The Fantastic Future of Coworking Spaces
Imagine this: Monday morning, you walk into the office greeted by a room full of adorable puppies (they’re all in the in-house doggy daycare, obviously). You then sit at your desk doing what you do best, consuming the unlimited fresh filter coffee on offer.
Before you know it, it’s lunchtime and you realise you’ve not had a chance to get your hair cut – no problem, just pop down to the on-site hairdresser. 4pm soon rolls around (we finish early because it’s Monday, and who needs an extra-long one of those) and you’re happily chatting away with your colleagues near the free prosecco/beer tap. Okay. This might not be the norm, but you get the gist.
Coworking is fast becoming the ideal solution for businesses. The traditional ways of working are no longer suited to the way we want to live, and coworking spaces are quickly providing the freedom and room to expand.
We can see the future of coworking spaces including a number of exciting developments, such as eco-friendly design solutions, more facilities to help with a work-life blend, and continuing design innovation to create the best workplace possible.
Have a look at our predictions below to give you a glimpse into what we believe is the future of the flexible office space.
Sustainability and eco-consciousness will be a number one priority for office providers, as research shows that the majority of workers want their workplace to improve its sustainability policy.
Serviced office providers are already taking steps to create eco-friendly buildings. The Office Group prioritised sustainability when they created the White Collar Factory, naming it a ‘workplace of the future’ because of its green credentials. The design of the building structure encourages natural heating and ventilation, while its digital connectivity allows important energy data to be collected and analysed.
Understanding the needs of the worker will be key to coworking office design in the future.
Biophilic designs, breakout areas, quiet zones and outdoor spaces are all design features that will be considered. Office providers may use heat mapping to understand which areas are most effectively used in existing buildings, and use this information in the design of new ones.
Commuter town offices
As prices rise in London and other cities across the UK, more and more people are opting to live in the commuter belt and travel into work. However, travel can take up a massive part of the day, limiting our actual working hours or cutting into our relaxation time.
A recent article suggests that we might expect to see more coworking buildings opening up in the suburbs, so that people can work remotely without having to work with all the distractions of being at home.
Mixed work/life spaces
Coworking spaces are no longer just for work, they can also act as a place to eat, socialise, exercise and even sleep. In the future, they may resemble hotels, with sections for working and sections for living.
WeWork, recently renamed The We Company, is leading the way in this particular area, with buildings that include all the facilities. Many of their buildings have bars, frequent events and a sense that it’s not just an office space, it’s a community space too.
Many restaurants and bars are also rebranding as coworking areas, and The Hoxton Hotel in Southwark recently announced that it was becoming a coworking space. This trend is only likely to continue in the future.
Related article: What is WeWork & Why is it a Game-Changer?
The main priority in coworking office design will be flexibility. People will want different options and access to the facilities that will help them.
Whether this is a dog-friendly office space, one that offers childcare, or one that stays open for longer than traditional hours, people need options to make their work collaborate with the other aspects of their life.