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Moveable Walls – The Third Place


As companies begin to bring associates back into the office it is becoming apparent that many of them have also enjoyed the freedom of working remotely, away from many of the distractions that hindered their responsibilities. The major and desirable advantage of people being able to work together is the simple fact that they are “together”, in the same room, face to face, in private meetings and not having to impersonally “Zoom”.  So Covid has unexpectedly created a conundrum: a valued associate who now enjoys working from home but also desires the need to associate & socialize. The other fact is that employers have discovered and accepted the value and benefits of having employees work remotely. This will also become part of the new reality. So how do we reconcile the two new realities

Kaley Overstreet recently wrote in Arch. Daily (  the concept of and the need for a “third place”. She proposes that people who work in an office environment have unknowingly over the years regarded their homes as their “first place” and their work location as their “second place”. The two places where they “go” to do what they “do”. Large corporate giants such as Google, Apple & Microsoft discovered and adopted this need many years ago by providing areas where associates can gather, exchange ideas informally, have a coffee or do nothing at all. Workers in smaller companies now realize that they like both “places” but now want and need something in addition. As a result Ms. Overstreet suggests that the focus of the future workplace will be on the need to provide a balance between the two resulting in the need for a “third place”.

This “third place” can be almost anything or anyplace such as a coffee shop, an airport lounge or hotel lobby, a bookstore as well as office co-working places within the office environment. A place where those who wish can go, arrive early and stay late, and “linger”.  A place in addition to the two places we had before Covid. But space is a valuable, hard to find and sometimes expensive commodity: fortunately it can be created. Space can be redefined. Configured. Changed. Operable Walls can create your “third place”. And that “third place” area will most likely be available due to the fact that it is unlikely that all workers will be in the office again at the same time because many will be working from home.

Creating this “third place” that is as private as you wish, aesthetically pleasing, a calming yet active atmosphere, a place where one can go to be alone or meet with others, should be something to consider by employers for the benefit of their associates. Defining an area within your work place that can be quickly and easily established as a “third place” as is necessary, is possible using a Moderco operable wall system. And then just as quickly the walls may be stored thus redefining the area for other uses should needs change. Moderco would be happy to work with you to review your office layout to see if we can “redefine your space” to provide a “third place”, a place to “linger”, for your workers.

Call us at 1.800.363.3150 in order to set up a free no obligation review of your office facilities.