Coworking Space Design Ideas (2019) – With Images & Extra Tips

How to Design a Coworking Space - A Complete Guide.

‘Wow!’ can be the first reaction of every visitor, if you get the coworking space design right. Location and price tags are the sole deciding factors for such spaces to sell – is a myth! Whereas, actually, it’s the design that can make or break the space. Moreover, coworking space designs similar to a traditional 9 to 5 office, melt away all the coworking zeal. What coworkers really look for is a flexible workspace that inspires them to be back at work every next day. And for spaces that spark creativity, are dynamic and full of motivational vibes. So the onus is on you to use this powerful tool to attract more creatives towards your space.

But first, what are the latest trends to consider for coworking space designs? We’ll help you with that! Sound architecture, perfect lighting and fresh air to breathe are the minimum essentials of a productive workspace. While the statement is true, solely depending on it is a passe. Because aesthetic and pleasant spaces encourage people to make it their professional abode. And this guide will help you design just that.

So, ready to create an instant attraction? Here you go!

But First – Make a Budget!

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Because you need bucks in your pocket to buy the coworking space design stuff. Depending on the size, location, potential coworkers, et cetera, of your space, sketch out a sum that you deem fit. To start with, take a good stock of what you already have and leverage it to the full. Then consider how much you are willing to and capable of spending on the remainder.

For example, if you have extra wide stairs, add budget to install seating on them. Or if you have great exterior views, prefer glass walls over concrete ones. Just like in the image above featuring CoworkInn, Dahab, Egypt, the owners have made excellent use of the seaside location.

Tips:

  • For chalking out an optimal budget, first, study the layout plan of your coworking space design. Then go over what is to be placed where along with their probable prices. As at this stage, you have more flexibility to tinker around with the designs.
  • Coworking space designs can also be executed in stages if it fits your budgeting needs.
  • If tight on budget, explore online stores, local bazaars, thrift shops, auctions, etc. Or ask local makers to replicate haute couture furniture and interiors. Sometimes those hidden talents do a marvelous job.

Aspire to be Inspired

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Beach, Cafe, train-station or your neighbor’s living room, take inspiration from just anything that has the potential to steal hearts. For instance, Warszawski Ul in Warsaw is designed straight out of the famous American period drama, ‘Mad Men’. While the Porter in Sydney has its coworking space designs themed on working in luxury. Another great inspiration though could be 9 3/4 in Medellin, Colombia, a bookstore cum cafe with cozy hexagonal nooks. While the coworking space design of US-based Brooklyn Boulders makes it a paradise for adventure seekers.

Tips:

  • Gauge the preferences and desires of your potential members. Question yourself – What will attract them the most, chic office space or rustic decor? Or perhaps, something entirely different!
  • There are two best ways to explore coworking space design ideas. One is by traveling thyself, another is the internet (especially on Pinterest, Flickr, etc). Go for it!

Beware! While choosing coworking space designs, don’t overindulge. Especially, to the extent that you choose a theme or inspiration that doesn’t meet your budget. Some themes will always be lesser expensive to install than others. And yes, you have to think it out in advance and that will make all the difference!

Attach Flexibility Quotient

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Most members at coworking crave for workspaces that are flexible and thus easy to scale. And for that, you firstly need to focus on the layout of the floor plan. Plan your coworking space design layout well in advance. If you have a small space, go for an open plan. And if you have a large area, you can experiment with different sized offices and meeting spaces. Secondly, to keep your space flexible you must choose retractable walls over those set in brick and mortar. So if a member needs a bigger office, all you have to do is push a few walls. Thirdly, foldable or stackable furniture will also be of help. Which will help you to easily store extra furniture, and also use the open space for events when needed.

Tips:

  • Not everyone will like an open plan space, and not all will need closed spaces. So depending on the area, chalk out both in the coworking space designs.
  • Though, another important space needed will be to store the extra furniture. Don’t miss on that.
  • Flexibility is good, but if not executed thoughtfully, might clutter your space. So don’t compromise with the comfort and spaciousness while trying to fit all. You need to be adaptable and yet within the right limits.

