Hybrid Offices: Where Coworking Spaces and Private Offices Collide

Hybrid Offices: Where Coworking Spaces and Private Offices Collide

As the world shut down in 2020, companies were forced to experiment with new ways of working together. For some, that meant working remotely, and for others, it meant having to close their offices indefinitely.

Now, as the national population becomes vaccinated and offices open back up, companies are continuing to re-evaluate their policies, adapting their work environments for a post-pandemic normal. That’s precisely why hybrid office spaces are currently in high demand— they provide the flexibility that many companies need right now.

What exactly is a hybrid office, and what are its benefits? Why are they becoming so popular with different types of businesses? We’ll explore the answers to these questions and more in this article today.


What is a Hybrid Office?


A hybrid office is a type of office that accommodates both remote workers and office workers. Hybrid offices are ideal for startups with flexibility requirements, for tech companies that predominantly work remotely, or for growing businesses that want to offer a variety of options for their employees. Because it can cater to remote workers (and telework is now becoming a perk for employees), the coronavirus’s impact on the workplace greatly accelerated the demand for hybrid office spaces.

Also worth noting that hybrid offices may be called flex office spaces or flex spaces. Usually, this refers to a mix of both traditional office space and industrial spaces, like garages or warehouses converted to accommodate multiple work styles.


Hybrid Workspace Productivity


Hybrid offices offer high potential for greater productivity, due to the flexibility and customization options available. In fact, according to one study, a majority of companies believe that the productivity gains from remote working will be sustainable beyond the pandemic. In other words, remote working isn’t going anywhere. Instead of solely relying on remote work, or forcing employees to come into the office against their will, hybrid offices allow more flexible work hours, cut down on commuting, and reduce overhead costs.

Because employees are given the option of when and where they work through hybrid offices, employers will also notice employee attrition decrease as engagement increases. With more time spent with families or doing things outside of the workplace, people can invest their time and money beyond commuting or eating out as well. Overall, that translates to a more pleasant work-life balance. It’s no small wonder that companies are continuing to update employee guidelines when it comes to the workplace.


Hybrid Office Design and Amenities


As our use of technology and office spaces naturally evolves, so too will the design of the spaces themselves. While large private office spaces and cubicles may have been the standard twenty to thirty years ago, today, particularly in a post-pandemic world, the office is changing to be more flexible, while amenities become on-demand.

For example, the conference room used to be a staple for every business with an office. Today, companies are realizing that they only need the conference room on an as-needed basis, so instead of paying for it every month, they are more comfortable paying for it by the hour.

Similarly, phone booths and private offices are offering the same level of privacy and utility that conference rooms once provided. Need to jump on a quick virtual conference? Simply hop in a phone booth, equipped with an electrical outlet, ample lighting, and sound-dampening acoustics. It’s more cost-effective, convenient, and sustainable in the long run.

In the future, hybrid offices will act as a social and cultural space— a place for meeting and holding events, rather than a 9-5 setting for all employees.


Hybrid Office Furniture and Effects


In addition to the design, hybrid offices are also showcasing the future of furniture and the need for customizable arrangements. It turns out that for most office spaces with short and long-term leases, only a certain amount of furniture is required- desks, whiteboards, chairs. The rest can be added as needed by the tenants that come and go. The goal is to maximize the office layout space, minimize office noise and distractions, and keep workers focused on their task at hand.

One essential piece of hybrid office furniture is the standing desk. Many computer users are reporting severe neck, spinal, and wrist pain after prolonged sitting. Standing desks allow users to continue working while they stand, allowing your body to stretch the muscles that tend to naturally atrophy when we’re hunched over low screens. These days you can find standing desks almost anywhere, but UPLIFT offers some serious, high-end, feature-rich standing desk options.

Sustainability is also at the forefront for many designers and workers, now more than ever. Energy-efficient buildings and furniture are designed to minimize power usage without sacrificing output and tend to use sustainably sourced materials for construction. Learn more about the impact of energy-efficient buildings at the Department of Energy.


Hybrid Offices v. Coworking Offices v. Private offices


Now the question that may be on your mind: which type of office space is right for you? Between hybrid offices, coworking spaces, and private offices, which one is ideal for a startup or growing business?


Hybrid Offices


As we’ve discussed, hybrid offices are designed for flexibility, for both remote and local teams. They can be found at affordable prices for simply needing a common office space each month, through an on-demand model.


Coworking Spaces


The most affordable option for solopreneurs or startups. Coworking spaces offer access to the local entrepreneurial community, freedom to choose where and when you work, but sacrifice the privacy of a separate office.


Private Offices


Great solutions for scaling businesses or enterprises. Companies can demonstrate their prestige with a logo on the front door, or with the amount of space they rent out. If you want to show brand power through your office space, a private office or even an office suite is best.

