There are all kinds of designs for coworking spaces. From renovated industrial mills to old churches with a row of hot-desks, designers are certainly getting creative when it comes to their designs.
In this article, we will list some prominent coworking trends and factors that go into the design of coworking spaces.
Some coworking space design factors include lighting, furniture and wallpapers. Companies like WeWork pay close attention to all these details and more.
In our list of coworking spaces in Manchester, we discovered that most of the spaces had been built to provide an open and fun atmosphere to improve engagement from tenants.
Another factor that influences the design of these spaces is the ease with which we can purchase items online. From sites like ASOS and Amazon to even food, the delivery space is only expanding.
Some coworking spaces and even traditional workplaces adopt Amazon Lockers to enable people to easily pick up their online orders.
Among the many companies that are entering the space, I think only a few strong ones will survive. Therefore, in this article, I will argue that universities are one of the few that are better positioned to take advantage of the trends in coworking spaces.
However, this will come at a cost, but it seems they are the only ones willing to make that investment.
Future of Coworking Spaces
A major factor driving the adoption of coworking spaces is undoubtedly the internet. Moreover, it seems people don’t want to feel tied down to one location if they can work from anywhere. As such, jobs that don’t require employees to be physically present will lead to rapid growth in coworking spaces.
An example of this is the technology powering this website, WordPress. The company behind it, Automattic, gives its employees a coworking stipend that they can use for a coworking space. In the video above, you see some of its employees came together and contributed to creating their own workspace on a fishing pier!
Another major driving force is the ease with which we can travel around the world using cars and planes. For instance, I attended a workshop at the University of Oxford recently and had to drive there with my brother. Because we had to check out of the Airbnb the next morning, while I was at the workshop, he went to a Starbucks. We later found out that there were numerous coworking spaces that he could have used, and potentially made some more connections for his business.
Coworking And Entrepreneurship
I constantly see new buildings being built all over West Yorkshire. The University of Huddersfield has two new major projects underway after recently completing the Ostler Building. Now imagine for a second, a world where classrooms start to look more like coworking spaces. Except they don’t come with the exorbitant fees attached. Now that would be truly revolutionary.
For instance, I’ve seen reports of North Carolina University showing that the university designed a coworking space. It was made for use over the summer when school was out of session.
One of the priorities in designing these spaces was facilitating the interactions between the students that used the space. Through an open floor plan, events were held to enable first-hand training from professionals.
Apart from the physical buildings, another reason I think universities can thrive is that they have a vast amount of academic resources. From books and journals to professors and other academics immersed in rigorous studies, they couldn’t have a better combo. I hear that some of the journals that university libraries subscribe to aren’t cheap either.
Conclusion – Coworking Space Architecture & Design Factors
Some of the factors that are driving the design of coworking spaces include basics such as access to a strong and secure internet connection. Additionally, factors like having an Amazon Locker are also quickly becoming standard even in many traditional workplaces.
As I argued in this article, the design of coworking spaces will need to go beyond the basics to attract users. Internet connections, open spaces, posters on the wall come standard virtually everywhere. I think what will really stand out are the additional services like access to physical and virtual books, journals and other academic resources that enable people to learn and grow their skills. It seems universities are well positioned to take advantage of this new trend. I constantly see new buildings being built. And I’m sure international students are not the only ones that are going to use all those buildings.
In conclusion, being a university student, whenever I need a private space to use, there is always one that is equipped with a computer enabled with a webcam for Skype calls that I can book. I’m intrigued to see how this space unfolds. However, the real question is how they will take advantage of this opportunity. Only time will tell.