A Grandeur Entrance

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First impressions count! And to make one of your own, a gorgeous reception or lobby, to welcome members and guests will work wonders. Plus, this ought to be one of the best spots in your entire space. Artistic backdrops, live plants, well lit, sumptuous front desk, are some of the mandatory checkboxes to be ticked. Create it as a summary of the coworking space design you have incorporated in the interiors. Keep its outlook spacious, clean, crisp and chic, and try to add the curiosity factor. And if you make this space spill off elegance, be sure of going houseful within weeks.

Tips:

  • You can be as innovative as possible with this space.
  • Lay extra focus on fancy lighting in this area.
  • Plush and designer couches or chairs will be the most graceful seating options here.

Light it Up!

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Well-lit coworking spaces are eye pleasing. Yes, literally! As per the latest trends, color tuning, IoT enabled controls, LEDs and hanging lights are the new ins. You can choose from a wide range of options from exquisite chandeliers, ceiling mounted or hanging lights, wall sconces, etc. While task lighting, table lamps, track lights are other aesthetic lighting alternatives. But while choosing any of these, bear in mind the concept of human-centric design. Ensure that while working members don’t face issues like eye-straining screen glares, reflections, and shadows. This coworking space design aspect affects the retention of members in your space.

Moreover, many professionals prefer working under daylight, for its immense health benefits. And if you leverage on sunlight during the day, woohoo! That’s a great plus, as you will also save on electricity bills. So make way for large windows, glass walls, skylights, etc, in your space and see the magic happen. While the Hivery in San Francisco, the Wing in Chicago, Dextrus Mumbai, are some of the beautifully lighted spaces.

Tips:

  • Account for the maintenance factor as well. Things need repair every now and then. So consider the replaceability, guarantee, warranty, costs and time involved, etc, while making the lighting purchases.
  • Keep it subtle! And if possible, fit a lighting control system to render your space an energy efficient coworking space design. Energy efficiency saves more in the long run.

The Walls, Behold!

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Textured, papered, or covered with art pieces, plants, and motivational quotes – a gracefully done wall decor is a people magnet. And though only an independent blog can do better justice to the topic, we’ll give you some quick tips here. Firstly, for your coworking space designs, work on the accent walls and make them stand out. For painted walls, pastel shades are in the trend as they add brightness to workspaces. While you can always match or top it up with vibrant wall stickers, wall decor pieces, etc, to add color. Our special favorite coworking space design is a wall with a motivational quote, just like in the picture above.  

Tips:

  • Full wall stickers and wallpapers are the latest eye-catching trend for workspace walls. A large world map on a meeting room wall will boost the inhabitant’s sense of purpose.
  • Exposed brick walls in workplaces is another coworking space design trend that is winning hearts, the world over.
  • Live wall plants, by the way of creepers or potted plants, are a freshening addition to any coworking space designs.
  • Furthermore, since it’s the space where people plan and strategize tasks, walls with full black or whiteboards are added convenience.
  • For partition walls, as in case of separate office spaces, prefer glass walls, and use glass films for privacy seekers.
  • Plus, acoustic (sound proof) walls are another necessity, as noise distraction is uncalled for while at work

Add Seating Diversity

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Yet, maximize on space! Furniture and its placement play an active role in making a visual impact. People prefer comfortable seats, along with the freedom to change postures every now and then. And probably that’s one reason many prefer working from home. And thus to bring them into your shared space, you have to make them feel at home. Your coworking space design must incorporate a variety of seating options. In fact, different tasks need different furniture. Buy ergonomic chairs and desks, in addition to couches, bar stools, and bar chairs. While treadmill desks and standing desks have many health benefits.

Then place them in such a manner that you don’t cram too many people in one area. More space to breathe means more space for ideas to galore, and that’s what most members seek. Also, add variety into seating sections, like an open plan area for floaters, enclosed meeting spaces, chill out zones, etc. Plus, formal/ informal meeting rooms, phone booths for private calls, different sized office spaces, etc, give users multiple choices.

Tips:

  • Consider adding a few indoor swings, hammocks, swing chairs, recliners, etc, to keep work environment stress free. People of all ages are going to love them!
  • Refurbished antique furniture will add class to your coworking space design.
  • Get a space planning expert for master ideas on optimal use of spaces.
  • Don’t forget about workspace storage requirements while buying furniture.

