Coworking Space Layout
When setting up a coworking space, you probably think that it should be anything but dull—you're right. Coworking is often associated with collaboration, free coffee, beer on tap and happy hours; however, the crucial thing to keep in mind are the people who will work there and their expectations of the workplace layout.
Knowing your audience will help you create an environment that boosts productivity, inspiration and motivation. It will help you retain clients. Organization of a shared location presupposes analysis of how the working area should be zoned, design of communal spaces, dining area, calculation of cost per desk and installing heating, cooling and lighting systems.
Open space, walls or partitions?
Considering your clientele, their work style, and privacy needs, the layout of the coworking space will differ. Individual freelancers cherish flexibility and usually work in shared areas. Startups, or those seeking a quiet environment, would opt for a private office. There's also a category of professionals who occasionally hold client meetings and negotiations, they need a conference room with projecting tools and whiteboards.
If you're not 100 percent sure about your audience, the safest option would be offering various work environments across your floor plan—including floating and dedicated desks, private offices and meeting rooms. This way, you can attract people with different requirements and expectations.
Think scalability and social interactions
It is estimated that around 40 square feet are needed for a desk. Keep in mind that the number of users you have now might significantly increase in a few months’ time. Will you be able to fit additional furniture to accommodate more clients without compromising the comfort? You can add flexibility to your space by installing retractable walls, modular furniture, and fitting electrical outlets throughout the building.
Don't forget that many people opt for coworking because they want networking possibilities and a chance to hang out with like-minded people; therefore, the importance of communal areas cannot be overstated. Whether we're talking about a cafeteria, a lounge or a backyard with bean bag chairs—allow about 60 square feet, per person, for common spaces.
Add personality to your space
Make your shared office look inviting. You might need to involve a designer who will make the place look and feel like home, rather than a traditional office, which freelancers are trying to escape. Although hiring a professional requires a bigger investment, it will pay dividends.
From wall color to ergonomic furniture, from private cubicles to open kitchens, from the reception area to photos on the wall—every detail in your open-space layout makes a difference.
Create a favorable environment by taking care of noise
In an open office and a private workstation, sound privacy should be taken seriously. Noise distraction is one of the factors that hamper productivity and cause frustration. For that reason, we advise soundproof telephone booths and making sure that walls have sufficient soundproofing. Installing partitions in an open-space area may also be valuable to some freelancers.