It’s a given that tenants have the most advanced electronic gadgets at their disposal, but that doesn’t mean that what we used to call “the business center” is going away anytime soon. In fact, the Wi-Fi lounge and conference room is one of those concepts in urban design that is constantly evolving to adapt to its users’ need for faster, more advanced technology.
In a multi-family development, it’s one of the most convenient amenities for tenants in search of a professional environment in which to conduct business activities close to home but away from the distractions of children and pets. Here’s a look at some of the design trends for the modern business center:
Pods for Privacy
Since the business lounge will likely be used by more than one person at a time, it is important to install a design that allows for privacy. The answer is private pods to which users can retreat whenever the need arises.
“It’s certainly important for people to have a sense of privacy,” says Miguel McKelvey, co-founder and chief creative officer of co-working office space WeWork. McKelvey tells FastCompany.com that “People need a space that they can go to make a conference or Skype call.”
With the option to stay in their apartment and work on their tablets or laptop, a privacy pod is a great way to appeal to tenants who desire the opportunity to work in an area outside of their apartment. These are perfect for a phone call or to simply work uninterrupted from time to time.
For some tenants, the need for privacy means having that private office space is required to conduct their business. Private offices can attract more professional tenants by providing a well-equipped private office that is suitable to conduct small meetings, conference calls or work quietly in an enclosed area. Larger than a privacy pod, the private office is an attractive option for entrepreneurial tenants or those who telecommute.
Conference Rooms for Meetings
One of the most important design concepts is the conference room. This space facilitates large meetings, workshops and client presentations. It should be fully equipped to handle voice and video calls, as well as conduct audio-visual presentations and Skype chats.
In some multi-family developments, a Starbucks-style cyber café is an added bonus that makes the building that much more appealing to professionals. For one, the atmosphere is more relaxed and users can still conduct their business activities without feeling boxed into an office environment. Rather than focusing on privacy, multiple seating areas encourage interaction between users but still leave an option for privacy. It’s also an excellent venue for casual business meetings over coffee or a light meal.
The Office of the Future
With co-working and telecommuting on the rise, the Wi-Fi lounge and conference room area is an important asset in the multi-family development. Developers have begun to refocus on serving the needs of Millennial tenants working a flexible business schedule. These design trends strike the perfect balance between their need for privacy, advanced technology and social interaction.