The purpose of coworking spaces is to combine a serious work ethic and a pleasant atmosphere and to encourage interacting with people and swapping ideas. That means that a coworking office has to be optimized for work, but also flexible enough for freelancers and start-ups. We have tried to list all the important assets of the perfect coworking space.
Designed to work
Cubicles and partitions are a big no-no in a working environment that’s meant to be informal and unpressured. Not only do they create the sense of secrecy and feel like barricades, but they are an epitome of the horrible corporate jobs with no perspective. When workflow depends on collaboration, open-plan is the only logical layout.
Providing the Right Utilities
High-speed WiFi, printer and copier access are a must, as well as basic kitchen facilities, clean bathroom and a coffee machine. While the large majority of people will bring in their own laptops, notebooks and tablets, it’s also good practice to include a few PC’s for emergencies. The WiFi connection has to be working to the very best of its ability – it needs to be able to handle the space’s maximum capacity.
Focus on Function
Coworking spaces need attractive, but ergonomic furniture to enable people to work comfortably and effectively. Round tables and expanses of interconnected desks, standing desks and ergonomic chairs – all furniture needs to be comfortable enough to increase productivity and avoid becoming a distraction, as well as make it easier for people to collaborate with one another.
Amenities and Culture
Coworking spaces are as much about leisure time as they are about hard work. Cafes, bars, and even restaurants are becoming a common part of these environments. If people feel pleasant at some place, soon it will become a hub for the community, and lead to more connections and deeper collaboration.
Coworking space without people is just a nicely designed open office, with soothing music, maybe a bar or a foosball table. What makes any coworking space great, is the community: a collection of engaged people who care about the space and each other.
That little something…
…that makes the space unique and different. Even if the furniture is from IKEA there has to be a detail that differentiate a coworking space from all the others. It doesn’t have to be the taxidermied deer head wearing sunglasses though, like at that one place in Tokyo.