On Workplace Design: “Won’t this clash with our decor?”

coworking workplace design

Sometimes you dread going to work. This can be attributed to a variety of factors: an unsympathetic boss, disgruntled co-workers, a state-of-the-art coffee machine but no chai. Or the decor is not to your liking. The last part sounds like a complaint from a Literature Professor who insists that the dead leaves in the garden in the novel have a deeper meaning that the author intended — disregarding that the gardener was lazy. However, Workplace Design is trending.

Designing an office is now a priority for many companies. A study from Harvard Business Review looks into how the design of an office can create a “more effective organization.”

Companies are now becoming more employee-focused and the happiness of the employees are attributed to the atmosphere and environment in which they work.

Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces are also becoming mainstream and they use workplace design to accommodate their clients. These spaces offer many advantages for entrepreneurs, remote workers, and freelancers.

With remote work becoming more prevalent, many coworking spaces are being set up. To recreate the sense of being in an office, these venues are for workers to work from their laptops in an exciting environment.

Many co-working spaces also offer private offices for groups to reserve — these rooms can also be for meetings and conferences.

These spaces are increasing in popularity, but of course, there are differing views on their effectiveness.

Harvard Business Review finds that coworking spaces tend to attract freelancers, who find their work to be meaningful. There were three points found in the study that caught my eye:

  • Coworking spaces foster a culture of helping one another
  • The politics of the workplace are not something freelancers/remote workers have to worry about
  • Autonomy: workers have flexible hours and the hours of the coworking space accommodate their schedules

The best coworking spaces have a combination of excellent hospitality, meeting rooms and quiet areas for serious work. Industrious is one space that leads in the coworking area.

Now for the opposing view:

Of course, many choose coworking spaces to escape the loneliness of being trapped in their homes, and to enhance productivity in a less “homey” environment. But what are the possible disadvantages of coworking spaces?

  • The distractions are an issue when you need to work in teams or have a conference call with a client, coworker, employer etc.
  • Many coworking spaces charge to simply use their services. Booking rooms and more premium features can be costly — at least in the U.S.
  • While some coworking spaces have flexible hours (as stated above), some follow the standard 9-5 which may not work for all clients.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried any coworking spaces?

Reducing Stress

Studies have also shown how Workplace Design can reduce stress and allow workers to thrive — increasing productivity and creativity.

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