The rise of remote and hybrid working has seen a corresponding increase in the availability and usage of coworking spaces. Coworking spaces need to be dynamic environments that offer workers many of the features of traditional offices, and then some! But not all coworking spaces are equal, and discerning workers will seek out coworking spaces that go that little bit further. Here are some of the coworking space features that elevate the coworker experience to new levels.
Productivity and Comfort Enhancements
Creating a comfortable working environment that promotes productivity is something that all coworking spaces should strive for. This is trickier than in traditional offices where workers have fixed workstations that can be customised for their ergonomic needs and preferences. But in the “hotdesk” environment of the coworking space, this is not a viable option.
However, coworking spaces can make allowances for the needs of their clients by considering a few things when designing the office. Here are some key features that coworking spaces can incorporate to achieve this:
- Ergonomic furniture and adjustable desks to accommodate individual preferences.
- Comfortable seating options such as ergonomic chairs, cozy lounge areas, or even bean bags.
- Proper ventilation and air circulation systems.
- Private meeting rooms for focused work or confidential discussions.
Additionally, other elements like relaxation areas, stocked kitchens, well-maintained and cleaned restrooms, and designated quiet zones are all excellent features that great coworking spaces provide.
Great Technology: At the Core of Great Coworking Spaces
Providing technology resources for coworkers is a critical factor. This should include obvious factors like high-speed broadband connections and plenty of power and charging points.
However, this is just the starting point, coworking spaces that want to take it up a notch should ensure a reliable and seamless digital experience: Some of the factors to include when designing IT infrastructure for coworking spaces include:
- Integration of smart technologies, such as automated access control systems or smart locks.
- Smart booking and workstation management platforms.
- Audio Visual equipment for presentations, conferences, and virtual meetings.
- Peripherals like printers, scanners, and copiers – featuring seamless connectivity.
- Onsite IT support or assistance.
- Video conferencing facilities including high-definition cameras.
It is technology that has powered the move to remote and hybrid working models. Coworking spaces need to cater to the many and varied IT needs of their clients.
The Social Aspect: Providing Community and Networking Opportunities
Coworking spaces should be more than just a replacement for a home office. One of the problems with remote working is the isolation of workers, this is despite the plethora of tools that are there to facilitate communication. The social aspect of remote working is still a definite concern.
However, this “social gap” can be bridged by coworking spaces facilitating community and networking opportunities. Here are some of the features that can help to achieve this:
- Collaboration Spaces: Good coworking spaces have spaces allocated specifically to enable easy collaboration.
- Networking events: Events like training, skill-sharing, and mentorship programs can all help to foster a community spirit.
- Member Directories: A directory of fellow members with accompanying profiles can encourage networking between individuals.
- Social Gatherings: Well, we all enjoy a good office party!
We are social animals and dealing with the social aspect of an isolated workforce is a pressing challenge that needs to be faced as we move to a remote work model. Coworking spaces can fill much of the social void that remote work has created.
Amenities and Services
Last but not least are amenities and services. There is a rule of thumb here that simply states – the more the merrier! When it comes to offering amenities and services, it is worth pushing the boat out.
This is rapidly becoming an increasingly competitive market, and amenities and services offer a cost-effective opportunity to take a coworking space up a notch.
Among the services that many good coworking spaces offer are:
- Catering: This could be a cafeteria or just kitchen facilities, or both! Some coworking spaces have stocked kitchens with complimentary tea and coffee-making facilities.
- Administrative Facilities: This can include mail and package handling services, message taking, scheduling assistance, and even helping with travel arrangements.
- Break Areas: Everyone needs a break from time to time. Providing dedicated relaxation rooms is an essential amenity for coworking spaces. These break areas provide a designated space for coworkers to unwind and recharge.
- Wellness Programs: Programs that promote the health and wellness of coworkers are fantastic initiatives that many great coworking spaces offer. This can include fitness and yoga classes, mindfulness classes, and aromatherapy sessions.
Coworking spaces that go the extra mile by offering a comprehensive range of amenities and services create an environment that is healthier, happier, and more productive.
Coworking Space Features that Raise the Bar
The era of remote work is just beginning and coworking spaces are going to play an increasingly integral part of the story. Great coworking spaces provide the services and infrastructure needed to embrace the change – Fantastic tech, community opportunities, and a range of services are all at the heart of what makes a coworking space great.
The way we work is changing and coworking spaces will play a crucial role in shaping its landscape.
Photo credits: Coworking London