The best option really depends on the needs and wants of your particular business. If your company, like many others during this time, are looking for something flexible that caters to both remote and in-person office workers, then you can’t do much better than the hybrid office solution.


Interested in speaking with one of our experts to learn more about which space is right for you? Contact Expansive Workspace today!

How to Form a Habit

How to Form a Habit

Last week, we covered the power of changing one’s mindset— how small adjustments to one’s routine and thinking can greatly influence one’s career and livelihood. But in addition to a positive mindset is the importance of consistency and follow-through. This week, we’ll discuss how habits work and how to form more positive habits.


The Science of Habits


Our habits are formed in the part of the brain known as the basal ganglia, responsible for the development of emotions, memories, and pattern recognition. When we repeat a set of actions, for example, driving a car or working out at the gym, the basal ganglia combines the separate actions into one, easy-to-remember habit, a process known as “chunking”. It’s also how people can remember information such as addresses or passwords.

Certain habits can bring us greater enjoyment than others, creating a more engaging feedback loop. When the outcome of a habit is desirable, like eating snacks or playing video games, our brain releases a chemical called dopamine. Even when we’re not doing that action or habit, over time the brain will come to crave that chemical, forcing you to eat more, play more, or continue engaging in that addicting habit.

Another factor in habit formation is the concept of friction. Habit friction adds undesirable unnecessary steps to a habit, for example, a long commute to the gym can make us less likely to keep the habit. Conversely, you can decrease habit friction by listening to music on the commute, or attending with a friend, to make the habit easier and more enjoyable to repeat.


The Habit Loop


Habits are broken down into four stages: cue, craving, response, reward.

The cue tells your brain to start a certain habit. When we see images of food, naturally our mouth starts to water or our stomachs make less than pleasant sounds. When we see people yawn, we naturally yawn in response. Cues can also be a sound (like a baby crying), a particular time of the day (a sunrise indicating it’s time to get up), or some other visual reminder.

The craving is the motivational push to act on the cue. This can vary depending on the internal state of our body. If we’re hungry, the cue of a picture of food can make us hungry enough to seek out our next meal. But if we’re not hungry, then the craving isn’t there and the picture becomes just another picture.

The response is the habit you actually perform. After we see a cue and develop a craving, we act on that craving. Using the same example, we may decide to look up restaurants online or check the fridge for any leftovers.

Finally, the reward is the satisfaction and lesson learned for informing future habits. It’s the dopamine released in your brain that says “congratulations, this is what you wanted.” This is when our hunger is finally satisfied with the bite of a meal or the sip of a drink, thus completing the habit loop.


Stages of Forming a Habit


Habits don’t just become habits overnight. Instead, people go through a few phases or stages in the formation of a habit. They are as follows:

Honeymoon phase. This is when you are greatly inspired by a recent book you read or a friend’s success story, that you want to start a new habit. There is high energy and excitement to take on each day tackling your new habit.

Fight Thru phase – After a few days, weeks, or even months, setbacks and struggles make the habit harder to keep. You may experience boredom, tiredness, or a general lack of purpose and energy that you had when you started. If you are serious about forming the habit, continue to ask yourself why you started in the first place.

The Second Nature phase – Once you push past the first two phases, the habit begins to set in the basal ganglia portion of your brain. It no longer takes conscious decision-making to do the act, instead it becomes natural and automatic. The benefit of this is that your brain is free to think or focus on other aspects while you continue to perform the intended habit.


The Different Types of Habits


Keystone Habits are small habits that lead to major changes. Sometimes all it takes is a slight adjustment or addition to your daily habits to start forming other positive habits. For example, quitting cigarettes can save you money and lead to healthier habits like exercise. Or making your bed in the morning can energize you to take on other small tasks throughout the day.

Mental Habits are habits to do with strengthening and conditioning your mind. Your brain is just like any other muscle, and it needs to be exercised so it can work at optimal capacity. This can include sleeping the right amount of hours each night, meditation, creative arts, or even therapy.

Physical Habits are habits that focus on the strengthening of your body. Stretching, yoga, running, walking, or any form of exercise can develop your physical wellbeing. Not only do they increase your conditioning and build muscle, but physical activity also has the added benefit of affecting your mental habits too. Activities like weightlifting, yoga, or running have similar effects on the mind as many mindfulness practices.

Productivity Habits are habits that allow you to achieve a greater level of efficiency and output. This may involve calendar blocking, Pomodoro techniques, or prioritizing quick or important tasks over longer projects. Be sure to read our other blog posts centered around productivity.


How Long Does It Take to Form a Habit?


Let’s say you want to make exercise a regular part of your routine. How long does it take until it becomes a habit? The short answer: anywhere between 21 and 66 days. The longer answer: it depends on who you ask.

