Co-working is the reigning norm when it comes to workspaces. An encouraging percentage of entrepreneurs, startups, independent contractors, employees, and freelancers now prefer to work from a co-working space. According to industry reports, the number of co-working spaces globally is expected to grow to almost 26,000 by 2022.
For an industry that had just 7,805 co-working spaces in 2015, that is indeed a massive improvement. According to experts, interaction with other workers has become one of the most critical aspects of the co-working trend. This is because co-working establishes a business model that brings people together.
Typical tenants of a co-working office are freelancers, entrepreneurs, and start-ups, for whom flexibility is essential. Co-working spaces allow them to work around the clock and book multiple rooms when business opportunities arise and work at a relaxed pace when working on personal projects.
Aside from flexibility, working in a co-working space helps to boost productivity and motivation. Note that when self-employed individuals work from home, they get plenty of distractions, and this affects their productivity. It also puts a setback on the day-to-day interaction with other professionals in the industry.
Note that co-working spaces are not limited to start-ups. In recent times, even bigger companies are doing away with traditional commercial property and are beginning to leverage co-working spaces. Owing to the pandemic of the last year, more and more businesses prefer flexible workspaces where they can grow or reduce the number of staff easily without having to commit to a fixed office lease for a long period.
Tips for Designing a Perfect Co-working Space Floor Plan and Layout
As a coworking space owner or manager, designing your workspace correctly is a key element of starting on the right foot. Note that you can set your space up for success if you offer a vast range of space and membership types. Nonetheless, here are tips to help you design a perfect co-working space floor plan and layout;
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1. Get Your Workspace Dimensions Right
The first step towards designing a perfect co-working space floor plan and layout is to create appropriate workspace dimensions. Have it in mind that people will always gravitate to the type of space and membership plan that gives them the room they need to work. Note that when you make available more types of space, you can attract more professionals. Here are guidelines to consider;
- Co-working station: 3-4 feet wide x 2 feet deep. The 2-foot dimension can be reduced down to 20-22 inches to leave more open space.
- Dedicated desk: 2 feet x 5 feet with locking storage. Dedicated desks most often include a small filing cabinet attached to the desk.
- Workstation: 6 feet x 6 feet: Workstations that feature locking storage and a hardwired connection. In addition, a file cabinet under the desk and maybe one cabinet overhead. They should also be able to have a phone connected.
- Offices: You can work with an 8’ x 10’ for a 1-2 person office and 10’ x 12’ for a 3-4 person office. Team rooms, for larger groups, are necessary as well.
Know Your Furniture Needs Before Shopping
It is very important to understand the furniture needs of your workspace before shopping or ordering. You have to know the dimensions you need for each type of workspace and the distribution of workstations in your co-working space. It wouldn’t be nice to buy furniture just because it looks good or just because you like the design —you want to buy furniture that suits a peculiar need and purpose.
One of the key elements of any work environment is adequate lighting. In a co-working space, it is imperative to ensure that every area has adequate lighting. A unique lamp or fixture can make all the difference between a dark work environment and a bright, productive one that excites and inspires.
Wherever possible, ensure the flow of natural light into the interior of the space or office. If you want to increase the level of light in your co-working space and are up for a larger project, you can install skylights.
These cubicles can be mounted where they are needed and adjusted to suit the need of the community and design. Freestanding cubicles can be arranged to make available larger spaces where workers can collaborate. Combining a glass freestanding partition with a more standard cubicle setup can offer workers a perfect mixture of both worlds. These cubicles can help with social distancing and also let people have their own space to work.
A Vast Range of Storage Options
Your workers might want to have storage facilities for things they don’t want to carry back and forth every day. These lockers can also be very beneficial as even your patrons might want their own lock or use one when they need it. Other options include individual workspaces that people can rent out on a monthly or weekly basis that includes private locking storage, or you can leverage an unconventional method with lockable file cabinets.
Create A Neighborhood Feel With Different Areas
There is no need to create massive spaces when you can inculcate ideas that can be very enticing to your patrons. You want people to feel like they’re in their neighborhoods. Consider creating areas with library rules and others where people can be noisier; create break areas and kitchen areas. Also remember to make spaces for your printer area, phone cubes, and mailboxes.
A Sanitization Station
In this era of a global pandemic and growing health crisis, providing hand sanitizer and disposable masks at the entrance, and in strategic places throughout the co-working space, can help people take advantage of the space while remaining as safe as possible. If you want to be innovative, you can make reusable masks or even order some with your co-working space’s logo that people can keep. Little things like this will help people feel loved and cared for.
