Although working on the go is standard fare in these rapidly evolving digital times populated by roaming entrepreneurs and consultants, the limitations of nomadic office life are, occasionally, all too painfully acute. One major flaw is the paucity of (back-to-basics) bricks-and-mortar locations with adequate privacy, professional ambience and tech support when you need them. Hotel hospitality rooms and coffee houses, no matter how chic, can often only go so far.
The Clubhouse, a new premium business club and meeting space in London’s Mayfair, aims to fuse the comfort and style of a boutique hotel, the convenience of a business-class airport lounge and the chic, social hub of a private members’ club with the practical facilities of a contemporary office space. Available for hire are four luxury meeting rooms for up to eight people (from £45 per hour to £315 for a full day), a boardroom that seats 12 (second picture, £55 per hour, £385 full day) and a presentation room for up to 30 (£125 per hour, £875 full day) – all with HD screens and audio conferencing – plus the addition of informal meeting areas (first and third pictures), fast and secure WiFi and 24 hot-desking areas. These meet the office-hours needs of business nomads away from their work HQ, much as a hotel’s bed, breakfast, spa and gym service do for leisure travellers away from home. Membership for the day is £30, but more frequent users can choose to have either unlimited access (£195 pcm, £2,145 per annum) or to be a Club Member (£145 pcm, £1,595 per annum) with entry one to two days a week or 75 days a year. Corporate rates are also available.
The concept was born out of the personal frustrations of The Clubhouse’s CEO and founder Adam Blaskey, who was fed up with closing deals in cafes, and now champions an “anti-office” ethos in today’s shape-shifting business climate. In order to shy away from simply providing perfunctory office amenities, he favours a members’ club that is a creative and luxurious response to the needs of the modern businessperson. Contemporary art adorns the walls in a programme of exhibitions, while a lounge area allows members to unwind after a hard day at the un-office.
London is the launch pad for this smart new take on the business club, but come 2013, expansion to other parts of town – and other cities – is, unsurprisingly, on the cards. Sounds like a winning hand.