Now that coworking spaces are sprouting up around every corner, it’s becoming more challenging to get the attention of yourtarget demographic. Whether you’d like to make digital nomads feel at home, or have all those local, remote workers set up their “work zone” in your coworking space, you need to design the space with performance in mind.
It is no longer enough to have lovely, well-lit rooms with a good internet connection. People nowadays need to be able to focus and complete their tasks without distractions. Preferably, they should enjoy the look and feel of the space enough to come back and even recommend you to their colleagues!
For all that to happen, you should look at the layout, equipment, and all the design details from their functional perspective. There are a lot of innovative ideas popping up, so we’ve created an overview of several key functional design concepts to consider for your own coworking space.
Let’s cover some of the most important design ideas that will help you attract modern teams and boost word of mouth in one fell swoop.
Freelancers, digital nomads, as well as entire remote teams of a single company all need one thing: proper connectivity. Now, there are many different pieces of that particular puzzle, and some of them are not necessarily within your purview.
For example, most coworking spaces expect each worker to bring their own laptops and other work equipment. It’s where they store all their corporate accounts and login information, and the built-in security is always a perk.
However, there’s something to be said about a coworking space making sure that those computers can work seamlessly and without too much hassle. For that to happen, you can leverage a few tech ideas:
All of these tech-based tools are there for more than design: they contribute to modernizing your offices and appeal to the people who choose their coworking space based on how easily they can work there.
Of course, that’s not to say that lounge areas and play zones aren’t necessary! You need to strike the right balance when you invest in designing both the work area and the fun area. But the more you modernize your space with performance-driven tech, the easier it will be to entice more people to come.
The term “performance” encompasses many different ideas. From creativity, easy collaboration, working alone in a private space or finding room to work in groups, to having access to the right tools - all help these define the idea of being productive.
However, there’s one particular aspect of performance that deserves a separate mention: focus. Nowadays, it’s way too easy to find distractions everywhere. Our phones light up with notifications all the time, we get desktop reminders, calls, and get distracted by external factors so common in shared spaces.
Sure, noise-canceling headphones are a great start, but they won’t prevent a colleague from tapping you on the shoulder from time to time to ask you a question or invite you to a coffee break. As nice as their intentions might be, they often wreak havoc on someone’s productivity, especially in a coworking space.
You can overcome this issue with the use of productivity flags that serve as simple indicators for everyone else to see when they’re not meant to disturb you. Make these flags available at each workstation so that people can easily connect them to their devices and focus on their work.
They can also automatically switch from green to red to indicate when you’re busy in a meeting and help create a more mindful workspace. When people around see that a particular person or a team are in a meeting, even if they aren’t in a conference room, they’ll be more likely to stay quiet and respectful.
As someone who actively manages a coworking space, you’ve probably noticed the uptake in hybrid working models that are bringing teams back into their corporate offices while also allowing them to work remotely.
If you’d like to cater to this audience too, you need to be aware of what makes such teams stick and how to make them feel comfortable working from your space when they’re not at their own office.
Now that close to 70% of Americans agree that they’d like a model where they can combine remote and in-person work, you can take the opportunity to make your coworking space all that more appealing.
Do you have a dedicated area for people to interact and mimic that “water cooler” bonding aspect of office work? How about a dedicated private area for people to take a step back from teamwork? Clearly designing such areas to give people space for both types of work allows you to attract and retain hybrid workers for the long haul.
For example, the seating options in your relaxed, interactive space should be more casual, like bean bags or sofas, whereas work-centric areas can have ergonomic chairs and clearly marked quiet zones for super productive people.
Too many coworking spaces merely separate a room, throw in a big round table and some chairs, slap a tag on the door and call it a conference room. Modern teams who want to get together and come up with innovative strategies need so much more.
For starters, this is where all those smart sensors for proper lighting, ventilation, and noise level monitoring will come in handy. But even beyond that, you can introduce smart digital boards for brainstorming or connecting their devices for a presentation – an especially useful feature for hybrid teams where some have decided to head to the office that day, while others prefer to stay at home.
Designing such a space is considered the best practice for remote team coworking spaces where you want to make everyone feel comfortable as well as productive. A modern, tech-driven conference room ensures privacy for that team and is hybrid-friendly for members that prefer to join the meetings from home.
Finally, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that prevention is the key to success and safety. In that sense, your coworking space might be perceived as a risky choice by many companies and employees simply because of the mere amount of foot traffic in your space.
To put everyone’s minds at ease, you need to introduce hygiene checkpoints that don’t interfere with the look and feel of your space and don’t make maneuverability impossible.
Touchless sign-ups at the door, as well as sensor-driven sanitation stations, can help people stay safe and focused on their work. Keeping track of the number of visitors can also make everyone feel more comfortable knowing that your office space will never be overcrowded, putting them at risk of infection.
Even if your space already has a good layout and plenty of room for private and team collaboration, it’s essential to go back to the drawing board from time to time and see how you can improve your space.
Modern teams can only thrive in coworking offices that foster collaboration, creativity, and leverage the latest design and tech solutions. To stay ahead of the game and attract your local talent (as well as digital nomads passing through), be sure to evaluate if your space meets the criteria listed in this article.
Fortunately, most of these ideas are easy to introduce as “upgrades,” so they don’t require heavy remodeling or structural changes. And that’s the beauty of a coworking space: it can scale and adapt to the ever-changing trends and modern employee expectations with ease.