Standalone Breakout Space
When designing your co-working space floor plan and layout, you must create a standalone breakout space that gives people a private space where they won’t be disturbed (or disturb anyone else). One of the many benefits of creating a standalone breakout space is that it can be placed anywhere it is required. Also, consider using a glass partition system, you can use straight, angled, or even curved ones.
Provide Plenty Of Outlets
When designing your floor plan, remember you have to provide access to electricity everywhere. Your members won’t stay too long if they can’t guarantee that their computers and devices will stay charged. Library-style tables make this a lot easier. The power can be run down the table, and many people in open co-working areas prefer this kind of seating.
Co-working spaces usually need well-designed open-air work areas. Whether it is just small tables and chairs or a giant shared table with benches, the concept is for members to sit in proximity with others, thus encouraging productivity and collaboration. Mixing up and networking is a crucial part of co-working culture, so make sure you design the space with that in mind.
10 Factors that Make a Good Co-working Space
A good number of factors go into making a co-working space successful. To be the best in the market, you must offer your clients a facility that considers different members and clients whilst identifying your brand. Nonetheless, here are key factors that make a good co-working space;
The most critical element of every successful co-working space is the Community. Creating a platform that enables collaboration between like-minded professionals is the foundation of every successful co-working space. Most often, the community even comes before the physical space. Establishing an innovative and vibrant co-working community is indeed the toughest aspect of making a great co-working space.
One of the key components of having a vibrant community is to create a safe environment where your clients feel they belong to something. When you walk into a co-working space and feel a positive and matured vibe, that is the community.
Spaces that are quite successful in this market understand that they are in the Real estate business too. This simply means that the quality of the space matters, as much as any other vital component of the business.
- Location: How will clients find and locate the workspace? Does it have close-by public transport access? Adequate parking spots? Are there any popular close eatery or cafe?
- Layout: What’s the design of your workspace? How do you maximize the space you have? Is there any unused space left?
- Fitting & Design: Does the space tell your story? Is it relatable and nice? Does it have adequate light? Does it suit the needs of your community?
Have it in mind that successful spaces invest a lot to ensure they are getting the best out of their real estate and location. They do this by paying attention to the planning phase of their space to ensure the viability of the location.
Most successful spaces in this market understand the importance of keeping their overhead and expenses low…
- Rent: Everything starts with negotiating good terms for the facility
- Staff: Not having excessive staff, but enough employees to keep the business successful.
- Software and Utilities: Ensuring that thus cost and expense stays low too.
- Processing Fees: You can choose to use cheaper options such as direct debit (or ACH) or pass the fees to the members via payment providers such as PlacePay.
Hospitality is a very vital component of building successful co-working spaces. Successful coworking spaces understand it, embrace it, and capitalize on it. Have it in mind that the easiest way to offer your patrons good hospitality is by having a good team.
Well-to-do spaces only hire members who understand the ethics of hospitality. You must invest in hiring nice, friendly, and smart people with a sense of empathy. Have it in mind that these workers will be the face of your space. When you walk into a co-working space and feel the connection and warmth of genuinely nice people that work in the space, it simply tells you everything you need to know about the space.
To be very successful in this market, you must have different revenue streams and a balance between risk and growth potential.
- Private space: This is, without doubt, the most reliable source of income and something you should consider in longer terms, to create more security.
- Desk memberships: Also note that these co-working memberships are a great revenue stream.
- Services and ancillary items: Amenities like storage lock, parking space, and dedicated internet can bring more revenue.
- Meeting and Event space: Short-term hires can also serve as a source of revenue.
- Virtual memberships: Another option to consider if you are looking to increase business revenue
Success will always be dictated by how efficiently you run your business with minimum involvement of staff.
- Automation: Successful spaces always try to automate as many processes as possible. Good co-working management software can certainly help automate administrative tasks like billing, meeting room bookings, membership management, and more.
- Payments & Security: Most successful businesses in this market consider charging 2 months in advance for private offices to reduce your risk.
- Maintenance: Successful co-working spaces also consider the maintenance of their facilities; building, renovating, or improving your space and ensuring durability.
Adequate funding is a necessity in this business and successful spaces tend to be good at raising funds and promoting the co-working idea to investors. A venture capitalist can be instrumental to the success of this business as it reduces the risk on the entrepreneur’s side and allows the space to be more aggressive with growth plans.
Successful spaces also know how to leverage and get the best out of their software, especially since it can help provide meaningful data that can be presented to investors.