The Bon Appetit Spot

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‘Say Cheeze!’ must be the vibe of your coworking kitchen. Kitchen is more of a cozy spot in most coworking spaces, where members get the opportunity to mingle with coworkers. Therefore more and more of coworking space designs are incorporating open plan kitchens to catch the best of social vibes. And if you have enough space, add a dining area or a few couches here for people to sit around. Additionally, a few bar stools will add variety to it.

Moreover, minimalism must be a preference and hence plenty of cabinet storage is a must. Also, you must buy appliances that make minimum noise, keep it clean, spacious and well lit. (Natural lighting is important here!) You must also go for metallic or granite countertops, as they are easy to maintain. The use of whites or pastel shades on walls, besides natural wood, will enliven up this spot.

Tips:

  • If you are short on space, try placing the kitchen in some dead corner of your coworking area, but its a must.
  • Whatever you accessorize the kitchen with, make sure its a comfortable space, where people feel inspired to talk and network.

Professional Meeting Spaces

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Floor space, privacy, and degree of formality – are the three basic designing facets to be incorporated in a meeting space. Starting with space, add a variety of sizes in meeting spaces in the coworking space designs. For instance, meeting rooms for two, ten or twenty. With respect to privacy, you can have smaller meeting spaces with partial enclosures, while bigger ones must be acoustic. The formalness of the meeting spaces also counts. As some will prefer a no distraction space with a long table accompanied by chairs around it. While some may cherish a lounge-like meeting space with a mini bar at their anvil. Now, it’s up to you to decide what degree of formality will suit your crowd.

Tips:

  • Don’t forget about tech equipment placements in the meeting rooms, like video conferencing devices, monitors for presentation, projectors, etc. Incorporate them in your coworking space designs.
  • Give intriguing names to the meeting space in your coworking office. For instance, you can name them after famous global cities like ‘LA’, ‘Paris’, or ‘Berlin room’. Or after some of the famous tv series characters, like ‘the Lannisters’, ‘Targaryen’, ‘Stark’, ‘Thor’, ‘Loki’, ‘Yoda’, ‘Chewbacca’, etc. Or anything else that resonates with your design theme. You know what I mean – Make it fun and amusing for members to pick a meeting room.
  • For smaller meeting spaces pod-like enclosures look more than pretty.
  • Excellent outside views from the meeting room, just like in the image above from OnePiece Work Foster City look awesome.
  • Use aesthetic wall decor for meeting spaces. If you remember, I mentioned using a world map or similar wall stickers in meeting rooms. These will make your coworking space design stand out.

Chill Out Zones

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Make room for spaces where people get to mingle, associate, exchange, and collaborate in your coworking space design. Or just have some light moments of fun and leisure. Best examples may range from a simple lounge-like area to game rooms including table tennis, pool, foosball, chess, etc. You can also add a little bar, or a cafe for members, where they’ll be free to chat with coworkers. You also have the option to include specialty areas to the likes of yoga, dance, aerobics, library, meditation rooms, etc. In fact, just an in house social club with beautiful interiors and furniture will also suffice.

Tip: Comfort has to be at the core of chill out areas. So the interior designs here must be mindful of bridging the gap between work stress and relaxation for the members.

Apply Biophilia Hypothesis

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This scientific term reflects on the fact that all humans have an inherent inclination towards nature and life in general. So just like plants, humans too strive for natural light, oxygen, and greenery to stay happy and healthy. So apart from fetching natural light into the interiors, also make a green addition to your coworking space design. Hang potted plants from ceilings, place them on the floor, or grow them on the wall. They’ll please the eye anyway. But do account for their grooming needs.

Tips:

  • Choose plants with care. Make sure they are indoor plants and not too delicate. Plus, prefer evergreen plants over seasonal ones.
  • If you have a high ceiling, an indoor miniature tree will look fab.
  • Cactus or its likes – are a big no!

