With an increasing world population, there has been a mass shortage in inner city housing and office space worldwide. Rent prices are skyrocketing beyond affordable levels and traffic generated by commuters is a bane of cities everywhere.
A transformation of office spaces promises a solution to both problems, but could it really be the answer?
New convertible office spaces are easing pressure of housing demands in 2021 by making better use of buildings by having them in use 24/7.
The 24 Hour Office is founded on a basic principle:
Office buildings are generally empty on weekends and on weekdays between the hours of 6pm and 8am. Incidentally, these are the same times that people usually spend at home.
So… Why not combine the two into one space that can serve both purposes — office and home.
The concept, known as ‘podding’ (after the pod like capsule beds) is beginning to take off in crowded cities worldwide. And for good reason — it works! City-dwellers love the lower priced rent, whilst building owners love the idea since they earn rent both for both the office space and the home space — which of course is actually the same space — just used at different times.
Here’s how it works:
How an office space becomes a living space
Essentially, the idea is for people to co-inhabit the same space for This is achieved by living in ‘shifts’, with the ‘work shift’ generally operating from 9am — 6pm and the ‘residential shift’ from 7pm — 8am the next morning.
- At the end of the work day, desks securely ‘lock away’ (along with all documents and hard drives) and flip up to transform into cleverly designed shared living spaces.
- In the kitchen areas, multiple fridges with secure compartments mean that your food remains yours.
- Office common areas become areas for relaxation and entertainment.
- People still have their privacy when sleeping, and private areas for can be booked in much the same way as you would book an office for a meeting.
- In-building facilities that are used by the office workers during the day are shared by residents during the night. The gym, pool, and rooftop garden are open 24 hours a day.
Take heart, living in an office is not as bad as it sounds. These convertible spaces aren’t the stark and corporate office spaces you remember from years ago.
Friendly design is the key here — clever use of space and lighting transform the office of the day into the comfortable living spaces of the night.
Of course, whether worker or resident, you are responsible for keeping your space tidy, but with offices mostly digital these days, that’s not hard to do.
Studies have shown that people function better with a separation of work and sleep spaces. Hence, many podders are choosing to work in one office and then sleep in a different one across the city, just for the change of scenery. In fact, for the sanity of workers, most complexes have a rule in place that you can’t sleep in the same area in which you work.
Like anything else, podding has its detractors, but current real world use has shown that it can work.
It’s not for everyone, but for many, it’s providing relatively affordable housing in very central and well-located areas and is easing the housing burden in major cities.