According to Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a famous plastic surgeon in the 1950s, patients would take 21 days to get used to their new faces, or for amputated patients to stop sensing phantom limbs. In his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Maltz says “these, and many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”

The flaw in Maltz’s research was that it was anecdotal. Researchers at University College London studied how subjects formed simple habits like eating fruit with lunch or drinking water after breakfast. The study found that some people formed habits after only 18 days, while others took 254 days. On average, people took around 66 days to form a habit.

Keep in mind that both studies are around very specific cases, involving a limited number of subjects. The habit itself plays a significant role— making exercise a regular habit may take longer than drinking an additional glass of water. The lesson here is to be patient, stay consistent, and trust in your process. The habit will follow naturally.

Yes, it takes time to form a habit. But notice that the easiest habits to form can also be detrimental to our health, like binge-watching television or oversleeping. Positive habits like exercise and learning a new skill take time and patience. So don’t give up on whatever it is you’re trying to learn. You may find that you’re only a few days or weeks away from making it automatic.


How to Find the Perfect Office Space

How to Find the Perfect Office Space

An office is more than just a place to work, it’s an extension of your company’s culture and brand, an environment that can stimulate creativity and enhance productivity. That’s why it’s crucial for businesses, from growing startups to established enterprises, to invest the proper resources in finding the ideal office space.

Today, we want to assist in your search and ensure you make the right decisions.


What are Your Office Needs?

Before selecting an office space, it’s a good idea to set expectations by developing criteria based on the business’s needs. These may include (but are not limited to):



One of the primary concerns of an office is whether there is enough space for the team and any relevant supplies or equipment. A general rule of thumb is to have between 100 – 250 square feet per employee, with the latter figure being a more open and spacious office. Presidents, CEOs, and other high-ranking executives may need upwards of 200 square feet for personal branding. Remember to ask how much square footage each office has.



No one wants to work in an old and dirty facility. Clean and well-maintained spaces inspire concentration and focus since there are fewer distractions in the surrounding work area. Besides general aesthetics, cleanliness can also keep workers safe and healthy. Particularly now, in a post-Covid reality, regular cleaning ensures that bacteria and transmissible diseases are killed off. Ensure that whichever building you choose has strict cleaning protocols, robust HVAC solutions and that the space itself is in keeping with all local, state, and federal codes.

Read our 7 Simple Tips to Declutter Your Office for inspiration on maintaining clean workspaces.



Take a short walk outside during a sunny day just to see how lighting can affect mood and mindset. If your office doesn’t have adequate lighting, it’ll negatively affect your work output. According to a study by the American Society of Interior Design, 68% of employees are not happy with the current lighting situation in their office. And because of poor lighting, people can even develop headaches, migraines, eye strain, and other health issues. During a physical or virtual tour of an office, check to see if there is ample natural light and installed light fixtures in the space.

Also, check out our guide to office lighting and productivity to learn more about how light affects work.


Security and Privacy

Regardless of your industry or business, your company must protect its people and assets. A major contributor to security is in your office design. CCTV cameras and secure keycard entry have become industry standards, as well as requirements for every Novel Coworking location. At the end of the day, you want to make sure your team feels safe, and that any sensitive information is protected from public view.



Commuting to the office must be convenient, otherwise, workers will opt to work from home. Check to see if your new space is located by a major highway or a transit line. Most workers will not spend more than an hour of their day commuting to their place of work, so be sure to find a space that is equidistant or conveniently located for all team members.



Finally, you’ll always need some odds and ends for general business, from printing and faxing services to high-speed internet, to conference rooms for holding meetings. Don’t forget to ask your office building manager about the included amenities in the rent. They may drive the initial cost of rent up, but it may save your team money in the long run.


Types of Office Spaces


Executive suites – Typically, executive suites are a group of private offices outfitted with a shared lobby, break room, conference room, or kitchenette, and are reserved for high-ranking executives within a company. The space and seclusion from the rest of the building can demonstrate a sense of power and status.


Private offices – Perfect for growing businesses or solopreneurs, private offices are single unit spaces separate from a larger coworking or business suite. Private offices can offer much-needed solitude from the bustle of more open spaces.


Shared workspace – Shared workspaces range from large open coworking spaces to shared offices, which is a single office split by two or more individuals. What shared workspaces may lack in space, they make up for in affordability. These are perfect for solopreneurs or freelancers who sometimes need a part-time office space.


Virtual offices – Virtual offices offer some of the benefits of office space, without the expenses of a traditional, physical office. These include a prestigious business address, mail forwarding and delivery and even limited use of conference rooms or other amenities.


What Different Types of Businesses Need in an Office Space


Law Firms

For many law firms, affordability is the number one priority. As work may run slow at times, the chief concern is making enough money to cover rent. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available for law firms. The first is signing up for a coworking or open space solution, as this typically is more affordable while providing all the necessary amenities like conference rooms. Alternatively, short-term office space may be more ideal, with a flexible lease agreement providing much-needed freedom. Finally, virtual offices can be used for mail services if having a physical office space is not essential.



