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Designing the perfect co-working environment

a green and luscious co-work environmentMedia Evolution City: Malmö, Sweden. Photo credit: Media Evolution/Sebastian Borg

A co-work space is a shared working environment where people work, network, share ideas and collaborate on projects. Freelancers, start-ups and multinational employees alike are regular users of these spaces, with many workers rejecting typical working conditions for more comfort, flexibility and a different working experience. They are ideal for people who have to travel frequently, new companies who are not ready to rent (or buy!) a permanent office, or for anyone interested in finding creative and contemporary place to work from.  

How a co-working space is designed and furnished is fundamental, as it is these aspects which create the conditions which make co-work environments attractive in the first place. In today’s blog we will look at some key elements to consider when designing a successful co-work space.

Since the phrase was coined in 2006, co-working spaces have sprung up across the globe at an unprecedented rate. Demand for co-working spaces is growing at an average of 10-15% a year across all regions, and statistics show that 976,000 people regularly used co working spaces in 2016, and this figure is set to rise to just over 3.8 million by 2020.

There are a myriad reasons behind this trend, and understanding why people are migrating from more traditional settings will be an important element to consider when designing a co-work space.

Flexibility

a shared working environment in swedenMedia Evolution City: Malmö, Sweden. Photo credit: Media Evolution/Sebastian Borg

The desire for a more flexible work life is a major driving force behind the unstoppable rise of co-working and advancements in technology mean that remote working is now a real possibility for huge swathes of the population. This flexibility is also extended to the work place itself, with people looking for multi-environment settings and the ability to relocate depending on what tasks they are working on. Co-work spaces should also be flexible because you never know who your tenants may be, and what they require. Having the ability to sculpt environments to their needs will make your co-work space that much more attractive.

having stackable chairs is great to save space.Stackable chairs enable you to be flexible to cater for varying numbers of clients, with the ability to store excess furniture with minimal space.

Design Tips:

Creativity

co-work spaces enable people to connect

Co-work spaces traditionally attract creative types, looking for external inspiration and connections. Whilst some challenge this notion, it is still clear that artistic workers make up a big percentage of co-work tenants, and the environment plays a big role in fostering innovation. The different work zones as outlined above should be designed to encourage these networking interactions, and enable workers to chat, to share ideas, to create a community, and ultimately collaborate on projects they are working on.

this co-working environment is in cologne, germanyCowoki Coworking Plus: Köln, Germany

Design Tips:

cowoki is a co-working environment in germanyCowoki Coworking Plus: Köln, Germany

Concentration

beautiful co-work space in malmo, swedenMedia Evolution City: Malmö, Sweden. Photo credit: Media Evolution/Sebastian Borg

Whilst many seek co-work spaces to make new connections, and feed off the creative energy they house, we all need to get our head down and concentrate when necessary. Your co-work environment should cater for this, and include plenty of options for task based focused work. This means shutting off workstations from the open spaces, disrupting visual & audio lines, and providing solo desk space.

Design Tips:

private booths are a big plus for shared working environmentsOsla House of Innovation features several funky phonebooths for those private conversations


If you have are designing a co-working space, we’d love to help. Over the past year we have helped several co-working environments flourish across Europe. Check out some of our latest products in our brand new look book, which you can download for free in the link below, or take at some of the projects we have worked on.

Download our new lookbook

Posted by

Richard Ferris on 18-May-2017 22:14:00

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