There has been a recent emergence in third places (social spaces that are not home but not work) within the workplace. This space is where someone can feel comfort and autonomy without feeling tied down to their desk or for those who do not have the appropriate area to work in their home.

Companies have started incorporating third spaces within the office by adding coffee shops, lounges, and outdoor seating. This idea is meant to help attract new employees and keep current employees happy. However, these spaces also breed conversation and collaboration. Walking up to a coworker’s desk may be more intimidating than chatting them up at a coffee shop.

Designing third places diversifies the environment and allows people to find a place which they are most productive. Not every person feels productive at their desk; some prefer to be in a quieter setting or one that is free from distraction. Offering multiple options gives the employee a little more autonomy in how they work.

As more companies work to get their employees back into the office, we can also expect to see more third places being incorporated. Whether they are different spaces within the office or walking distance, third spaces are not going anywhere anytime soon.