Consultants can be flexible with their office space needs, mostly needing a separate space from their home office for meeting with clients. For many consultants and consultancy firms, high-speed internet and meeting spaces are among the top request. A single private office or shared office space may be enough, provided it has the necessary amenities.


Small Businesses

For startups and small businesses, office spaces are essential for growth. Not only does it offer a more professional image, but it creates a central hub for the team to operate from. But oftentimes physical and financial capital can be in short supply, so the location must be chosen carefully. Shared office spaces and coworking spaces are ideal because they offer the required room and amenities without sacrificing revenue early on.


Large Businesses

For larger businesses like established enterprises, office suites are a must. Not only do they offer much larger office spaces, but they typically have a breakout space with a more customizable layout, which can be important for an ever-growing team. Office technology will also be important, such as high-speed internet, printing and faxing machines, and conference rooms for holding meetings. Large businesses will need to do research regarding the available space and amenities for each of their employees.


Benefits of the Right Office Space


Boosts employee morale

Nothing empowers the company spirit quite like a matching space. It’s no wonder that big companies like Google and Apple invest billions in designing their workspaces. Having a clean, spacious room to work from, with company culture and brand imagery adorning on the walls, can make employees feel proud to work for their company.


Invites creativity and collaboration

In the same way that cubicles can lead to bored, uninspired teams, coworking spaces and shared office spaces breed more creativity and collaboration between team members. When the walls come down between workers, they are more open to sharing and receiving ideas.


Enhances employee productivity

While working from home seems more comfortable at first, family, roommates, pets, television, and other distractions can quickly get in the way of work. Having a separate office space can put one in the mindset of real work, leading to greater levels of productivity.


Finding the perfect office space can be a challenging, but rewarding adventure. Novel Coworking offers a variety of solutions, from fledgling startups to international enterprises. Contact us today to learn why we were ranked in Travel Mag’s list of 10 Best Coworking Spaces in San Diego.


10 Collaborative Calendar Apps To Supercharge Your Team

10 Collaborative Calendar Apps To Supercharge Your Team

Time is a resource just as important as money. With only a few hours in the day dedicated to work, how you spend them can impact your overall bottom line.

Business owners and entrepreneurs should strive to find new ways of saving and managing time. A great starting point is finding a robust collaborative calendar app that encourages communication and teamwork.


When to Use a Collaborative Calendar

Collaborative calendars are particularly useful for certain projects and processes. For example, distributed teams or remote teams may have individuals working from home, or at the office, or in a different timezone altogether. Use a collaborative calendar to schedule important meetings with clients or team members, so everyone knows when it starts and can block off their calendar accordingly. It can also be used to set deadlines for certain deliverables, ensuring a sense of accountability for all parties involved. Collaborative calendars can also be utilized to estimate a project timeline and an individual’s workload, making it easier to manage and delegate accordingly. Finally, a collaborative calendar can come in handy when celebrating a team member’s birthday/work anniversary, or for scheduling happy hours and fun events.


Why You Should Use a Collaborative Calendar

Better time management – To-do lists aren’t enough. If you really want to get things done, block out a time during your day to work on that project or task. Seeing your task as a part of your day will motivate you to better plan the rest of your week.

Reminders – Forget to return a call? Showed up late for a meeting? Planning a big event? Next time set an alert by scheduling it on your calendar. No matter what you’re doing, a quick notification on your phone will make sure you’re on time.

Clearer team communication – Stop worrying about time zones or conflicts- sending someone a calendar invite ensures they have the event in their calendar as well. Better yet, sharing a whole calendar with your team allows them to see your weekly agenda.

Want some tips for better managing your time? Check out our previous post on time management hacks.


Top Ten Collaborative Calendar Apps


1. Google Calendar

For many businesses, Google Calendar and the rest of the Google Suite has become the de-facto cloud setup. It’s easy to use, has a sleek interface, and best of all, is free. No wonder it’s become so popular. Inviting others to view your calendar through a unique URL can be convenient for setting deadlines for colleagues or checking the workplace productivity. Best of all, it’s already integrated into your Gmail account, so you can easily schedule meeting requests or calls. There are even a few schedule apps available that integrate with both Google Calendar and Gmail. Google Calendar might be the most popular free team calendar, and some might say even the best online calendar period.

Google Calendar

Available on Desktop, iOS, and Android.


2. Apple Calendar

If your organization uses Apple hardware, Apple Calendar will already be installed. Make no mistake, Apple Calendar is a sleek app. The interface is as simple as it gets, echoing the same visual design seen in other Apple apps. While Apple Calendar may lack flashy extensions and is limited to Apple and iOS devices, the company’s apps have always centered on simplicity and user experience. As some people say: “It just works.”

