The landscape of labor is shifting. Gone are the days when there are only two options: to work as an employee or to become a business owner yourself if you have the capital to do so.
Today, people have more flexible working options. You can be a freelancer, remote worker, or business owner even with a limited budget.
Hence, it is really not that surprising how different kinds of workspaces are springing up to answer these demands.
One such space is the coworking space, one of the most in-demand working solutions in this digital age.
Get the Right Location
The secret to maintaining a successful coworking space lies in the ambiance, but the key to establishing a profitable one from the get-go is its location.
Situating your coworking space near residential areas, universities, and business districts give you an advantage depending on your target demographic and vision.
Those who want to cater to small business owners and remote workers would benefit from locations near residences since they cater to a crowd who would rather work at home but can’t due to certain factors.
On the other hand, if you would rather cater to students, academicians, and executives on-the-go, then placing your coworking space near a university or business district will prove the better option.
Create a Diverse Range of Work Settings
Provide your clients with the efficiency of working at an actual office by creating various workspaces that will work for both individuals and groups. Don’t worry, we’re going to delve into more detail regarding these work zones in a bit.
A Place Like Home
For now, let’s focus on how to make your coworking facility more comfortable and conducive to creativity and productivity. Here are a few tips:
• It should be a place of measured comfort. The keyword here is “measured”. This means that you should make your establishment look and feel comfortable, but not too much that encourages people to drowse while working.
• Value mental and physical well-being. Your space should not look restricting and cramped. After all, one of the main reasons why people prefer working in coworking spaces is because they offer more freedom compared to a traditional work setting.
Choosing ergonomic furniture and standing desks also show that you value your client’s physical wellness.
For more inspiration, we recommend looking into biophilic and residential design trends.
• Incorporate design elements that evoke warmth and intimacy. Home accessories such as carpets and rugs go a long way in making any space more inviting and reassuring.
Speaking of comfort, one of the factors that play a major role is room temperature. In fact, in one study published by the Helsinki University of Technology, it was found that productivity declines with each degree above 25°C.
Meanwhile, the concluded ideal temperature is 22°C.
We understand, though, that this will not apply to everyone. There will be people out there who would enjoy working in a cooler or warmer environment.
Hence, we recommend having a desk fan available to supplement your current room temperature if needed. These fans are portable and can easily fit one’s specific preferences.
Private Collaborative Spaces
Anyway, let’s now move on to the work zones we have mentioned above. The first area that we suggest you incorporate into your coworking space is a private collaborative room. It’s an enclosed area that will provide the necessary room, privacy, and silence to a group of people.
A long table with several seats is a must, along with a wide whiteboard for mind maps and flow charts. Meanwhile, technology for conferencing, presentations, and videos are not required but highly recommended.
Social spaces and recreational areas with related amenities must also be considered in your layout. These are workspace zones that exemplify work-life balance, after all.
There are even coworking spaces that offer gyms, shower rooms, and nap rooms that you might also want to consider depending on your target demographic.
Finally, your coworking space should also provide ample individual workspaces ranging from standalone work desks, cubicles, and private offices to cater to your clients’ varying needs.
Based on our personal experience, one of the biggest challenges of running a coworking space is noise management.
While private collaborative rooms and offices do provide that extra advantage if necessary, this is no reason to neglect the noise in your general work area where most of your clients will converge.
The good news is most of your clients will tend to tone down their personal noise to a minimum. However, there are steps that you can do to further bring those decibels down:
• Carpets. You will soon find that most of the noise in your coworking space will come from heavy foot traffic. Investing in getting your space fully carpeted will significantly help in this regard while also acting as a sound-absorbent fixture for other types of vibrations.
• Sound-Absorbing Furniture. Also referred to as acoustic furniture, these are pieces that are designed specifically to help reduce noise. They are highly recommended for open and wide office environments, but can also be used to replace traditional pieces in receiving areas and recreational rooms for added efficiency.
• Acoustic Ceiling Clouds and Wall Panels. Finally, there are panels that you can hang from your ceiling and walls in order to absorb vibrations further. These were originally used by music studios but we are seeing a trend in workspace usage as well.
Bring In Nature
We have mentioned the term biophilic in passing, but what does it really mean? In a nutshell, it is the process of incorporating natural elements within your interior design.
This can be as simple as adding indoor plants to your space or using organic materials in your choice of design elements.
However, wide-open windows that create an illusion of bringing the outside in will work just as well, and even invite natural light into your space.
However, even a wide indoor space is still an enclosed one, and while a biophilic interior design seeks to incorporate organic elements to bring nature in, the truth is, nothing replaces nature itself.
There are numerous studies backing up the benefits of working outdoors hence, we would be remiss if we fail to highlight the benefits of adding outdoor work zones in this article.
Depending on your target demographic, this is also a good chance to offer smoking areas to your clients. We just want to remind you that doing so can potentially decrease your establishment’s indoor air quality and drive more health-conscious clients away.
Finally, no workspace will ever be complete without a break room. It offers a psychological and emotional respite from the stresses of work and can even replenish one’s creative juices.
We can’t count how much ideas we have formulated over a game of Dungeons and Dragons, and while we don’t necessarily suggest holding DnD sessions in your coworking space, we have found boardgames and videogames just as efficient in achieving the same level of benefits.
A fun break room is also an amenity that most students and young startup owners look for in a coworking space.
Here are some tips on how to create the ultimate break room that your clients will enjoy:
• Provide Caffeine. No break room (of coworking space) will ever be complete without access to unlimited caffeine. Don’t just focus on coffee as well. Tea is just as energizing.
• Provide Healthy Alternatives. Offering non-caffeinated drinks and stacking your pantry with snacks can give your clients the energy boost they need to survive a hectic workday. While we all have our favorite comfort snacks, offering healthy options like nuts and seeds will not only attract more health-conscious clients to your door but will show how much you care.
• Separate the Space. It’s not enough to have an area dedicated to rest and recreation. How you separate the space will impact its efficiency as well.
For instance, having glass walls is apparently not ideal since the visibility to and from your workspaces can defeat the purpose of “taking a break” and even serve as a major distraction for those still at work.
Hence, it is recommended to position your break room away from your actual work zones or close it off with solid barriers to physically create a separate space.
• Offer Fun Activities. Investing in quality board games and video game consoles will encourage your clients to maximize what your break room has to offer. We suggest focusing on collaborative games, though, to invite teams and boost community engagement.
• Offer Conversation Spaces. Finally, don’t forget to add couches and more intimate spaces within your break rooms where your clients can hold relaxed and non-work-related conversations.
Coworking spaces are the work environments of the future. These are alternative workspaces that open their doors to creatives, small business owners, and executives alike.
As such, they should be created and designed in stark contrast to the conventional office.
We hope that the tips we have provided you above have given you ideas on how different they can be and how you can establish a perfect coworking space yourself.