With COVID-19 reshaping the working norm and office requirements, alternative working options have had to be designed and adequately executed to suit the changing needs of workers around the globe. Whilst many have opted to build a home office and stick to remote working, others have had to navigate the change from a traditional office setting to a hybrid set-up. However, what about those who neither work from home nor in a traditional office? Many freelance creatives and budding entrepreneurs have discovered the wonder of co-working spaces, and the benefit that this option can have on their business (and personal) development.
What Do You Need To Consider When Designing a Co-working Space?
Co-working spaces are utilized by a wide array of people, some of which won’t be able to drive or have access to a car. In order to make a profit on a co-working space, you’ll want to ensure that it’s in a prime location with a lot of traffic. Given the cost it takes to build the infrastructure and promote the new working environment, you’ll need to make smart choices to ensure you’re making that money back.
In terms of space, there’s a reason why so many co-working facilities are built in old factory buildings – the huge floor plan and open space. When you’re designing the layout, you’ll want to bear this in mind. Co-working spaces are popular for the community they offer the clients, so ensure that the build has a mix of open-planned space and smaller, private enclosures for break-out rooms and conferences.
You’ll find people from all career paths using your co-working space, and you’ll want to ensure you have the best infrastructure in place to accommodate their needs: someone with a client-based job will likely utilize zoom or other video-chat software that requires high-speed internet, so ensure that you’re set up with the best available.
Furthermore, you’ll find many entrepreneurs building their business from scratch and maybe in possession of private client documents and information. For example, someone who is starting a tax prep business will be working with financial documentation and may need to bring sensitive material into the office or have communication with clients over the phone/zoom, so make sure you have suitable rooms that can be reserved, and perhaps add some structural features to help soundproof them, such as carpet or acoustic panels.
A co-working space will have similar needs to a traditional office but must also incorporate new and innovative ideas, so take a look at Designing the Hybrid Office: New Commercial Needs to see what other features you might need to include in your co-working space. With COVID-19 irrevocably changing the workplace setup, it’s wise to consider the adaptations needed to navigate this pandemic in the workplace and how you can utilize them to maximize the efficiency of the new office setup. Embrace the change, and plan accordingly.