Apple Calendar

Preinstalled on iCloud, iOS and MacOS, also available on Windows.


3. Microsoft Outlook

Apple uses Calendar, and Microsoft relies on Outlook. Many businesses with desktops continue to use Outlook for its Microsoft Office integration- allowing them to manage emails, contacts, tasks, events in a unified setup. Features include team calendar sharing, side-by-side timetable comparisons, and sending meeting requests straight from email or the calendar. Unlike Apple Calendar, Outlook can be used on both Windows and Apple devices. Subscriptions start at $6.99/month or $69.99/year. You can also purchase Office 2016 completely at $149.99 (for the Home & Student version). Fortunately, the mobile versions are free.

Microsoft Outlook

Available on Windows, iOS, and Android.


4. UpTo

Looking for a more casual, social-oriented calendar set up? Try UpTo. Unlike other calendars on this list, UpTo resembles more of an enclosed social network for planning events- allowing you to view your colleague’s activities in real-time, with options for liking and commenting. The app also allows you to follow other calendars, like the schedule of your favorite TV show, or your favorite sports team. You can even set up groups for work, family, projects, and more. Best of all, UpTo integrates with your existing calendars, including Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and Facebook Events. This free team calendar is arguably the strongest Google Calendar alternative, in terms of features available at no cost.

UpTo Calendar

Available as a Chrome extension, and on iOS and Android.


5. TeamUp

Maybe you just want people to view upcoming events or projects neatly without all the trouble of setting up accounts and permissions. That’s what TeamUp is for. Designed with a colorful interface, TeamUp works to simplify team collaboration. The calendar is so dynamic and customizable, it has been used by everyone from the education industry to technology, including Harvard University, NASA, HPE, Philips, Red Bull and more. Visit their website for a deeper look into real use cases.

TeamUp Calendar

Available on iOS, Android and as a web app.


6. Calendly

Do you get annoyed by the constant back and forth in scheduling a meeting? Then Calendly is the solution for you. All you have to do is set your availability preferences, share your Calendly link to your client or teammates, and then Calendly will present the correct time and dates for them to select from. It’s simple, smart, and has a ton of integrations with third-party calendars. The basic version is free, or you can choose the premium or pro plans for $8 and $12 respectively, with added features and capabilities.

Available as a web app.


7. Asana

Asana is more of a project management app with strong calendar features than it is a standalone calendar app. But its calendar remains intuitive, flexible, and easy to use. Calendar events can be grouped according to project or initiative, and can also be assigned to individual team members. The result is a colorful approach to tackling day-to-day tasks. Asana comes in three plans: Free, Premium ($10.99), and Business ($24.99), with options for enterprise as well.

Asana Calendar

Available on iOS, Android, and as a web app.


8. Toggl Plan

Toggl Plan has two main priorities: ease of use and project clarity. Used by major companies like Airbnb, Netflix, Stripe, Amazon, NYT and Spotify, Toggl Plan is designed for keeping track of what each member of the team is working on while providing flexibility to adjust dates and times on the fly. Toggl Plan has three tiers: Free (up to five users), Standard for $8 per user per month, and Business for $13.35 per user per month.

Available on iOS, Android, as a web app, and as a Google Chrome extension.


9. Fantastical

Dubbed the 2020 Mac App of the Year, Fantastical repeatedly appears among the best iOS and Mac App Store apps. That’s because it packs so much power and functionality, sports a streamlined, Apple-inspired design, and is cross-platform to boot. If you want something to replace the built-in calendar on MacBook or iPhone/iPad, you can’t do better than Fantastical. Try it for free then get it yearly ($3.33 per month) or monthly ($4.99 per month). The free version, while still useful as a calendar, lacks some of the collaboration and integrations in the paid versions.

Available on macOS, iOS, iPadOS and watchOS.


10. Woven

Woven is a great calendar option for teams, startups, or individuals that want to balance their work and personal life on their calendar. Woven has a couple of interesting features you won’t find elsewhere, like smart templates for easy event creation, built-in group polls, time management analytics, and supporting multiple calendar integrations. Its basic plan is free but won’t have the useful video conferencing integration features, smart templates, or multiple calendars syncing. Woven Premium comes with all the features for $15 per month (with an early access pricing option for $10 per month at the time of writing).


Available for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and as a web app.


As with most tools, a calendar is just a means to an end. You shouldn’t expect your organization to radically change overnight. Collaborative organizational values and practices have to be instilled over time, but having a calendar is a great place to start. When businesses can internally communicate more clearly about what they’re working on, and when client meetings have reminders before they start, operations become almost automatic.

Get the right tools to complement your online toolkit. Explore our virtual office offerings today.

Are digital tools getting in the way of your productivity and organization? Try an analog method with the bullet journal.

