurations center-pieced by a high-top communal table with USB ports and plugs. It needs exceptional wi-fi connectivity. Of course, a large screen TV (at least one, likely more than one). Use your imagination as to what other features should be offered but remember, it is comfortable and usable by many varying groups.
Making a Multi-Purpose Space
This space is likely to enjoy most of its business use during more traditional business hours. So, what happens at night? Well, most of the features – comfortable and varied seating, communal table, big TV -all lend themselves to use by kids -especially the tweens. Imagine getting complete use from a space while offering many member groups a place to use their digital devices without feeling out of place.
Adapting to a Changing Demographic
The world, as well as our membership demographics has changed. Among today's members, using a digital device is not "taboo" and should no longer be treated as such by private clubs. I do however not want to be enjoying a cocktail on the patio with someone working on a tablet next to me. Therefore, the answer is finding space for everyone, and their devices, to coexist at the club.
Where to Start
If you're club is considering an E-Lounge of sorts to provide your members a Work from Club space, you should be starting with a Master Plan. Download our E-Book: Developing a Master Plan to learn about our process to help turn your club's aspirations into membership approval.