Co-working spaces are all the rage nowadays. Whether you are a digital entrepreneur, a skilled programmer, designer, or marketing expert, most co-working spaces will benefit your business and professional status.
You can meet with hundreds of different people, all talented within their own field of work, and through collaboration, improve your work ethic significantly, as well as mutually support each other in order to achieve several lasting improvements.
But one co-working space can differ from another by a huge margin. So how do you pick the best one in your area, or go about creating it yourself?
Let’s explore the principles of creating an attractive and hip co-working office, which lures dozens of professionals each day to come and work together.
Co-working office – find your community first
Before actually creating the co-working space, focus on building a strong and well-connected community. Remember that co-working environments are new to a lot of people, and while demand is certainly rising, you’ll still need to do a lot of marketing beforehand.
Therefore, consider building a strong community even before you open the doors for your new co-working space.
Make it so that people already know one another, and communicate openly. You can set up a Facebook group, or have a blog where your audience is communicating frequently.
Before you officially open the doors, create some buzz, and make a pre-launch campaign.
The location is rather important
While the spaciousness of the co-working office is one of the crucial criteria, you must also consider the location as well. Lot of professionals are tightly attached to urban environments, so your office must be near a crowded and dynamic neighborhood too.
If you need to sacrifice something by making a compromise, make sure to place location at the height of your priority list. Know this – even smaller co-working offices function smoothly, by being positioned downtown or near a popular landmark.
Consider bus lines coming in and out of your area, as well as bike lanes (young people remember?), coffee shops, and food stands.
Utilities are the skeleton of your office
While hip furniture looks fine and swell, wait and see what happens when internet connection is slow or interrupted, or when air conditioning becomes unreliable.
People come there to work, so having all of your utilities in check is of utmost importance.
Fast-speed internet, lots of electrical sockets on each side of the room, fans to circulate the air, or central air-conditioning to keep the temperature constant and predictable… Then comes furniture, along with all of the fancy decoration…
Additionally, you’d want to take care of other digital utilities, such as a printer, scanner, and various digital tools. Some founders love to utilize projectors for presentations, cameras and tripods… make sure you have as much of these as your budget allows. It will definitely separate you from the rest.
Adding a food stand into the mix can help too.
Think about the atmosphere
Leaving a naked brick wall can definitely change the atmosphere of the entire office. So can a vast network of tubes floating between the high ceiling and office space. Modern co-working environments often look industrial and retro. You’d like to think in lines with a New York newspaper office, or a paper printing factory in France.
On the other side of the fence, you can also divorce from the traditional and fully embrace the modern and contemporary.
Consider this – glass compartments are a great way of making the space visually extended, while still keeping a sense of privacy and organizational comfort. They look hip and elegant as well.
Whatever the message you want to get across, think about it before actually decorating the co-working office with furniture and whatnot.
Bring in the furniture
While every old timer would go for a number of high quality functional desks, a young audience will demand something different altogether.
Bean bags are your safest bet, but don’t overdo this by buying too many of them. Two or three are just about enough, depending on your space.
While there must be several traditional office desks, you should think about standing desks as well, plus, a larger table with benches on each side. Though while benches look hip and modern, and cultivate a sense of community, they are not flexible enough and therefore can lead to a number of frustrations.
Soft and comfortable chairs are a must, and you can also choose some that look contemporary and modern, placing them around the office. And while many co-working office owners compromise on comfort in order to emphasize design, it is generally a bad idea.
Décor is essential for each co-working office
Even if you are on a budget, decoration shouldn’t be much of a problem. Place several hip rugs here and there, and find a good printing shop for a dozen or so motivational posters.
The goal is to keep décor minimal, while at the same time emphasizing it.
Besides, you won’t be happy to realize that extra items usually mean extra expenses on cleaning and maintenance.
Have maintenance in mind
An easy to clean floor can make all the difference between a messy and tidy workplace. So have this in mind before you even think about the furniture.
Dedicate a special area for hanging coats and umbrellas, right next to the entrance, because rainy seasons can ruin the look of your interior as well.
Buying air fresheners with a timer, or sensor, can greatly improve the space, by making sure it smells lovely regardless of the season, or number of people working inside at once.
Think about everything upfront
The number of people your co-working office is designed for, utilities, maintenance, location, furniture, atmosphere…
You should even consider the idea of people bringing in their pets or small children. Develop suitable policies for each scenario, and be prepared.
Having in mind how the co-working office space is generally used for collaboration and meetups of various type, make sure to organize events every once in a while, keeping your members engaged with the community, as well as welcoming others into the group.