Over the past ten years, a new way of working has emerged along with people who live it every day. We call them the free radicals and, to us, they represent the future of work: they operate 24/7 through nimble, networked collaboration; they are averse to rigid hierarchies and set processes; they value career fluidity, not job security.
But, crucially, while the way they work is changing, where they work has not changed.
Founding Grind is a manifestation of our views on the future of work. For one, we are free radicals in our own right. We are team of leaders in the fields of branding, technology, real estate, sustainability, and corporate turnaround work who left corporate life to work outside of the traditional, full-time template.
We think more people than ever before are ready to make the same leap we made and leave life in a big company to set out to work either on their own or collaboratively within small groups.
Grind would be our place. Not a cubicle in a corporate office or a corner in a coffee shop, but a progressive environment where we could work side by side with a group of like-minded, awesome people.
Everything about Grind was designed to reduce friction for people pursuing the free radical lifestyle.Ãƒâ€š The space is customized with digital resources developed by technology partner Breakfast.
Grindists, what we call our patrons, can check in by simply opening a laptop; show a portfolio to clients or peers by flashing a Grind ID in front of the gallery wall of 12 framed LCD screens linked to Behance’s online portfolio platform;Ãƒâ€š share work with the extended community online.
Soon, Grind will offerÃƒâ€š an internal digitally enabled marketplace, called the Agora, which helps Grindists identify community members withÃƒâ€š a skill needed to complete a project.
Grind is green to boot. It features:
- Faucets that reduce water use by 30%
- Tru-stile doors made out of 82% post-industrial waste
- Paint with low volatile organic compounds
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Energy Star-rated kitchen appliances to encourage “paper bag lunches” that prevent the wasteful disposal of plastic takeout containers that are, so far, not recyclable in New York City
- Recyclable and biodegradable furniture from Vitra.
Grind serves free, direct-trade coffee from Intelligentsia and will feature artwork by local artists including Justin Gignac, famous for turning found objects like litter into works of art.
We opened our doors in early September, a confirmation and affirmation that we got the concept right. All the details we sweated have been well appreciated and our membership is growing steadily.
There’s no doubt we are addressing the long-term shifts in employment, space design, collaborative working and sustainability requirements. That’s all really awesome.
What kicks it up a notch is that we can help the society at large. As I write this, Grind is hosting the NYC Famine Hackathon created by the 50/50 project. Using Grind for good is just another way we will be utilizing our space for our community.
Grind is far more than just a physical space – it’s a community – and we’re excited to be part of the future of work.