September 30, 2014

Innovation in the Office and Hospitality Space

Kayode Ola

Despite the locational advantages of living in a megacity, there is overwhelming evidence showing that the stress caused by being around other people can constantly overrun the health benefits. There has always been an urgent need to find innovative solutions in resolving problems as cities grow. In response to this, two Canadian entrepreneurs started the latest iteration of the ‘shared economy’ aptly named ‘breather’. This innovative solution allows users rent private rooms for an hour at a time and it is targeted at travelling and self-employed business people.

Breather, Bryant Park, New York. (Credits: Breather)
Breather, Bryant Park, New York. (Credits: Breather)

Since its start in 2013, Breather’s model has been very simple, partner with the owners of unused loft spaces or apartments (and eventually airports), fix these spaces, furnish and then manage the properties itself. To make it easier for prospective users, a mobile app was created to display available spaces nearby, accept reservations, collect payment, and deliver mobile keys.

A breather room has the same feeling as the rest of the Class A or B office building in which it is usually located, it is a cross between a comfortable loft apartment and a start-up’s offices, with a comfy couch, rack of books, yoga mat, phone chargers and reading lamps, and can accommodate five to eight people.

Currently, Breather spaces are available in 22 locations in New York, San Francisco, and Montreal. Each room is fitted with a smart lock that connects to the company’s app and is available from an hour to an entire day. Other amenities range from Wi-Fi service to comfy couches and a yoga mat for meditation, nap, working, holding meetings, relaxing after work or a simple getaway from daily hustle and bustle. Some photographers have also taken advantage of the picturesque views from the breather space to practice their trade. Still early years, but it is very clear that this startup has transformed commercial office spaces into clean, simply decorated rooms for professional use, and has set a marker for improving livability and efficient use of space in cities.

Find out more about Breather.

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