Innovation That Matters

Office space app | Photo source Pixabay

On demand office spaces for Tokyo commuters

Work & Lifestyle

A new partnership brings bookable office booths to its busy stations, with users able to book space via an app.

It’s a common commuting problem: waiting around in the station when there’s work to be done, especially if the train is running late. If only there was a comfortable space with free reliable Wifi to sit and complete urgent tasks. Now, commuters on the Tokyo Metro will have a solution.

Tokyo Metro is partnering with Fuji Xerox to trial tiny office spaces in certain stations alongside their busy network. These mini booths will offer a desk and seat and Wifi. The project was conceived out of the observation that many people now choose to work outside the office. For example, some of the most poplar public working spaces are in cafes and bars. However, these ‘third spaces’ don’t offer a lot of privacy and are generally not conducive environments for focussed work. These mini-booths will therefore create a more work-like environment for those travelling through the stations. Or they are simply for those who require a quiet place to work in a public location, providing comfort and privacy. The project will begin at two busy stations along the metro: Kita-senju and Tameike-sanno. Each booth will be available to book via an app from the user’s smart device. However, details of pricing or bookable duration currently remain scarce.

As work has become more flexible and mobile, we’ve seen a knock-on effect of potential solutions to ‘third spaces’ (spaces that aren’t quite the office nor quite home). Indeed we’ve already seen an office shuttle bus designed to turn the commute into workable time. Then there’s also an office-in-a-van that enables users to take their office wherever they please. Alternatively, there’s an upscale New York restaurant and bar that becomes rentable office and meeting spaces outside of their opening hours. With driverless cars set to offer another novel workspace opportunity, what other opportunities could there be to meet the demands of the modern worker?



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