In a world where more and more people are comfortable taking their work on the go, co-working spaces are becoming commonplace for corporations and solo entrepreneurs alike. Co-working spaces challenge traditional office design, providing a space that caters to individual work style and needs and increasing worker satisfaction.
Co-Working Office Design
One of the biggest differences between co-working spaces and corporate offices is the design. Co-working spaces are composed of varied layouts all within a single location, often mimicking areas that you would see within your own home, favorite coffee shop or bookstore.
When designing a co-working space it is best to approach the layout in a courtyard-like style, centering around an open area used as the central hub. By eliminating the typical long, dark hallways that exist in many traditional office spaces, employees are provided with an area that encourages connection and liveliness. Within this central area a variety of different style work zones can be designed to satisfy workers, no matter what task they are engaged with, whether that is soundproof booths for private phone conversations, hot-desks, or lounge areas.
Co-Working Space Verses the Traditional Corporate Office
Traditional corporate offices can sometimes feel rigid or forced, whereas co-working spaces aim to provide a natural flow to the work day. Instead of only offering a traditional meeting space that is contained between four walls, multiple different styles of meeting areas can be provided throughout the space, encouraging collaboration and a greater sense of comfort to share ideas.
One aspect of a traditional corporate office that some feel is lost when moving to a co-working space is the ability to customize your own desk area and store personal belongings. To deal with this, it is recommended that even in co-working spaces, there is an area offered that allows employees to store personal belongings, keep extra items, etc. This spot should be easily accessible and incorporate the same design components.
The Functional Aesthetic of Co-Working
Co-working spaces vary greatly in design and layout, depending on what aesthetic the company is going for. However, most are created with the underlying idea of providing employees with a space that can be easily adapted to their changing needs, while helping them cultivate a happy and balanced life between home and work.
In addition to office furniture, many elements come into play when creating these versatile spaces, such as natural light, paint color, plant life, and even the coffee offered. Together, these elements help foster an environment where employees feel like they can take on anything from their daily tasks to substantial projects while feeling comfortable and inspired.
Office Furniture for Co-Working Spaces
It is essential when designing a space to consider the people using the office as you pick out furniture and design elements.
Some co-working spaces go to one extreme and do not have any sort of traditional office furniture, consisting of more design elements that you would find in a coffee or book shop, such as; lounge chairs, booths, sometimes even hammocks and adult slides. These spaces are often going for a casual, upbeat feel that will get the creative juices of their employees flowing.
Others keep some of the traditional elements, such as hot desking and private meeting rooms, while adding elements that help create a more comforting, personal feel such as; greenery and bookshelves.
By getting rid of the grid of traditional corporate desks and chairs and replacing them with co-working friendly furniture such a height adjustable conference tables and lounge furniture, you allow your office to not only best accommodate different work styles, but also to maximize space. An area that used to be dead space, not large enough to house a conventional desk, could then be turned into a small seating area with lounge chairs and a coffee table, providing a comfortable, homey feel.
Regardless of whether the space is going for a corporate or playful atmosphere, the functional furniture choices are just as important as the other design elements. A co-working space should offer a variety of work stations, co-working stations, dedicated desks or office areas with retractable walls, and standing desks that satisfy the needs of employees with both low and high intensity work. Some common furniture pieces for co-working spaces include:
No matter the aesthetic chosen, co-working office spaces should be anything but dull. They should be interesting and stimulating, filled with thoughtful furniture and design elements that challenge the traditional office lifestyle.
Whether you are planning on creating a modern co-working space, or a more traditional office environment, Everett Office Furniture is here to help with all your furniture needs.