The idea of managing work life balance seems to have the same bearing as climbing Mount Everest – a handful of folks have done it and proved it to be possible, but for most it seems to be something that you wouldn’t even know how or where to begin. In present time where we are literally connected to devices at every moment of our day, this topic becomes daunting.
While a club may serve as an excellent place for someone to unwind, unplug and take their mind off of work, the boundaries between leisure time and work time have become blurry at best. Technology enables connectivity literally 24/7. It has played a key role in the meteoric rise of remote working (induced by covid-19) and from every indication, is here to stay. In fact, the National Club Association recently shared a study that stated over 60% of remote employees would consider new employment should their employer force them back into a designated office.
We’ve always considered a club to be an extension of your home, but now that home includes “home office,” clubs just became an extension of your office, too. Most clubs today are not set up to accommodate the business needs of their members. Because again, a club is a place for FUN, not work! But it’s now time for clubs to take the appropriate steps to meet their membership where they are.
One of the biggest obstacles of remote working remains the need for keeping their home and work life separate and a “change of scenery.” Re-purposing underutilized club areas can provide work spaces that would allow your members to conduct business affairs without impacting other members and their enjoyment of their club. And an even bigger bonus – the ability to encourage club usage which can then turn into club spending (beverages, lunch options and networking, too)!
Here are a few key thoughts for clubs to consider to make your club “work friendly” for your members:
Designated areas of the club where members can Zoom or sit on a call - While this may raise a few eyebrows, working involves talking, so take that into consideration! A dedicated business or meeting room that would allow a member to use their time efficiently to conduct various business affairs without having to go back to the office and interrupt their ability to enjoy the club. This may take some proper planning to make sure that sound interference isn’t an issue club wide, but it’s an important part of remote working. Having one time use headphones on hand, similar to those that airlines provide can also be helpful.
Available workspace for collaboration – Team collaboration and small meetings still happen offline, and having spaces available at the club alleviates meeting at the local coffee shop instead. This can include business meetings and retreats. Added bonus – this becomes a way to introduce the club to potential members as well. This type of exposure to local business professionals is invaluable.
Make sure Wi-Fi access is readily available – We all know, it’s next to impossible to do anything without internet access anymore. Simple signage or posting within the club app with log in credentials is recommended.
Productivity and Comfort – Separating home and work can be difficult when both are in the same space. Providing rooms and tables with ample spaces, coffee bar and snack options to create a comfortable remote environment are key.
Technology can be used to our advantage if it allows us to be in two places at once, thus reducing the stress of having to pick one or the other. Society is so busy running from one place to the other, with barely enough time to stop and smell the roses. If used properly, creating independent work spaces for your members will allow them to strike a better balance between choosing one or the other.
Whether designed for the full-time remote worker, or the busy professional who may be able to enjoy their club more frequently if they were able to conduct certain business tasks at the club, this is another opportunity to help enhance the significant role your club can play in the lives of your members.