Coworking spaces have gained a reputation for their innovative approach to interior design, prioritising bright and playful features over the conventional office uniformity. As they grow in popularity around the world, the bar is continually raising – and with it, the expectation of coworking space design that facilitates collaboration, ideation, and community.
If you’re in the process of (or contemplating) designing a coworking environment, these are the trends to consider in 2019.
Complementing the human experience
Coworking spaces are built on community, and what better way to encourage interaction than by including recreational spaces for people to enjoy. Effective use of space is vital to the success of this type of working environment – designate appealing areas for employees to relax, refocus, and have a bit of fun. Think beyond quick fixes like foosball or ping pong tables – why not go the extra mile with an in-house espresso bar or yoga studio to give your employees an experience they will truly value.
Supporting cross-pollination in business and nature
Including elements of nature within the workspace has many positive effects (hyperlink to earlier article), but sometimes the most significant benefit is the aesthetic appeal. Exposing employees to the beauty of nature has proven to be mentally stimulating, and the openness of coworking spaces provides the perfect opportunity for bringing the outdoors, in. If you need dividing walls, consider making them green walls – take it to the next level by incorporating natural-looking features such as waterfalls, rocks, and earthy tones for a naturally soothing effect on mood and community morale.
Building a sustainable future
Coworking spaces are renowned for innovation – outwardly prove that you are looking to the future by integrating elements of sustainability into the shared workspace. The ‘green’ trend doesn’t only include plant-life – sustainable design adds to the unconscious perception of an innovative and socially conscious business. Including environmentally-friendly light and water fixtures and using renewable materials like bamboo will save money on bills, strengthen the positioning and reputation of your brand within the coworking niche, and demonstrate your commitment to the environment.
Building on the trend of space optimisation, research-based design, as the name suggests, is a movement towards designing commercial interiors to facilitate collaborative research. In practice, this makes community members’ lives easier by creating interactive spaces for brainstorming, discussion, scrums and ideation to boost worker performance within the space. Having easily accessible surfaces to pin-up or scribble on when an idea strikes fuels the creative energy of the workplace – but also balance it out with quiet nooks for more focused work. Catering to many business needs, collaborative styles, and personalities is easily the greatest challenge of designing this new and popular type of office space.
Flexibility is no longer an optional extra
There is a growing demand for maximum design fluidity to accommodate multiple businesses and their evolving needs. Interiors must be flexible enough to change at a moments notice – some of the ways we can mitigate such challenges are through furniture that is mobile and adaptable and the latest technology. Each office space should be equipped to serve a multitude of purposes during the business day, and looking into recently developed smart technology, such as moving walls, will provide companies with the flexibility they require. More on this in an upcoming journal article.
Designing the workplaces of the future
Co-working spaces are synonymous with exciting design, and inviting aesthetics and ambience are now staples in the contemporary designer’s toolkit. Such a forward-thinking work trend must be paired with an equally innovative interior design to foster the intended environment of creativity, ideation, and community.
Consult the experts at Merit Interiors for advice on interior design that will attract the right businesses and provide the foundation for a thriving community within your multi-faceted coworking space.