21 Books to Read in 2021

21 Books to Read in 2021

Although 2020 proved to be a consequential year for many around the world, it also served as an opportunity to revisit passions and hobbies, including the love of reading. As 2021 unfolds, we wanted to share some of the best books to read as you continue to work remotely or isolate at home. Each of our selections was categorized into strategy, leadership, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle.


Business and Strategy Books


Think Like a Rocket Scientist – Ozan Varol

Rocket scientists are known to work with countless variables, catastrophic levels of risk, and bold, seemingly impossible objectives— which is exactly why they make great teachers for entrepreneurs. In Ozan Varol’s Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life, you’ll learn to apply the principles and approaches used by rocket scientists in managing projects, boosting creativity, and staying productive. Running a business doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it can be inspired by it.


Mentor to Millions – Secrets of Success in Business, Relationships, and Beyond – Kevin Harrington and Mark Timm

Entrepreneurship, family, and personal success— how does a business owner juggle it all? Many of us understand the importance of a work-life balance, but much less understand how to actually pull it off. Kevin Harrington, an original “shark” from the TV show Shark Tank, and serial entrepreneur Mark Timm explore the very ingredients of entrepreneurial success in this book. As they put it so eloquently, “the most valuable business you’ll ever own, work for, or be part of isn’t the business you go to every day, it’s the one you go home to.”


HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy, Vol. 2

Harvard Business Review publishes some of the most insightful content and think-pieces on business and strategy, and this volume compiles just ten of them into one book. Featuring the writings of experts such as Michael E. Porter, A.G. Lafley, and Clayton M. Christensen, you will learn about everything from the signals of disruption to value generation.


Billion Dollar Brand Club: How Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, and Other Disruptors Are Remaking What We Buy – Lawrence Ingrassia

Renowned business journalist Lawrence Ingrassia takes readers through the inner workings of the world’s biggest startups, from Casper to Dollar Shave Club to Warby Parker and more. Each of these brands is known for their unique approach in their design or marketing, giving them an edge over established industry titans. Discover the wildly fascinating world behind the most popular products we use today.


Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution – Robert Chesnut

Airbnb General Counsel Robert Chesnut wants to tell you that integrity and business success go hand in hand. In fact, companies that lack the “spirit of law” are doomed to fail. In Intentional Integrity, Chestnut offers a simple six-step system for cultivating a culture of integrity in any company, and in turn, become more than just a business, but a positive force for change in the world.


No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention – Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer

Who wouldn’t want to learn more about the story of Netflix, from the founder himself? Reed Hastings shares some of the controversial ideas and philosophies behind the unexpected success of the streaming service giant. Featuring hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees, as well as some of Hastings’ own personal stories, No Rules Rules is a deeply inspiring book on business culture and innovation.


Leadership Books


Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say and What You Don’t – David Marquet

How often do you think about the power and meaning behind the words you use every day? We may not notice, but even common questions like “should we do A or B?” can have a profound effect on the chosen course of action. Former US Navy Captain L. David Marquet uses his leadership experience to create a playbook for team empowerment and continuous improvement. After reading Leadership Is Language, you’ll discover how the words you say and don’t say impact the people around you.


Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business – John Mackey

Following his previous bestselling book, Conscious Capitalism, Former Whole Foods CEO John Mackey examines his journey in building a sustainable, purpose-driven company. Mackey outlines some of the strategies that Whole Foods employed through its four decades of growth, complete with stories, leader profiles, and case studies. By the end, you’ll have a greater understanding of what it means to look beyond profits and make a difference for the company employees and the world at large.


Thrive Through the Five: Practical Truths to Powerfully Lead through Challenging Times – Jill Siler

Whether it’s tough conversations with clients or dealing with customer complaints, everyone has that 5% of work that feels like a chore to get through. But as superintendent and author Dr. Jill Siler reveals in Thrive Through the Five, how you handle that 5% can determine the other 95% where you thrive and enjoy your work. Using her experiences in education, Siler provides readers with the inspiration and insight in overcoming the most challenging aspects of leadership.


The Maxwell Daily Reader: 365 Days of Insight to Develop the Leader Within You and Influence Those Around You – John C. Maxwell

If you’re not the type to want to read business and leadership books every so often, then consider reading the Maxwell Daily Reader every day instead. As Author John C. Maxwell reminds us, true leadership is about action, and the action sometimes requires inspiration. For each day of the calendar year, this book offers a short, motivational message for everyone from educators to business leaders.


Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Jocko Willink and Leif Babin were both officers of the renowned SEAL Team 3’s Task Unit Bruiser, an elite U.S. special forces team deployed to take back the city of Ramadi during the Iraq War. In Extreme Ownership, Willink and Babin recount their tales from one of the most violent battlefields in military history, from the tragic hardships to the hard-fought victories. All their lessons boil down to one single truth: true leadership is about accountability and owning up to the responsibilities of the entire team, even if you aren’t a leader.


