Monday, October 09, 2006

Third Place not Third Choice

For traditional workers there’s the office, there’s the home, and somewhere inbetween there’s often now a Third Place. The concept of the Third Place was coined in 1989 by Ray Oldenburg who saw it more as somewhere where people could get together socially, like a club, but it’s now increasingly being used to describe a location which is a mixture of second office and second home, a kind of teleworking sitting room.

While it’s a reasonably familiar idea in the US where it’s thought around 30 million people spend a significant amount of time working outside their main office (read more about it here, the idea hasn't really caught on over here yet in a big way.

Among those pushing the idea is, unsurprisingly, Starbucks which incorporates the phrase in its marketing bumph. However with greater numbers of shedworkers and homeworkers operating a wi-fi network at home, increasing numbers of hotspots around the country and companies such as BT bundling in ‘free’ Openzone minutes at hotspots as part of their Total Broadband package, we should expect the media to start talking about it soon (‘Third Place is the new homeworking’ kind of thing).

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