Using the concept of “third space” as business opportunity

22 September 2020

Using the concept of “third space” as business opportunity

The third space concept introduces a new space among the ones traditionally known as familiar and work spaces, the one used for social life and interaction in general. A space where all sorts of ideas are exchanged (cultural, innovative etc).

During its course the concept kept evolving including, in time, spaces such as libraries but most importantly workcoffe spaces such as Starbucks, the real precursor of the most recent evolution of the concept that we are assisting today.
In the meantime, with the advance of the digital era, any distinction between digital and physical space has basically been broken down just like communication barriers, which remains fundamental. The combination of these phenomena makes, in some contexts, less useful having a real unique physical space, like offices, to gather, exchange or realize ideas.

Furthermore, if there already was a tendency for workers to operate remotely, today, with the Covid-19 outbreak, the third space concept made significant progress radicating itself almost entirely in our new working habits independently from its typology, whether possible of course. Despite everything, the sanitary emergency found us unprepared so, even if the remote workers were increasing, many people still found it difficult to suddenly work from home powering new demand. This situation consequently saw the need to find a cozy space where to work, either alone or in a group, with a WiFi and maybe a small kitchen to cook literally boom.

Airbnb, for example, already took steps in this direction creating a new specific section called Airbnb for Work to offer companies and their employees various solutions: a place where to stay to smartwork comfortably, team building activities to participate in and bigger areas, or properties, where teams can gather up and work together.

Hotels also took measures and started offering their rooms to use as offices during the day and as traditional rooms during the night. These so called “hybrid hotels” allow to recycle the product without distorting it and forcing it to be used only for one of the two functions. Through this strategy it is possible to differentiate the product but mostly to generate additional profit since these are sold separately depending on their use. A client may very well rent a room for its classic use, sleep, to work in it, as an office, or for both work and sleep, in fact selling the same product two times.

In conclusion, it becomes evident how this strategy centering on the exploitation of the third space concept proposes a valuable alternative for both hotels and vacation rental property managers. This continuously growing demand is a great opportunity that can generate more profit, revolutionize the product concept and differentiate even further the offer.

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