Third Places

The genie is out of the bottle! With the freedom technology gives from fixed place, connecting and working from 'where you are' is a new norm. We all do this, and we see others working in cafés, doing deals from hotel lobbies, coaching colleagues, family and friends through decisions from the runway.

Associated with this is reduced usage of organisations' workspace. Many employers have already reduced fixed workspace, with new space strategies for when people are present, rather than sustaining low levels of occupancy with its associated high fixed costs. And many more organisations are looking to align their space quota with the realities of distributed working. ZZA has supported companies like PwC and Cisco in change programmes to drive such efficiencies. Our research with organisations like BT and Birmingham City Council where significant transformation has been delivered, demonstrates the significant successes that this can achieve. These scale of potential wins is set out in our report: 'Occupier Productivity at Lower Cost'.

But where do people work when they're not in the office? Going to conferences and meetings at customer sites is just part of the picture. 'Third places' are integral to today's work patterns. These third-party spaces take varied forms, providing choice of facilities, location and access. Critically, neither employers nor users own them.

ZZA's seminal research on third place use unpacks the factors that make these resources attractive. It shows why people who are not required to work in 'the office' or don't even have one, don't all opt to work at home. Drawing on our international study involving nearly 18,000 responses from over 60 countries, and over 80 depth interviews, ZZA's report 'Why Place Still Matters in the Digital Age', describes the locational, motivational, economic and social factors that shape user preferences and drive decisions on where they choose to work.