By Cal Lee
Traditionally private members’ clubs have been a place for socialising and networking but where laptops and phones have been discouraged and, in many instances, prohibited. However, with the increasingly blurred lines between work and play, we are seeing the emergence of a number of spaces designed for both. Places where members can work during the day as well as network and socialise, with the space being used for entertaining clients or friends in the evening.
As a result we have seen entirely new concepts entering this hybrid market. New entrants such as Mortimer House or The Ministry are very much focused on creating a members’ club-like feel to their space, it’s not just about a 9-5 office, it is somewhere their members can use to socialise before, after or during work. Mortimer House includes a gym, library and lounge areas as well as private office space and a restaurant open to both members and the public. The Ministry boasts one of the longest bars in London for its members to entertain their guests, while 12 Hay Hill in Mayfair is a popular private club combining luxury office space with a restaurant and meeting room space for its members.
Clubhouse is another provider that offers meeting, lounge and workspace across four locations in London. It was established after its founder identified a need for inspiring and productive locations around London to meet with clients. Clubhouse is positioned as a business club and seeks to fill the gap between co-working spaces and members’ clubs or coffee shops.
The growing trend for more exclusive member style space was further cemented when existing serviced office provider, IWG, committed to open a 40,000 sq ft private club at Battersea Power Station called No. 18.
One thing all these hybrid spaces have in common with each other, as well as more typical private members’ clubs, is their focus on events. They all make a big effort to curate a diversified and exciting event calendar for their members (and guests) in order to bring them together to network and discuss current topics or business interests.
Offering an ideal combination of a luxurious setting with the opportunity to network in the right circles, these hybrid members’ club and co-working spaces can provide the perfect flexible work space solution, particularly for those individuals or businesses who don’t need to occupy an office all day every day but can use space effectively for a few hours on an ad hoc basis for meetings or client entertainment.
It won’t be long before the hoteliers take note too…