Retain Local / Locational Aspects

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Bringing out the hallmarks of your locale in the coworking space design is a good idea. Though optional, if your location retains something special, bring it out in the interiors as well. Take a cue from the Surf Office in Gran Canaria, Spain, is right next to the North Atlantic ocean beaches. Serene white walls, surfboards, bicycles et al make for an aesthetic decor that resonates well with the location’s charm. While the Hubud in Bali is another great example. It’s bamboo constructed coworking space design is straight out of local culture. And not just that. One of Work Club’s Sydney locations is close to the Supreme Court. And thanks to the way they have leverages the locational aspect, you can definitely catch the law vibe in there.

Tip: Explore local markets for artifacts, toys, textile, etc and weave them into your coworking space designs.

Go Tech Smart

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Managing visitors, members, inventory, scheduling, events, payments, marketing. Whooa! Who said running a coworking space is easy? But you can make it so. Lace your coworking space design with tech smart gears like building access controls, monitors, HDMI cables, sound internet infra, etc. Especially, for the building access controls, choose a convenient option from among key cards, mobile keys, etc. Equally important is the use of a digital payment system, office management software, cybersecurity, IoT enabled light controls, etc. These will not only optimize the experiences of your staff and members but also aid the efficiency of your space.

Tips: If feasible, keep additional equipment like monitors, keyboards, etc, which members can borrow during their visit. Ticks one of the hospitality checkboxes!

Outdoor Spaces Rule

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Working from a roof terrace, covered patios, bean bag lawn, or balconies with scenic views of the city! If you have an outdoor space on the ground or anywhere on the upper floors, you have a gold mine! And you probably have no that idea how many people have it in their bucket list. Let’s help some of them achieve it, through your coworking space designs. Just place a few pieces of comfy furniture and you are good to go. Or you may add some swings, bean bags, etc to treat them as relaxing zones.

Tips:

  • In case, a spacious outdoor area is available, congrats! You got the ultimate event space. You can put it up for hire.
  • Outdoor furniture must be immune to the effects of weather conditions like rain, snow, winds, etc.
  • Consider adding a bonfire, trampolines, etc, to lighten up some tired souls.
  • Or have arrangements in place to cover them. Just in case!

Coworking Space Design with an X-Factor

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‘Your uniqueness is your magic!’ This quote by Kylie Francis stands true to your coworking space design too. Hence, the advice is to add some unique design factors that become the identity of your space. And also become a people magnet. Like in the image above, the X-factor of this coworking space design is that it sits in an abandoned Victorian-era bank. While what makes Bahnhof office unique is that it was built inside a former nuclear bunker in Stockholm. Another design example is the Port Workspaces, which has the only indoor slide in California’s Oakland city. Coworking space designs with unique factors get the benefit to stand out from the rest. So you can pick one for yourself, from the location to the architecture, to even the furniture you choose.

Tips:

  • Furniture is the best bet to add the x-factor to your coworking space designs. Pick designer furniture or one with interesting designs.
  • You can also try creating game structures like slides and jungle gyms, trampoline, etc. Not only will it be a fun activity, but this can also become a special identity of your space.

More Coworking Space Design Tips:

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  • Floors: Awestruck by the pink floor in the image above? Yes, the floors are important too. Make it glossy or matte, plain, or carpeted, ensure that it is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Niche Spaces: If designing a niche space, add design elements specific to that niche. 
  • Additional Storage: Make additional storage spaces (like lockers, mobile pedestals, etc), so that members can store their stuff. While you must also have storage options for safekeeping vacant furniture and stuff.
  • Give Attention to Detailing: Yes, that counts as well. After all, who likes half baked pancakes?
  • Pick Wisely: Hire good architects and engineers, especially those with a creative bent of mind.
  • Utilities: Utilities too are a part of a coworking space design. So proper air conditioning, Office equipment, and their placement must be considered in the designing stage.

To Conclude!

On average employee spends around 45 hours a week at work. And no one loves working from within the four dull walled offices for that long. So, getting the coworking space designs right is a must for all space providers. And in the course, we hope these tips will help!

For any queries, or if I skipped an important coworking space design aspect, feel free to comment below.

Pavneet

Pavneet has a love for all things that make life worth living. Apart from spreading smiles, travelogues and gentle people fascinate her the most. At Coworking Mag, she loves travelling to different coworking spaces and is always a keen observer of architecture and interior design. She can be reached at hello@coworkingmag.com