Work. Workout. Work. Workout.
For an increasing number of professionals, business owners, ad consultants, the new model is having neither an office nor a home office — but instead working out of the café at their local health club.
I joined my club, LifeTime Athletic in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, partly because a friend pointed out that the café was so large and attractive that I could give up my co-working space membership – and the $450 monthly dues that went with it – and work from the café.
That’s exactly what I do. I do my laptop stuff, my phone calls, and conduct client meetings at the Club’s LifeCafe, which is approximately 5,300 square feet. (The club itself is a whopping 115,000 square feet.) It’s a big, spacious, inviting environment that creates a “wow factor” for my clients. Layer in the ample free parking, which is a world of difference from the cramped, impossible-to-find parking grid that you face anywhere in Boston, and it’s easy to see why more and more people work in this way.
Indeed, on any weekday morning, you will see a dozen or more professionals with their MacBooks open and their AirPods in place, getting work done in an exceptionally pleasant environment. And then when they’re done with their work, they stick their laptop in their locker and head to the fitness floor for a workout or a class.
Life Time Fitness
The folks at Life Time, America’s largest resort-style athletic facility, approaching 150 locations across the country, took note of this phenomenon as well. They realized that more established professionals – people who don’t fit the prototypical mold of the twenty-something working at a tech startup – needed a premium working environment that catered to their specific needs, while at the same time carrying on the healthy lifestyle sensibility that Life Time is famous for.
So the company created its own premium workspace called Life Time Work to foster a healthy and fulfilling work life, which is essentially a higher-end, higher-touch version of what WeWork, a much larger and better-known option does for the twenty-something crowd.
Life Time Work
Life Time Work, like Life Time’s athletic clubs, aims for the top twenty percent demographics in the markets it enters, a group that skews older than the twenty-somethings and has higher expectations in terms of what a workspace looks like. They’re not necessarily interested in Ping-Pong tables and Friday afternoon beer bashes. Instead, they want an environment that will impress their clients and co-workers, without having to shell out the big bucks for long-term leases in large private office spaces.
Instead of a break room, for example, you find a solarium, a much more soothing environment for taking well-needed moments away from being hunched over one’s laptop. Life Time Work spaces also have high-touch design, bigger windows, and a generally more luxurious feel than a stripped-down, basic twenty-something-oriented workspace.
So who works at Life Time Work? In addition to tech startups, you find plenty of attorneys, accountants, architects, consultants, and business people of all stripes. Like WeWork, Life Time Work offers varying membership levels – you can come in and just take a seat, you can get dedicated space with locks on your files drawers, or you can take dedicated office space for two to four people as well. For small companies whose headcount varies depending on projects or opportunities that arise, the ability to scale up or scale down quickly at low cost is a gift.
Where are they located?
Life Time Work spaces have already opened up in Philadelphia (Ardmore opened in 2018 and King of Prussia is on the horizon), Houston and Minneapolis, with another 50 to 60 slated to open within the next five to six years. If there’s a Life Time Work space near you, great. If not, do what savvy entrepreneurs and professionals are doing these days. They’re working at their health club, and then they’re working out, and then they’re going back to work, and then they’re working out some more. A healthy mind, a healthy body, and a healthy career…now, all in the same place.