There are a few ways in which the design can fail a shared space. Even if all the other pieces for a healthy, profitable space are in place: reliable internet, great technological infrastructure, and paying clients, a poorly designed Coworking space can hurt your space by hindering it’s optimal functionality, creating a poor environment that drains productivity, as well as having a perceived lack of personality. To help you best avoid all sorts of shared space office design fails, here are a few tips for you to follow.
Functionality Design Fails to Avoid
The idea in the mind for a Coworking space is to foster community and collaboration. Within these spaces, and shared spaces in general, you must provide for three types of spaces: open areas, dedicated desk spaces, and private offices. With research and understanding of your market as well as your existing members, you can find the right ratio and density to provide for this. This balance, however, is not enough. Even if you find the right ratios you can run into several mistakes including:
“Benching” the entire open area by having long desks for everyone to share. It has been shown that it creates a feeling of blandness in the office and hurts overall productivity. Workers also tend to have issues communicating with one another given the “fishbowl” kind of atmosphere.
Not envisioning the flow of an open space. If you make the shared areas feel cramped, it can drastically impact the experience as well as employee morale. This can also create connectivity issues with the Wi-Fi access points as well as fire safety concerns in the event of an evacuation.
Not having access to hardwired internet for specific companies that need it for reliability, bandwidth, and security concerns. For more information on ensuring the best connectivity for your members please check out our ebook, Connecting Your Coworking: Cable vs. Wifi.
Studies have shown that people judge their physical environment within the first twenty seconds after using it. When it comes to Coworking and shared spaces, your members can instantly tell how you utilize the environment around you.
Some of these factors includes having a building that is good standing condition, can provide parking for members, and preferably features tenant-designed improvements. These signs help establish the idea that your space is modernized from the very foundation, has great accessibility for members, and is a place that values the input of their members. Another overlooked aspect that could lead to major design fails is in the infrastructure and layout. The space must be able to absorb sound and balance the energy, you need to have something in place for your extroverts, introverts, and spontaneous workers that won’t disturb the other workers who prefer quiet and need to focus. Regarding sound, design should be focused more on dispersing it than absorbing as the latter will tend to bottle up loud noises and create loud and intrusive echoes.
You can tell from the get-go as to whether the space inspires you or not. For instance, if we go back to the example of benching you’ll find that it adds a dullness factor that shows your space isn’t willing to be different from the others.
Your shared space should reflect your values, the culture of your members, and all things that embrace the unique philosophy and mission of your space. Studies show that failing to make that aesthetic connection with your members can lead to low morale and your members feeling less inspired.
If you show your space was curated by experts within the industry as well as respected people within a community, your space will stand out as a place that is all-evolving, and all-inclusive. Having a dull space gives off the impression that you don’t go out of your way for your clients and that they’ll be in the same place, with the same furnishings, working at your space 2-3 years from now. It’s important to show them what your space believes in and how much it values the input of your members.
Don’t just go into it looking to avoid the major Coworking office design fails. Be yourself. Show them that your space is your creation and the manifestation of a dream come true and you’ll provide your members with a space that looks like something they want to be a part of. Don’t let your design hinder the functionality of your members and, likewise, don’t let the environment dictate what you can and cannot provide for your members. Once those two steps are in place, personalize the place based on the culture of your company and your members. Once you have completed these steps, your shared space will be “too grand to fail.”
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WUN Systems is a provider of a Workspace Management Platform delivering you all the tools needed to grow a smart and connected workspace. The WUN Platform enables your technology to work intellligently together from managing leads and monthly billing to on-demand Internet and Voice services. With all the hardware, software, and essentials for building a thriving workspace, WUN’s platform helps you increase revenue, maximize productivity, and build community. WUN’s mission is to provide the blueprint for growth and efficiency in your workspace.