A coworking space design is important, but it’s difficult to find the right one as there is a lot to consider. To assist, read below for ideal information to keep in mind.
Coworking spaces have been on the up and up for several years now, as businesses continue to seek more flexible, and more cost-effective alternatives to buying up additional commercial real estate for offices, while entrepreneurs and freelancers alike look to find a better way to work from anywhere but home.
The Importance of Safety
While the coronavirus pandemic has landed a hefty blow on flexible working spaces everywhere, many have survived and even thrived by offering safe and sanitary workspaces, with mandated and enforced social distancing (through distanced desk spaces, isolated rooms, and outdoor ventilation), roving cleaning crews, and strict temperature checks and viral tests.
As we enter the final stages of the pandemic, many of the lessons learned throughout the last year have been internalized by coworking spaces that are looking for ways to continue to provide a safe working environment, while providing the critical value proposition behind every coworking space: the networking and cooperative opportunities offered by hosting a slew of professionals and teams from different backgrounds.
The ideal coworking space should continue to provide an environment where everyone can feel safe, even in a post-pandemic world, via ample hand sanitization, frequent desk and floor cleaning, open areas with ventilation, private conference rooms for tested teams, and outdoor spaces (such as balconies and terraces) for larger groups to collaborate, discuss, and brainstorm while minimizing the risk of transmission.
What is Coworking Meant to Be?
What is the core of a coworking space? Most people look to coworking spaces as:
- Alternative workspaces for individuals and teams alike.
- Places for collaboration and networking.
- Workspaces that allow for a productive work process through quality furnishings, amenities, and infrastructure.
- An open and receptive staff and management.
- Places built with a flexible, open plan in mind.
- Workspaces designed to cater to multiple types of workers.
- Workspaces with an individual and creative flair.
- Spaces with a shared theme or philosophy at the center of their overall design.
The ideal coworking space needs to embody these elements, first and foremost.
Who is Coworking for?
Coworking spaces can cater to specific types of people – creatives, tech experts, executives, entrepreneurs, writers, designers, women, men – or they can cater to multiple groups, or have no specific target.
A coworking space’s target audience reflects in how it’s designed and built.
If there is no specific target, then the philosophy behind a coworking space might have its origins in what the owner prioritizes in a workplace – be it in calming aesthetics, wacky art, a multitude of plants and greenery, or an emphasis on specific schools of architecture.
Melding Wellbeing and Productivity
The ideal coworking space understands that the human brain functions best in waves – that there is a flow in which we do our best work, and that we subsequently need downtime.
Coworking spaces that provide both stimulation and relaxation can help workers be more efficient in their transition from being productive to recuperating, and vice versa.
Examples include a relaxing outdoor garden, elements of Zen design, nap rooms, colorful and ergonomic (i.e. comfortable) furniture, areas designed for concentrated work and areas designed for social activity, and so on.
Many people choose to work in coworking spaces because they don’t have the means to do their best work from home, either due to the lack of a suitable workspace, too many distractions, or poor connectivity. Empowering workers to be able to do their best work should be at the heart of any successful coworking space.
Creative Spaces for Creative Minds
The last thing a coworking space should be is drab. Color and creative design can go a long way towards stimulating us, in a positive way. A coworking space should ideally have a place where people can go seeking a little bit of inspiration or positive energy – as well as a space designed with limited distractions, both in design and environment.
Access to the Outdoors
Even if it’s just a view of a park or a balcony filled to the brim with greenery, a touch of nature can go a long way towards calming the nerves, improving cognition and productivity, and reducing downtime and stress-related illnesses.
Good Food and Good Ambience
Snacks are more than just a privilege. We run on good food, and good food is important for a properly working brain.
One of the biggest benefits of a well-stocked coworking space is that it comes with its own crucial amenities, including good quality coffee, coffee alternatives (for those who need a theanine fix instead), and a wide selection of snacks and, optionally, some light, nutritious meals.
Setting up a coworking space near several good restaurants is a great idea as well – this gives coworking tenants an additional space to occupy whenever they need to take a break from work and want a moment to socialize or network, while fueling up on good food.
Accommodations for Everyone
Some people prefer working at a desk. Some people do their best work standing. And some people need a comfortable couch.
Coworking spaces that offer a variety of seating options can give everyone the chance to find a spot that lets them do their best work – and choose whether to sit alone or in close (but safe) vicinity to others.
Your Ideal Coworking Space Design
At the end of the day, the ideal coworking space design looks a little different for each and every one of us. Coworking as a concept exists to provide a space that appeals to both teams and freelancers, to managers and workers, to developers, writers, creatives, and executives alike.
Some coworking spaces skew towards providing the ideal environment for coding. Others are built to appeal to designers and graphics artists. In most cases, you need to visit a few coworking spaces to find the one that best suits your needs, interests, and ideal networking opportunities.