The flexibility and comfort of working from a coworking space is a driving factor behind members leaving home or public areas to join shared workspaces. There are, however, reasonable concerns about maximizing productivity when working in an environment that encourages worker communication with open desk spaces and common interactive areas.
Here is how the coworking space design can enhance, rather than inhibit, members’ productivity.
Varied seating options
Coworking as a concept was built largely from the idea of hot desks, a membership where one could sit at an unassigned open desk and pay on a month to month basis. But as the industry has evolved, dedicated desks, private offices, conference rooms, soundproof booths, outdoor seating and other workspace options have become more and more prevalent.
In order to give members the ultimate power as to what is most productive for them, your coworking space needs to offer a large variety of these options, whether it’s for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, corporate coworking, and any other segment of the market.
Flexibility is key even when it comes to furniture. Moveable partitions, booths and desks have become a staple of coworking spaces, not just for targeting a different range of prospects, but so that members can vary how they work depending on the task, mood, or noise level around them in the space.
A recent in-depth study showed that over 75% of 250,000 employees feel natural light is important to their productivity. A similar poll by Future Workplace found that natural light and outdoor views are the most valued attributes in a shared workplace.
So, in order to increase productivity, it’s clear that members want natural light, but that may not be feasible in some or many areas within your workspace. The alternative would include fitting out dim spaces with bright LED lighting or plant life throughout the space. According to Thrive Workplace, who operate four locations in the Denver area, natural light and the green color palette of the plants positively affect mood and productivity.
Building to an identity
Depending on your unique target market and the varied needs of current members, building amenities to fit their identity will help their productivity greatly. For example, if your space is the home of several small businesses with employees who need to interact face to face, then having common areas with longer tables or round tables would be welcoming. Some coworking spaces may want to incorporate more fun aspects such as ping pong tables or cabinets full of board games, while this may not work for operators whose membership base is largely comprised of workers that frequently host clients for formal meetings.
Building to the identity of your member base is critical to their productivity. In cities where garden or rooftop space is usable year-round, this may prove to be a significant marketing tool to attract new residents or guests. While having a bit of something to appeal to everyone may help attract a variety of visitors, you want to build a foundation with your design that attracts the right members who will want to stay long term.
Your coworking design style can be highly modern, rustic, elegant, casual or any other look and feel you choose, but it will play a major role in what your member base looks like and how productive people feel inside. To learn more about the Yardi Kube suite of products, please click the link below.