The ‘New’ Collaborative Office

NYC Opens new Collaborative Office at $1 Billion

Finding Privacy in the Modern Office

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Collaborative offices doesn’t mean doing away with desks, chairs and dividers - creating one large common space with no privacy. According to the Harvard Business Review, in 1980, 85% of U.S. employees claimed they needed a place to concentrate without distraction, and 52% cited they lacked such space. Offices reworked their model so that by 1990, only 23% of employees recorded that they craved more privacy in the workplace, and half of all employees cited they needed more human interaction. Thus the birth of collaborative workplaces and the end of the cubicle, as popularized by office sitcoms. But as with fashion trends, office tendencies also shift throughout the years; research from the past few years has turned up the notion that people once again are requiring privacy in the workplace.

In the technology age, privacy in the office means more than a cubicle wall, it means noise canceling headphones, a separation from social media. One New York company is creating a collaborative workplace that is highly atypical: it’s not a true office space, but more of a networking, community event center. This move towards collaborative workspaces from traditional offices, or even coworking spaces, may be a new creative trend with the influx of technology companies and creative workers looking to expand their horizons.

The New Collaborative NYC District

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For many companies moving forward, the collaborative model is the go-to route. But that doesn’t mean foregoing privacy. Collaboration is a means by which workers can share, motivate and network together. Lower Manhattan HQ (LMHQ) is a New York company that’s moving past coworking into the collaborative working sphere. A Hive 55 sponsor, LMHQ is shifting towards a larger communication based working space designed around discussions, including groups such as NY Tech Meetup and Google, on changes in marketing and what companies must do to keep up. One of the findings from the discussions is that tech companies are isolating themselves on what can be called “corporate campuses”; LMHQ is looking for larger spaces, event spaces, to increase networking and communication between all workers, striving for idea sharing opportunities that they weren’t meeting in their previous locations.

The Alliance for Downtown New York initiated the search for larger, more connected work spaces. DA President Jessica Lappin said, “It’s logical to think about how an entrepreneur would not want to take a meeting at Starbucks.From my perspective, it’s interesting to see how big companies like Control Group need space. Everyone’s so packed into their offices, they need some space to breathe.” The space will be an events based space, to foster collaboration outside of the working atmosphere, and to allow workers networking abilities. And it’s not just the working space that’s getting a makeover: the Financial District of lower Manhattan is receiving a superficial facelift also. Once the center of FIRE Industries — finance, insurance, real estate — the lower part of the island is quickly turning into TAMI companies — tech, advertising, media, information. The Downtown Alliance (DA) has put forth over $1 Billion into the company, including the business infrastructure and transportation system, with proximity to Brooklyn, a rapidly popularized borough, a means by which the company hopes to expand talent and increase their networking capabilities.

Today, tomorrow, and Friday, LMHQ will be holding their #OFFSITE opening conferences by RSVP in the TAMI district of Manhattan.