During different chats at work, I heard about coworking spaces, its colorful walls with inspirational quotes for workers, meetings with beers, fun common areas and unlimited coffee! However, it was not until I went to one when I realized how everything from the puffs to the phone cabins was all very well thought. That is when I started investigating some of the basic design requirements coworking spaces have in mind in order to create that amazing environment.
Definitely one of the most important factors is to break up the usual monotony that characterizes a common office space to inspire creativity. That’s when interior designers come to action and surprise us with open-plan workspaces for people to participate in the “sharing economy”, desks grouped into islands to encourage human contact and demystify hierarchy and lots of greenery.
Additionally, designers create a place with constant visual and physical fluidity that make people feel there´s something new to discover every time they walk, without neglecting control over noise levels that can be scattered by sound-absorbing carpets, curved surfaces, and plants including wisteria, croton, and philodendron.
Dr. Alan Lewis, a lecturer in architecture at Manchester University explains how “visible light helps to stimulate the body’s production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can reduce the symptoms of depression”; one of the factors architects have in mind when constructing coworking spaces.
A great kitchen, games room and common areas are also a must. As Northspace CEO Noam Hazan tells, “coworking by definition exemplifies community and collaboration,and the design needs to facilitate this”. This also includes having different workplace areas for people to “mix it up” because as studies reflect, people work more efficiently and are happier under different environments.
Our office is where we spent most of our time, and coworking spaces take this into consideration by providing familiar spaces for workers to feel at home. One of the design tips Noam Hazan explains in his article “The Essential Guide to Designing a Coworking Space”, is to “allocate a common space for coworkers to share personal photos, stories or tips, to encourage interaction, and the opportunity to form a stronger bond with space”.
Next time you go to your coworking office, you will know how that vibrant and contagious space was all thought from the beginning. What a plan right?