Private Members’ Clubs Give Up Armchairs for Workspaces
Ambience of unalloyed comfort gives way to challenge shared office market
Soon after the launch of London’s lavish private members’ club 12 Hay Hill, its boss Stephanos Issaias had to throw out all the sofas and chairs on one of the floors and replace them with less comfortable seating.
Unlike many traditional private clubs, 12 Hay Hill allows members to mix business and pleasure: laptops and smartphones are permitted in its lounges, luxury serviced offices are available to rent. But some of its members, who today pay £3,800 a year for the privilege, had complained that the comfy sofas that were perfect for reclining with a drink or a book, were not appropriate “for holding meetings”, according to Mr Issaias.
Such are the dilemmas faced by a new type of club that is springing up in the UK capital. Dubbed “club-working” spaces, these offer the exclusivity and social networking of the City clubs of old, combined with the work-friendly environment of WeWork, the $20bn shared office provider. The rising popularity of working in places other than traditional offices has been driven by IT that has made it ever easier, and the growing cost of space in London.
The trend is also catching on outside the UK. In the US, city clubs such as Jonathan Club in Los Angeles and New York’s The Union League Club “have been adding co-working areas into their interiors and updating their look to make it more modern” in a bid to attract millennial professionals, according to Zack Bates, chief executive of Private Club Marketing, which promotes clubs and hotels.
Read the full article on the Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/292f1f4c-a7aa-11e8-8ecf-a7ae1beff35b