Redefining The Role of "Place"


The Socializing Office

The pandemic has had a profound effect on our daily behavior. At its peak, the frequency of entertainment and eating out dropped to less than half of what it was before the pandemic, and the impact was not only on the economy but also on people’s connections.

As mentioned in the previous issue of #74, “What a free work style makes possible,” remote work has many benefits, but it also poses challenges in terms of team cohesion and social connectedness. In the Microsoft Work Trend Index survey, 85% of employees said that their motivation for coming to the office was to “rebuild team bonds.

What is needed in the “place” called the office today?

We need to provide the value that employees get from the network, such as ideas and inspiration,” said Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer. He said. Authentic culture and communication transcend physical space.

This week’s theme is the role of “place” in a new light. In the opinion piece that follows, we will examine the various places that reconnect us, not just in the office.

To Get People Back in the Office, Make It Social (Harvard Business Review)


The secret of a "place" that makes people want to gather all the way out here

In this day and age when work and study can be done without everyone going out of their way to get together, what kind of “place” is it that makes people want to go out of their way to get together?

This reminds me of the Friday bars that appear every week in Denmark, where I was studying. On Friday nights, university campuses are transformed into bars for students, by students. It is a place, for example, where students studying Japanese meet Japanese students, where they hear from professors about things they can’t hear in class, and where romance sometimes takes place.

Many students go to Friday Bar (even they skip class) because it is not just a place to enjoy a drink, but a place where “connections” are made between people. Above all, Friday bars provide a good excuse to get together with friends.

Looking at other examples from overseas, “WASBAR” in Belgium and “Café Laundromat” in Norway are interesting. Both are laundromats, but the purpose of the people who gather there is to “enjoy cocktails with friends or go on a date with someone they met on a dating app” while doing laundry. They provide an excuse for people to gather, a good meal and a nifty reading space, while using laundry as a catalyst.

Whether or not a place can create an opportunity for people to gather, new connections, encounters, and pretexts, will be required of places in the future.

WASBAR | restaurant & laundry

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