While thinking of coworking space design, it is essential to have all grounds covered. Ultimately, a coworking space is a second home for entrepreneurs, artists, freelancers and corporates. With this in mind, the needs and wants of the community is what the coworking space needs to cater to. Almost all coworking spaces are designed to be uber-cool workspaces wherein the work environment is pleasant and fosters collaboration within the community.
Elements of a workspace can alter the productivity, perceptions and behavior of users. The physical design of the space including the creatively designed space, open floor layout, social areas and glass walls promote collaboration by influencing the movement of people and interactions between them. The vital characteristics for choosing a coworking space include the accessibility and the happiness that the atmosphere/ interior design provided. The challenges include creating a sense of privacy, managing conflicts between users, and controlling noise factors.
The various elements associated with the physical environment of a typical coworking space based on research are:
Ambience: Desirable temperature, lighting, aroma, music and air quality to aid the performance of users at a coworking space
Facility aesthetics: Aesthetic appeal of architecture and décor to enhance the attractiveness and influence the time spent at a coworking space.
Space and spatial layout: Arrangement and spatial relationships of furnishing, equipment, service areas and passageway for facilitating more privacy, comfort and relationship within a coworking space
Functionality: Adequate ventilation, state of the art audio visual equipment, comfortable seating, adequate restrooms along with multi functional interior design for better user experience.
Signs and symbols: Clear signage to communicate the offerings, space functionalities and also to create favorable customer perception.
Cleanliness: Ensuring cleanliness and comfort for the coworking community is essential for a positive workspace experience.
Globally, coworking spaces vary largely in terms of sizes and not all coworking spaces around the world will be hiring interior designers for their work. I hope this playbook for designing physical environment at a coworking space will help space operators design better workspaces.
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Also read: Are coworking spaces important to foster innovation? , Why are coworking spaces better than coffee shops?