Coworking is a term used to describe a working arrangement in which people from different teams and companies come together to work in a single shared space. This spatial model has become a popular request for workspace design, even amongst established companies with their own space. This is in part due to the innovations and spatial culture associated with a cowork office. What are these, you may ask?
Coworking Space Distinctives
1. A cowork space centres on collaboration. What type of environment fosters the culture of collaboration? One where the walls come down. Partitioned cubicles provide privacy; but are also spatial barriers that deter easy communication. A coworking office typically consists of wide open workspaces and shared communal areas such as pantries and lounges where collaborators can have a quick hustle.
2. Blurring the boundaries between work and leisure. Leading the trend in cowork offices are companies such as Google, Airbnb and Wework. Staff pantry feel like generous cafes, with fully stocked fridges and coffee counters. The idea behind the blurring of these boundaries within the physical setting is that the space where we spend a large number of hours each week should make us happy and make us feel relaxed. Good coworking design prioritizes spaces of well-being, because happy workers are also more productive workers.
3. Allowing for different modes of work. That being said, as the design repertoire of coworking spaces grows; there has been some push back against the openness of coworking spaces, as work sometimes calls for focused attention in a quiet space free from distractions. Introverts might certainly value the silos of cubicles to the exposed nature of an open table where anyone might come along and tap your shoulder, disrupting your chain of thought. Coworking space design thus needs to cater for a full range of work modes: open tables and booths for discussions, but also private solo pods for quiet focus and calls, so that the full scope of working needs and behaviours are catered for.
A graphic study of functions that can be housed within varying widths from 30cm to 1.5m, creating hotspots for conversations or work just off the corridor.
Private call booths and a casual discussion table at The Working Capitol
Office lounge & pantry bar that easily transforms into a cocktail event at Lattice80.
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