Technology and innovation continues to untether the workforce – dramatically changing how and where people work and live. Flexibility and amenities in the home and office matter to not only millennials but to workers and employers of all generations. Everyone is now embracing the notion that it’s okay to choose how and where to work. If provided correctly, a happier and more productive workforce will be the result.
The emergence of integrated live/work/play environments is forcing developers to think differently and cater to this demand. By providing flexible workspace as an amenity in mixed-use residential buildings, developers can harness this shift. What it means to live and work from “home” is being reimagined to better serve tenants – creating new amenities and gathering focal points for the broader community.
For these reasons and more, 1776 is thrilled to partner with one of the Philadelphia region’s leading residential developers – Westrum Development Company – to launch a brand new campus in Philadelphia’s Brewerytown neighborhood. This new campus will expand 1776’s model of delivering entrepreneurial incubation services and flexible work environments and place it directly into a residential setting. It will allow for both residents and the neighboring community to have access to 1776’s programming, events, and partners to help companies and emerging entrepreneurs grow their business right in their backyard. Many great ideas have been hatched in garages, we are now expanding the definition of a garage. Now, it will be possible for any 1776 member to work from an office in the morning, hit the gym at lunch, and take a conference call by the pool in the afternoon – all within the same premises.
Why the Partnership Makes Sense
Tenants across asset classes (eg. residential, commercial, retail, etc.) are decreasing the amount of space they need. This rings true in mixed-use developments – the floor plans of residential units are shrinking and more square footage is allocated to amenities and common space.
Landlords and developers are recognizing the benefits of a tighter integration between managed service providers such as 1776 and the landlords themselves. Simply providing cool work furniture, wifi, and the proverbial coffee is not enough. In addition to providing a level of hospitality, 1776 is focused in activating its locations via innovation programming and access to its network of resources. Without such programming, all that is left is (likely empty) space – no matter how impressive the design.
There is no denying that flexible shared office space is on the rise. Yet even with hockey stick like growth, at least one survey demonstrated that “home” is still the most popular remote work location with more than 75% of respondents citing their home as their primary remote workplace.
Lonely No More
While the benefits to working remotely can be great (short or non-existent commute, ability to spend time with family, flexible schedule etc.) there can certainly be downsides to working from home. Loneliness, in particular, has been cited as one of the biggest detractors. One of the greatest solutions to combat loneliness is the opportunity to get involved with a community and to build new relationships – exactly the type of things 1776 campuses are designed to cultivate.
Opening the East Coast’s first incubator and flexible work environment within a mixed-use residential building is an exciting opportunity. By partnering with 1776, the Westrum Development Company is offering their residents a distinct amenity that drives increased demand for residential units and further integrates the development within the broader community.
1776 firmly believes that mixed-use residential developments, will play an increasing role in how and where people work. 1776 is positioned to be a leader and a strategic partner to this asset class, helping us all redefine how we serve the community.