Tomorrow, as part of a team of coworking experts, I will accompany a bank thinking about offering coworking in its branches. I don’t yet know what this bank wants to do or where it wants to go. Since we at St. Oberholz, together with Sparda-Bank Berlin eG, have developed a pioneering project on this topic, the BLOK O in Frankfurt (Oder), I was invited to this workshop. I am looking forward to it.
Because of that, I thought a lot about the development of the BLOK O lately. I also took a closer look at the theoretical basis, the concept of the Third Place. I came across a characteristic of Third Places defined by Ray Oldenburg which I consider to be elementary: The interior of a third place is designed without extravagance. They are never snobby and are accepting of all types of individuals.
We have always managed to do this. Thinking people first in our concepts is a natural process for us. Coworking is a culture of togetherness that shapes our thoughts and actions accordingly. However, when I look at many newly created places, especially the interior design and the integration of service into the design, I realize that this is anything but a self-runner.
There has to be clarity about the culture.
It’s easy to say that people should be the focus of new concepts right from the start. Probably everyone claims to do the same anyway. In the end, reality often only looks different. Companies that want to change with new concepts should, therefore, pay attention to their partners’ culture. What values do they have and how do they express themselves? This way you can find an authentic partner.
This discussion of values is also essential for the company itself. How does the modern idea fit in with the company? By dealing with its own culture and communicating it, the company makes it easier for its partners to understand it. And all those involved have the opportunity to develop a really suitable concept for the company and no further dazzle. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Header Image: Roman Wache, Frankfurt (Oder) 2018