Entrepreneurship Books


Entrepreneurial Leadership: The Art of Launching New Ventures, Inspiring Others, and Running Stuff – Joel Peterson

Joel Peterson has had numerous titles, including executive mentor, leadership expert, adjunct professor, founder, investor, and entrepreneur. In each of his roles, Peterson developed a deep understanding of the “entrepreneurial leader”, someone that is able to look past budgets and performance ratings and leave an indelible mark on the company’s culture. Peterson breaks it down into four main philosophies: establishing trust, creating a sense of mission, building a cohesive team, and executing and delivering results. Entrepreneurial Leadership acts as a guide through using these philosophies and applying them to one’s own business.


Solving the People Problem: Essential Skills You Need to Lead and Succeed in Today’s Workplace – Brett M. Cooper and Evans Kerrigan

Each day, we communicate and connect with vastly different people and personalities. Understanding a person’s perspective or behavior can be baffling at times. But nurturing those relationships can lead to more bountiful experiences at home and at work. That’s exactly what Solving the People Problem is about— understanding how others work, and developing the language, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence to become a better leader and team player.


The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference – Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell has achieved international recognition for his books, Talking to Strangers, Blink, and David and Goliath, but it all started with his 2002 bestseller, The Tipping Point. Every major trend, business, or idea has had this moment— a single point in time where a tiny seed explodes into something big. It might be a new fashion style, a new startup service, or something else entirely, but Gladwell illustrates how small things can have a huge impact.


Get Rooted!: Growing People and Companies Through Change – Stacy Henry

Change happens whether you like it or not, so instead of letting it overwhelm you, you may as well prepare for it and temper your reaction. That is the lesson behind Get Rooted! by Stacy Henry, a book that explores how change can be a catalyst for growth and improvement. Henry indicates eight main values for understanding your roots and adapting to change, something any business owner or entrepreneur could stand to learn from.


Move the Needle: Yarns from an Unlikely Entrepreneur – Shelley Brander

Shelley Brander left an advertising agency she founded with her husband to start her own business: a local yarn store. At first, people were surprised and tried convincing her to change her mind. But over time, her storefront grew rapidly online until it kicked off a global movement, “Knit the World Together”. In Move the Needle, Brander uses her story to inspire others to pursue their passions, whether personal or professional, despite the overwhelming criticism and challenges ahead.


Lifestyle Books


Joy At Work: Organizing Your Professional Life – Marie Kondo

If you want a quick way to boost your mindset at work, try decluttering your office space. Few people know this better than Marie Kondo, the tidying expert and star of the Netflix show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. In her book, Joy At Work, Kondo shares simple tips and guides for organizing your workspace, documents, and supplies in a way that makes you more productive and mindful of your wellbeing.


Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything – BJ Fogg

BJ Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, led by a team of researchers studying the burgeoning field of behavior design. In Tiny Habits, Fogg draws on his experience helping thousands of people change their behavior, from losing weight to improving sleep, to developing other habits. His three main principles for habit creation: make it easy, make it fit your life, and make it rewarding.


Designing Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work – Bill Burnett and David Evans

When Designing Your Life was published in 2016 by Stanford Design Lab’s Bill Burnett and David Evans it became an instant bestseller. The themes of building and designing a meaningful life resonated with readers and inspired people to change their lives for the better. In Designing Your Work Life, Burnett and Evans now apply that principle to the workplace, the place we spend most of our time.


Eat Sleep Work Repeat: 30 Hacks for Bringing Joy to Your Job – Bruce Daisley

Happiness at work isn’t about one big thing, but small changes sprinkled throughout a daily schedule. For example, a simple break for tea can have a profound effect on one’s mental wellbeing and productivity. This is just one example from more than a dozen hacks offered by Daisley in Eat Sleep Work Repeat, a mini guidebook for making the most out of your work routine.


The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM – Hal Elrod

The morning can be a magical hour for people looking to get real work done. Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning defines six so-simple-it’s-brilliant solutions for enhancing your wake-up routine, the early window where everything seems fresh and alive. It only takes a few minutes of conscious change to start living the life you want.

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What is a Plug and Play Office Space?

What is a Plug and Play Office Space?

When a company decides it’s time to look for a new office, they typically have set criteria for the ideal location— space, affordability, security, to name a few. But what about office supplies, equipment, and furniture? The time and money spent on finding those essentials and moving them in your office can be the investment in and of itself.

In this post, we’ll cover the plug and play office, a type of tech startup office that provides small businesses and startups with affordable but feature-rich space.


What is a Plug and Play Office?

Plug and play offices are a type of office space that is ready to use for a business at a moment’s notice. They tend to come fully-furnished and fully-equipped with office desks, chairs, printers, Wi-Fi, and teleconferencing technology.

