The Age of Hybrid Co-Working and Wellness Spaces Is Upon Us

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New York City’s Upper East Side is known for many things — mansions, museums and “Gossip Girl” among them. But on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 84th street lies a chill oasis of sorts, Sage + Sound, where locals gather to get a mani-pedi at the in-house Sundays nail studio, a Biologique Recherche facial, or take part in a meditation class.

Also home to café Isle of Us, which serves up healthy fare and lavender-infused lattes, it’s not a bad spot to answer an email or two as well. On any given day, you’ll find patrons with their laptops out in between appointments, enjoying the calming ambiance as they avoid packed coffee shops or (gasp!) their offices.

Sage + Sound, which opened its doors in late October, is one of several new hybrid wellness-meets-mingling spaces that have popped up since the pandemic. And although the focus of the business is to be a one-stop shop for beauty and wellness services, crafty New Yorkers wasted no time making it a makeshift co-working space.

With so many of us now working remotely, we’re looking for more from our shared office spaces than just cold brew on tap. To entice people out of the house, these workspaces need to actually improve their quality of life. Enter: hybrid work and wellness spaces, which are popping up in cities across the country.

The Well.

The Well.

Though it is not officially a co-working space, another popular spot is The Well, located just off of Union Square in New York City. On a typical weekday, the on-site restaurant, Kitchen & Table — which serves seasonal fare like salads, juices and smoothies — is booked solid, with many patrons having casual business meetings or typing away right at the tables. When they’re done, some may head to the lounges, or perhaps enjoy a foot massage or some time in the sauna. Companies can also host their own events by booking space in the “Library,” a cozy, pillow-lined room.

Incidentally, The Well is just a stone’s throw from what was the original location of the Wing, the women’s co-working chain founded by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan in 2016. In August of this year, every Wing location closed its millennial-pink doors for good (though the company had been slowly bleeding out since 2020, between COVID and allegations of a racist, toxic work environment).

The Well's

The Well’s “library” space.

In some ways, The Well seems to be learning from The Wing’s mistakes. It opened originally in 2019 as an exclusive, membership-only club, but when it reopened in April of 2021, it took a more welcoming approach. Hawking $11 green juices and $205 facials may not exactly qualify as accessible or inexpensive, but by simply opening its doors to anyone who happens to walk by the (highly visible) corner, it’s already less exclusionary.

“The Well New York truly is designed to be a one-stop shop for wellness,” says Megan Mulholland, who serves as VP Brand & Marketing. “Guests come in for a variety of reasons — whether it’s to experience a relaxing massage, get an IV Vitamin Therapy Drip after traveling, get a foot rub with friends after work, take a Mindful Movement class, or to drop in for a lunch meeting at our wellness café.”

The Well's Kitchen and Table in-house restaurant. 

The Well’s Kitchen and Table in-house restaurant. 

Remedy Place, which bills itself as “the world’s first social wellness club,” opened in Los Angeles three years ago and added a New York location in September.

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“We want to make people feel better through self-care and human connection,” founder Dr. Jonathan Leary tells Fashionista. He predicts that wellness, which has seen a boom since the pandemic, will soon overtake fitness in popularity. “What I see for Remedy Place and self-care is it’s like creating the first gym before the fitness industry boom. More people are going to practice self-care than working out; Remedy plans to lead the way,” he says.

Remedy Place does offer memberships, but is also open to everyone so long as they book in advance. And although the wellness offerings like ice baths and acupuncture are the initial draw, Leary says people take meetings there as well, with or without adding on wellness experiences. The location has even become a date destination, with couples participating in modalities together.

Remedy Place's New York City location.

Remedy Place’s New York City location.

Equinox Hotels, which recently opened in New York’s Hudson Yards, is also a popular destination for locals and out-of-towners alike. In addition to an on-site Equinox gym, SoulCycle, barrel saunas and both indoor and outdoor pools, there’s also the Spa by Equinox Hotels, featuring an extensive menu with offerings like lymphatic drainage treatments and the Gold Collagen Facial, created in partnership with Dr. Lara Devgan.

Guests, of course, take advantage of the hotel’s wellness amenities, but they aren’t the only ones. “The hotel and spa are a local destination, with open spaces to work, eat, play and regenerate,” says Jeff Rednour, general manager of Equinox Hotels. “It’s the perfect space for digital nomads to move from morning meetings, to a quick treatment at the spa, to happy hour.”

He notes that post-COVID especially, it just makes sense to have everything under one roof. “Now more than ever, [spaces] need to be fully integrated.”

With their focus on de-stressing, these types of spaces are natural fits for bustling New York and L.A. But the trend is also going global; Leary says Remedy Place plans to open two-to-three more locations annually. Other like-minded spaces have opened outside of major cities, such as The Ring, located in Clearwater, Florida. In addition to the usual suspects like fair-trade coffee and printing services, The Ring offers a massage therapist, chiropractor, yoga and something called a “rejuvenation room with energy pod.”

Energy pods and lymphatic drainage aside, one thing is clear: Workers are demanding more from their workspaces. The pandemic clarified for many just how important both mental and physical health are — and how our work isn’t distinct from the rest of our lives.

“I think a major light switch went off for the entire world,” says Leary. Developers and entrepreneurs included.

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