“When you drive a Ferrari you don’t drive 100 mph all the time,” says entrepreneur and ATLAS Workbase member Bronson Taylor. “Similarly, at work we have fast and slow gears, at different times it’s intense like when you’re doing your ‘gold’ work, and at other times it’s more about networking, interaction and creativity.”
Your work environment needs to reflect those gears. Shared Office, Accelerator, Virtual Office, Coworking – on the surface the mechanics of each looks the same. But which offers a “work experience,” the best environment for you to succeed and enjoy time spent while there?
Simple fact: Starbucks makes coffee, that’s nothing new, but they wrapped an experience around it. Call it Third Place, call it your place between work and home, but an experience it is and consumers can’t stop drinking from that cup.
What does a work experience even mean? And what is a “work experience” when talking about it in the context of a space and a “coworking” environment like ATLAS Workbase? Well first of all, there’s a delineation between old style and new style working.
The old way of thinking:
- Boring and stodgy environment;
- Utilitarian, single-minded;
- work spaces with limited choice;
- Walls and dividers with limited interaction;
- On your own/no concierge or welcoming staff;
- Bad coffee…
Some of you may remember that back in the day, middle management expected non-stop work for 10 hours. It was the unsaid rule you were supposed to act like you were working for 10 hours, you parked early and you left late. In reality, nobody can really deliver good, thoughtful and productive work over that period of time.
Modern thinking says we are super productive doing that gold work for about two hours per day, with the rest of our time ramping up or ramping down from work that actually impacts the bottom line. We understand now that employees go into modes during the day, shifting those gears from high to low and back again.
What we really do is segment our day: sometimes you need a place to conduct important meetings, where the environment is controlled and seamless; with great wireless and other connected services to support you. Then you might need a place for laser focused productivity offering soft light, muted sounds, quiet and with ultra-privacy. When the gold work is done, then maybe it’s time to crank out emails, and you like a place that’s louder and a bit chaotic, where you can have a cup of coffee, chill or just meditate on a vexing problem or issue at hand. You don’t mind the background noise because it gives you energy. The room is filled! This could be time also for networking and peer interaction, or maybe start to decompress from a long day with an eye on tomorrow’s tasks. At home is where you finally wind down and turn off the gadgets.
But segmenting your day is not all there is too it. There is an alchemy to work, you enjoy being there, you enjoy how you feel, and the vibe surrounding you is uplifting. Places like ATLAS Workbase are self-selecting in that the people who share the space with you also value the experience, along with common desires, similar wants and needs. Ah the alchemy of work!
Just like in everyday life, when at work there is a hierarchy of human needs. At the top of the work hierarchy is self actualization, you want to achieve and you want to give back to others because it makes you feel good and ultimately that drives organizational success. At the low-end are the basics like desk and chair and lighting. In between you have the relationships, the interaction, the kitchen and the coffee, where we all learn and actualize to some degree, together.
“To come to a place of work and get something tangible from it is incredible. The alchemy of work goes back to the environment and the people that create it. Take Ronnie, who runs the Konvene Cafe inside ATLAS Workbase; he’s an entrepreneur in disguise with plans for world domination, who just happens to make the best breakfast sandwich, ever,” says Taylor.
Continues Taylor, “Recently I ran into ATLAS co-founder Alan Winningham who talked about growth plans and his vision for the company. Sothan who runs the ATLAS concierge service and front desk doesn’t just think he’s there to welcome you, he talks about being part of a start up and something really special. This place caters to big thinkers.”
We’ve all been in a situation where one attitude can ruin the group, and conversely, the opposite is also true in that the right alchemy drives energy and thought. Shared Office, Accelerator, Virtual Office, Coworking. Perhaps coworking is not the way to describe the work experience at ATLAS Workbase. If work is your religion, than ATLAS Workbase is your Work Temple.