Certain locations have a variety of amenities and facilities that can further support a business. For example, Novel Coworking features mail rooms that allow businesses to receive and send business mail, and kitchenettes with snacks and drinks while you work.


Benefits of a Plug and Play Office

Plug and play offices offer businesses a variety of benefits compared to traditional tech startup office spaces. Among them are:

1. 24/7 access – Although the larger office buildings are typically shut down at night, many plug and play locations offer 24/7 availability, which can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs that work late at night or early in the morning.

2. Flexible lease – Because plug and play offices are already furnished and ready to go, they’re also designed to be flexible around your schedule, allowing you to change or end your contract without being locked into hidden fees or contract fine prints. For some startups/satellite offices, short term leases are more in line with their budget.

3. Utilities and amenities – Plug and play also refers to the various amenities available at these locations. From direct-fiber internet (far superior than that regular home internet) to video conferencing technology, everything you need to stay focused on your work can be found in one central location.

4. Complimentary snacks and drinks – Need an energy drink during the afternoon slump? Or maybe a beer with your colleagues during a happy hour? Or perhaps you’re expecting visitors and need something to offer while they wait? Either way, you don’t have to run off to the grocery store.

5. Conference rooms and phone booths – If you’re running a business, you’re in phone calls and meetings throughout the day. Instead of bothering your colleagues, why not use a phone booth or a conference room?


Differences Between Coworking and a Plug and Play Office

Though the price per square foot varies depending on the location and type of office, generally speaking, coworking spaces are more affordable than plug and play offices. That’s because plug and play offices are privately owned, whereas coworking spaces are shared.

Another big difference is the open space versus private room. Coworking spaces tend to be much larger and spread out, but it is shared with others. Plug and play offices are reserved specifically for one company. That’s why big companies tend to choose the private office option.

Besides these two big differences, the benefits can be the same. In fact, Novel Coworking offers both coworking and plug and play offices, and both types of memberships have the same access to the surrounding amenities (such as coffee on tap or private phone booths).

Plug and play offices may also be referred to as serviced offices. Learn more about serviced offices in this post.


Where to Rent a Plug and Play Office

Plug and play offices are everywhere! These types of tech startup offices can be found all across the country, although sometimes under different names (furnished private offices, serviced office spaces, etc). Try searching “plug and play office space near me” in Google to find a list.

You can also search through a map of Novel locations that offer plug and play offices.


Alternatives to a Plug and Play Office

Curious to learn about other options besides a plug and play office? Be sure to look into these office types:


Access Pass

Exclusive to Novel Coworking, we’re offering a new part-time program that allows professionals to rent private office spaces at $219 a month for 5 days a month. The access pass also gives access to the Novel Lounge, which includes an espresso bar, local beer on tap, a fully-stocked Honor Market, and much more. Offices are by reservation and based on availability.


Office Suite

Looking for a multi-room office for a team size between 10 to 500 people? An office suite is your best bet. This makes you feel as if you have your own floor, and can be a significant boost to your brand and your team’s efficiency. These suites come complete with their own kitchenettes and lounge areas as well.


Dedicated Desk

Another Novel Coworking exclusive, dedicated desks are high-quality desks that are exclusive to your business and are found in a shared office. You’ll have your own branded desk with a lockable filing cabinet, as well as access to the usual amenities. This is a great option for sole proprietors or freelancers that need their personal space without spending the full cost of a private office.


Virtual Office

Want to continue working remotely but need the benefits of a business address? The virtual office is the solution for you. Virtual offices offer mail scanning and forwarding, as well as discounted access to amenities and Internet. This is ideal for those who don’t need a space but may receive mail or need a business address.


Price Ranges

Private office/plug and play office space – from $399/month: fully furnished office spaces for 1-20 people. Access to amenities, Internet, and nationwide membership.

Coworking – from $249/month. Access to an open space, amenities, Internet, and nationwide membership.

Access pass – from $219/month: includes private office by reservation via the app and lounge access for the day of operation. Access to amenities, direct-fiber internet, and nationwide membership.

Office suite – from $2,999/month: includes a customizable combination of private offices, open workspace, kitchenette, and conference room. Access to amenities, Internet, and nationwide membership.

Dedicated desk – from $299/month: includes a branded desk within a shared office complete with a lockable filing cabinet. Access to amenities, Internet, and nationwide membership. Also includes 5 hours of conference room rental per month.

Virtual office- from $59/month: No physical workspace, only mail scanning and forwarding with physical meeting space available. Discounted access to amenities, Internet, and nationwide membership.


Although plug and play office spaces aren’t anything new, they’ve become more sought out in recent years. This may be because of rising business expenses, or the ever-growing startup scene, or another new trend entirely. Whatever the case may be, if you own a small or growing business, plug and play offices can give your team the edge that it needs.