How about next time you get up to go home from work you just, well, don't bother? This is the faintly horrifying idea behind a new living option at a University of Utah "business incubator" (that's basically a posh name for a place where a load of start-ups are based).
Entrepreneurs working at the incubator's start-up companies now have the option to spend the night – or every night! – in a "sleeping pod", seven feet tall, wide and deep. According to Fast Company magazine, these pods include the bare minimum: a bed, a cupboard and bookshelves. They're grouped together in clusters of 18 to 30 around a common lounge, kitchen, bathrooms, and a "maker space" (sorry, more start-up jargon – this means a sort of workshop, we think).
Each pod also has its own desk right outside, because what's the point of sleeping in the office if you're not just feet from your desk. As Mehrdad Yazdani, Yazdani Studio's design director, told Fast Company, the concept is based around the idea that if you live at work, you can work at any time:
As an entrepreneur, your ideas may come to you at 3 am in the morning. You want to be able to roll out of the bed, grab your partners, and develop the idea.
(Call us crazy, but we wouldn't be hugely happy if our business partner woke us up at 3am after a sleepy flash of inspiration.)
As another designer at the firm told the publication, however, the space is "for a very specific type of student" who chooses to live at work.
Image: Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign.
Some law firms and other high-octane workplaces already provide pods where employees can sleep, and start-up houses where tech employees live together are also common. At Google, the record for an employee living at the office is apparently two years.
But the disturbing thing about this new, dorm-like model is that it offers more amenities than other workplace sleeping pods, and has the potential to be a more comfortable living environment. The attempts to foster a collegiate atmosphere amongst a community of 24-hour work vampires lays bare a culture where ambitious entrepreneurs employees, or even students, need to work as much as possible at all hours to get ahead.
After all, in a company where half the workforce actually lives at work, it'd be hard to argue that you're just as conscientious if you prefer going home to, y'know, see your family.