Starbucks Japan Creates a Coworking Space (So You Don’t Have to Feel Guilty About Squatting There)
Japan continues to innovate the remote working situation. Apart from a work-from-hotel arrangement, where telecommuters can book a hotel room as their office for the day, the country now has a coworking-style Starbucks for hardworking citizens or workaholic coffee lovers.
If this feels familiar, it’s because you’ve done work at a coffee shop lots of time, plugging your Mac to the shop’s electricity and WiFi, while nursing one cup of watery coffee for hours. It was rude but you have deadlines, so sorry, Starbucks Mermaid.
What’s new in Japan is how the coffee giant upgrades the squatting situation into a legit coworking operation. In a Starbuck’s location in ritzy Ginza, the first floor is styled as a typical coffee shop, but the second floor adopts a coworking setup. Dubbed the Smart Lounge, it features booth seats, meeting spaces, and the “Think Lab,” which Starbucks Japan describes as the “ultimate solo working space.”
Designed for Zoom meetings, four booth seats are set in a semi-private room and can be booked for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, the meeting spaces, which are configurable tables found near windows, are for meetings of two to 12. Finally, the Think Lab is the “most suitable space for concentration” and a “space where no one can look at you.” We like this idea the most—even if it looks like we’re working in our factory, err, office.
Bookings are done online or via an app and, to make things even more seamless and contactless, the Ginza shop implements Starbucks’ Mobile Order & Pay, too. Order coffee and reserve a space in advance. Then, pick up your cup at the counter, head to your solo space on the second floor, and get to work. Sounds like a plan.