New Starbucks in Tokyo features dedicated space for remote workers


  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020

Starbucks has opened a store in Tokyo with private booths that businesspeople can reserve. — AFP Relaxnews

As the coronavirus pandemic has prompted multiple companies to become more cost-efficient with their office spaces, Starbucks has opened a new store in central Tokyo with a dedicated coworking floor.

Starbucks has collaborated with marketing firm Think Lab to design the two-storey building, which is conveniently located in the Ginza neighbourhood of the Japanese capital.

The first floor of the café operates much like any store of the coffeehouse company, with a contactless hand-off counter where customers can easily order and pick up their caffeine fuel using Starbucks' Mobile Order & Pay app.

Meanwhile, the second floor of the store features multiple enclosed phone booths as well as an area for collaborative meetings equipped with projectors and semi-private tables for video calls.

Businesspeople can reserve a space at either the group and solo working areas in advance through Think Lab's smartphone app.

Fast Company reported that the semi-private booths can be booked for 40-minute slots, while the solo working spaces, which offer "the highest concentration environment”, can be reserved in 15-minute increments.

According to the publication, Starbucks does not have plans to open similar cafés in the United States or in other regions around the world.

Hotels as the new office space

Meanwhile, a growing number of hotels worldwide are offering remote working packages to offer flexible office space for business nomads.

That is the case of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (mandarinoriental.com), whose "Working from M.O." offer is available in nearly all of the brand's city hotels across the world.

The package, available for use between 8am and 6pm, comes with dining credits and a complimentary high-speed WiFi connection, as well as access to printing facilities and the fitness centre.

The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn has partnered with Industrious, a leader in creating flexible office spaces for companies like Lyft and Pfizer, to convert a selection of loft-style guest rooms into private office suites for up to four employees.

The office spaces are equipped with high-speed WiFi, private outdoor space, unlimited digital access to The New York Times, printing services and a smart TV, as well as complimentary coffee and pastry services.

"The companies that best navigate the future of work are going to be the ones that put choices in their employees' hands, including the choice of where and how they do their job best. So we're thrilled to partner with Wythe Hotel to offer more flexible office space that helps meet that demand, and meet it right now," Jamie Hodari, Industrious Co-Founder and CEO, said in a statement. – AFP Relaxnews

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