Once upon a time, the goal lifestyle that every adult aspired to reach looked something along these lines- Waking up, working out at your membership club gym and getting a coffee at your favorite Starbucks on the way back to your newly purchased house. After getting ready for work, you get back in your new car to drive to your cushy 9 to 5 office job. If you had a job that matched up to your hard-earned degree and were able to buy the material aspects that you always wanted, you had technically “made it in life.” For years, this is what the general population deemed “success.”
But this ideal lifestyle has dramatically changed and molded into something of almost the opposite spectrum. We’re currently living through a massive transformation between what “living the dream” really looks like.
Since so much of our life revolves around work, it only makes sense to talk about how at the root of all these changes is the workplace itself. Today’s article will be a bit different from my other ones, because I am currently building a case study of my own around this topic. This case study is called, Fulcrum.
Gone are the days:
Back in the day (so a few years ago), everyone’s biggest goal was to live a life of balance- the perfect balance between work, and life. The goal was to go to your office, work your solid 8 hours and then go home and devote your time to friends and family. Heaven forbid the two overlap whatsoever because that showed that you didn’t have it all together and were also potentially… wait for it… a workaholic.
Personally, I chased the dream of work-life balance for a long time. In fact, that’s what I originally based the Entrepreneur Before 25 Podcast around. I wanted to inspire young entrepreneurs to live a life of balance because I saw so many of them driving themselves into an early grave. Every episode, I would ask the question “What is one tool you can give our listeners today on how to balance your personal and business life?” Finally, after hundreds of interviews where the majority of the answers were something along the lines of, “I don’t believe in balance.” I decided to re-examine my own beliefs around this topic. What does balance actually mean? In fact, why do we chase balance? I think the answer to this is that we all want to live a life of fulfillment. And when I searched for what fulfillment really meant, I think the conclusion comes down to a concept that I will mention a lot throughout this article- integration.
The future of work and life:
As the landscape of what “living the dream” looks like has changed, naturally core aspects of culture are starting to change as well. More and more, we are seeing the trends go from total separation of work and life to total integration of work and life.
People have started to embrace what some might call the opposite of balance- working, living and playing all combined into one space. You can work at your office, live with your family, hang out with your friends at a bar and even get your groceries all within a close physical radius of each other.
Although this way of living is currently the most popular for the millennial generation, we are starting to see it become the preferred way of existing for a mass majority of society. Especially where freelancers and entrepreneurs are concerned as you will see by the staggering numbers below.
According to a 5th annual report on Upwork.com, as of 2018 in the US, 56.7 million people were independent freelancers and entrepreneurs. That number is up 3.7 million from 2014 and is only projected to accelerate. To accommodate these statistics, co-working and co-living space startups have been on the rise. In 2018 alone, There were 14,411+ coworking spaces worldwide. The number of coworking members will rise to 3.8 million by 2020 and 5.1 million by 2022.
These statistics prove that a flexible workspace combined with co-living is a growing trend in the way that entrepreneurial people prefer to work and live. The new aspect to these spaces is the “play” portion. More and more co-living and co-working spaces are adding in aspects like bars, coffee shops, stores, theaters, etc… The more real estate developers add these aspects, the more an all-inclusive, holistic type living lifestyle is created.
Why this model could transform our world:
I mentioned at the beginning of this article that I am currently building a case study of my own for this new workplace model- Hence, why I’m so fascinated by it. Although, our case study, has a few different spins to it.
My team and I are in the beginning phases of building what we call Fulcrum: a space that provides a community-centric environment where creative people come together to live, work, learn and play while they build innovative solutions that will benefit our valley and the world.
For the first time in my life, I see a clear pathway on how to transform the world with lasting impact. How? It all starts within the community.
The spaces like we’re building Fulcrum into are so much more than a building.
Spaces that include all these different aspects of life will be the catalyst that helps unlock the collective creativity of a town. It’s a space in the community where we can come together, young and old alike to dream again. Unlike a traditional we work, we live, we play space, Fulcrum itself will also have an innovation center that will act similar to an entrepreneur incubator in which we believe big ideas and creative solutions started here will become the businesses of tomorrow.
This new workplace model is so transformational because it will inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs who will plant the seeds of future growth and opportunity. One physical space will be the hub where people gather to create the best and brightest ideas that will transform first the community and then the world.
As humans, we are designed for relationship, community and built with a desire to create things of meaning. This new workplace model will stimulate all the above and more. This is why gone are the days of the stereotypical “balance” mentality as we bring in and embrace this new concept of full-life integration.