How Big Should My Coworking Space Be?
One of the most important parts of setting up your coworking space is ensuring that it's the proper size. You do not want to pay for more space than you need, but at the same time, you don't want to run out of room or be unable to accommodate enough members to make sufficient profits.
How the Space Will Be Used
To figure out your coworking space design, start by thinking about what elements you need to include within the area. You can look to other coworking spaces as inspiration. Most of the space will likely be dedicated to work areas, in a combination of desks, relaxed seating areas with tables, and any other type of workspace you plan to include. You will also need to include conference rooms, phone/video conference booths, lounge areas, and printing spaces. Do not forget to allocate space for a kitchen or pantry, bathrooms and a receptionist. Some in the coworking industry also use some space for other amenities, such as a nursing room, bike storage, lockers, or a bar.
The Ideal Ratio for Space
To figure out how much room to include for each section in your coworking space design, consider the human to space ratio.
There is no right or wrong answer here, and you can use measurements designed for traditional offices to get an idea. Each traditional workspace you offer to members will need between 75 to 95 square feet per person. Assume a kitchenette without seating will take up about 100 square feet, private offices will be between 120 and 150 square feet, and conference rooms will be about the same size as private offices. When looking at overall size, keep in mind that the average size of coworking spaces increased by 22 percent from 2016 to 2017, reaching 7,572 square feet. When all is said and done, a good amount of space per member for a coworking industry would be somewhere between 100 and 250 square feet on average. The numbers may be overwhelming but doing a bit of math will help in the long run.
How To Plan Your Space?
To simplify the process, we have three factors below that you should consider while planning the layout of your coworking space.
1. Private vs. Collaborative Space
As you plan the size of your coworking space, think about the type of space you want to create. Will it be more focused on private work, collaborative work or a combination? If private work is the goal, you will need fewer communal areas and can focus more on individual workstations, which tend to take up less room. If the goal is collaboration, however, you need more communal areas where the amount of space per person tends to increase.
You can browse through our interviews with space owners to hear their suggestions on this topic, like this one.
2. Size of Workspaces and Target Audience
You will also need to consider how much space the average member will use, which requires looking at your average user. If the typical person only has a single laptop and maybe a pad of paper, you can opt for relatively small workspaces without any complaints; however, if you target developers who need space for several monitors or artists, who need to lay out artistic materials, each workstation should be larger. Remember that if you want to give off a luxurious or high-end feel, you will need more space per member.
3. Extra Amenities You Want to Include
Don’t forget to factor in the other amenities you want in your coworking space. If you will be giving members lockers, make sure there is room for them. Do you just want a plain kitchenette with the basics, or do you want room for a table and chairs there? How many conference rooms or phone booths do you want to include? Each of these things will add to the space calculations.