By Penketh Group Insights Team
30th October 2018
The popularity of coworking has gathered rapidly over the past few years – so fast, in fact, that the spread of knowledge outside of the commercial design industry hasn’t quite caught up yet. Workers and business owners are doing it, using it and benefitting from it but those who want to create coworking spaces are still sounding out the dos and don’ts.
That’s where the benefits of hiring a professional interior designer come in. A space-planning expert can use their industry insights and experience to educate on how to best design and furnish a coworking space, from storage and acoustic solutions to diverse settings and the latest trends.
So, as coworking continues to gain prominence, we want to help educate around the topic of strategically designing a co-workspace with a view to improving the wellbeing and performance of its users…
Create a diverse range of work settings – In order to cater for different tasks and requirements, it’s essential to facilitate a range of work modes. This should include collaborative zones, meeting spaces, individual focus areas, private offices, breakout spaces, social spaces, hot desking stations and a ‘third place‘ to rejuvenate or work casually such as a WorkCafe.
Include a variety of commercial furniture – With a variety of workspaces, postures and device usage comes a demand for a diverse furniture portfolio.
This should include soft seating, tech-integrated furniture for power access, focus booths, modular furniture which can be easily reconfigured, task chairs, bench desking and furniture for boardrooms and meeting rooms.
Click for more detailed reading on choosing the best furniture for a coworking space.
Take advantage of new technologies – The nature of a coworking space means that it’s not always as easy to assign space occupancy as it would be for one business using an internal room-booking system. An electronic booking system such as Reserva or Room Wizard is a great way to optimise organisation and minimise disruption.
Click for more detailed reading on the best technology for a co-working space, including tech to streamline idea-sharing and video conferencing facilities to bring communication up to date.
Design a great welcome area – Those leasing or utilising a coworking space will be able to reap the many benefits of its flexibility but one downside is that they won’t have the luxury of their own branded welcome area.
When designing a coworking space, it is therefore essential to incorporate an impressive welcome area or reception where tenants can direct and greet clients or those they need to hold meetings with.
We made sure this was the case at Manchester Science Partnerships’ Tech Incubator co-workspace.
Consider physical health and mental wellbeing – When selecting furniture for the space, keep ergonomics in mind and provide solutions which have been designed to support human movement and physical health such as standing desks.
Take measures to nurture mental wellbeing too by capitalising on the advantages of both trends for biophilia in the workplace and resimercial office design. Both of these have been proven to lower stress levels and improve happiness in workers.
Provide acoustic solutions – As well as space occupancy, noise levels can also be problematic in a coworking space if not managed strategically. We recommend implementing a sufficient amount of commercial acoustic solutions of acoustic office furniture to help keep noise distraction and frustration to a minimum.
Don’t forget about storage – In a space that isn’t technically their own and without dedicated workstations, tenants need to feel safe in the knowledge that they can store their personal belongings securely.
A product such as the Spacestor Hot Locker is an ideal solution as it enables users to assign themselves a locker on an ad hoc basis via an electronic system on their mobile devices.
Click for more reading on how we designed and furnished a diverse and modern coworking space at the Bruntwood Neo Building, complete with soft-seated lounge areas and nomadic work settings.