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A Place to Call (Second) Home

There’s been much talk recently about the concept of the “Third Space” in our daily lives. The “Third Space” is a separate place from the social environments of our home (the first place) and our office (the second.) Think Starbucks.

It’s no secret that we collectively spend more time at the office than we do our homes. Sure, we all may tout flex schedules and work-life balance, but we log more waking hours in front of our desk than away from it.

But instead of carving out more hours to find yet another place to hang, why not improve the places in which we already spend our time? What if we could transform the office – the place where we dedicate so much of our daily lives – to feel more like home?

For years, I had not given much thought to my office and its decor. It was your typical corporate look: plenty of doors for privacy, painted walls in bright colors and lots of windows for natural light. I figured, our clients didn’t seem to mind – and they are the reason we’re in business. If it’s not broken…why fix it?

It wasn’t until our office lease renewal appeared on my desk that I stopped to allow myself to dream of new possibilities. I imagined a space that exuded warmth and good vibes. Where dogs are welcome to roam freely among creative elements…a place with no silo walls that divide us, but rather ice cream and comfy couches that bring us together.

My decision was made. I began my search for a more inspiring environment to call (second) home. After weeks of research, I eventually uncovered a funky, retail-turned-office space in the heart of downtown Hollywood. This launched a 90-day effort to create a new, stimulating haven for our agency.

Fast forward to now. Our new, warmer digs feature exposed brick walls, wood floors, authentic antique windows and distressed glass doors to separate the spaces, cool lighting, great music, a stocked ice cream bar, a theater screen showing happy movies…and, yes, plenty of room for our dogs. It was even recognized by the South Florida Business Journal as one of this year’s “Top 10 Coolest Office Spaces.”

We created a welcoming space that felt as comfortable as home yet with the productivity of an office. Now, we don’t need to bring our laptops to a nearby coffee bar for a change in scenery when we can casually saunter over to our living room. We feel communal over coffee…or wine…or ice cream whenever the impulse strikes.

Now, our team enjoys a closer collaboration – literally. Our brainstorming sessions take place in a comfortable living room instead of an uninspiring conference room. Our clients love visiting. And, while we may deal with an occasional unwanted bark (thanks, Rosie), our furry friends make us laugh and have become agency mascots.

I am grateful for that requested lease renewal last year — it gave me the opportunity to transform a good office into a great second – and third – place. My only regret is that I waited so long to do so.