Want to know how a coworking space is able to use interior design and planning to create a place where people can work productively alongside each other? Design is what generates atmosphere, and atmosphere influences efficiency and creativity among coworking members.
Co working space design goes beyond architecture and furniture. There’s a strong dynamic between the space and the people working there, and this dynamic changes depending on the values of workers as individuals and as groups. Differences in personalities, work styles and workspace preferences determine which elements of coworking office design are best for a target group.
It’s All About Flexibility
Any area where diverse groups of people come together to work needs to be able to grow and scale back as the need arises. Coworking member numbers differ over time, sometimes even from day to day, and rigidity is not only a turn-off but also a roadblock to the collaboration at the heart of these environments. Each area must be designed and built to be adaptive to the personalities of the people using the space and the different types of work they perform. This means creating a combination of open and private areas, balancing meeting spaces with individual workstations and providing both flexible and permanent desks within one coworking office.
Abandoning the “Office” Setup
Members are attracted to coworking spaces because they’re looking for something more than a standard office can provide. Although some members still thrive working at traditional desks, all are in need of a more interesting and stimulating environment. Designers creating coworking spaces understand these needs and aim to create separate areas within the open environment to cater to the diverse requirements of today’s flexible workforce.
Spurred on by innovative companies whose actual office designs already have some elements of co working space design, builders and decorators are combining colors and textures with diverse seating and workstation styles to create inviting and relaxed areas for working.
Inspired by the Mobile Workforce
The design of coworking spaces speaks to a group of workers who are more comfortable being productive in what they feel is their own space rather than a rigid office setting. Made up largely of the younger generation, including millennials, these workers already take their daily tasks with them to coffee shops, bistros, bookstores and other public areas considered to be cozy and inspiring.
Coworking architecture draws inspiration from these places, incorporating touches such as bookshelves, plants, tiered seating, workstations designed like booths and even adult-sized slides.
Designing for Individuals
The architecture, design elements and furniture in a coworking space reveal something of what it’s like to work there. Members are looking for inspirational designs to foster creativity by creating an exciting and dynamic working environment.
The stuffy office setting is out, replaced by varied layouts catering to different types of members. Some may go for modern and sleek with a lot of glass and contrast between light and dark. Others are looking for serious and scholarly, preferring deep wooden tones suggestive of an old-fashioned library. Casual, upbeat areas attract workers with creative flair and support the free flow of ideas.
Encouraging Group Gatherings
Meeting spaces can be placed in separate rooms or “zoned” as part of the main coworking environment to foster a collaborative spirit. Creating dedicated spaces where coworking members can come together, share information and present their thoughts in a relaxed group setting promotes more constructive meetings than the mandatory gatherings conducted in traditional offices. Design can be used to establish a natural flow toward these spaces so that group sessions never feel forced or contrived.
People Bring Personality to Spaces
Well-planned coworking office designs attract members, but it’s the members themselves who complete the space. Each individual adds his or her own touches, taking advantage of coworking’s flexibility to utilize the best of what the space has to offer. Since coworking is all about maintaining a better balance between office life and home life, the areas where members work evolve around them into unique extensions of themselves in which they feel comfortable tackling both daily tasks and lengthy projects. Beneficial interactions grow out of this sense of comfort and add necessary “spark” to each day. In this way, people become the finishing touches of coworking space architecture.
Following a few simple principles for collaborative office space planning sets the stage for a dynamic work environment and individual personalization to create a distinctive work atmosphere in which a diverse group of people can harness their own work styles and maximize productivity. Coworking members look for layouts catering to the way they approach tasks, and each one brings a different personality to the coworking space architecture.
Far from being a traditional way to approach office space planning, designing a coworking space takes the unique quirks of people into account. Proper design provides flexibility, encourages interactions and promotes spontaneous collaboration to support ongoing productivity in all areas of professional life. In this way, the coworking office design and the members using the area come together to foster a new and desirable alternative to traditional offices.