Coworking Space Furniture Dos and Don’ts
No one misses the days when one must choose between working at home and working at a corporate office which is why businesses are designing offices with coworking space furniture. You can realize a perfect balance working at a coworking space with coworking space furniture. There were more than 21k coworking spaces worldwide at the end of 2019, with this number projected to grow by 43% by 2022. With the abundance of growth opportunities, many organizations have opened their own coworking enterprises from small shared spaces to large.
Entrepreneurs looking to profit on the space between office rentals and monthly memberships will need to devote a little more effort and money into the collaborative workplace design if they intend to stay competitive and have the upper hand over the competition. But, what features should a coworking office have, and how can younger coworking brands avoid the typical design pitfalls that could cost thousands over the long term?
Multiple components can help or hinder a coworking space’s climb to the top industry tiers. For the sake of keeping this at article length instead of a book, we’ll focus on furniture and interior design. Here are but a few of the most important aspects to bear in mind when selecting furniture and planning the workplace look.
Know your furniture needs before you even start shopping.
Don’t start shopping for your workspace furniture before knowing what you need.
Have the dimensions you need for each area of the coworking space and the distribution of the various workstations. Don’t buy furniture just because you like the way it looks—you should purchase furniture that fulfills a specific need and purpose for your space — but also looks good.
Style does matter.
Don’t underestimate to value of beauty.
Solopreneurs and freelancers value office aesthetics more so than previous generations and desire to feel at ease and at home when working. A coworking space eager to attract members should boast sophisticated coworking space furniture, live indoor plants, and inspiring modern graphics like Banksy canvas prints.
Include a variety of furniture.
Don’t fall into the “one size fits all” trap.
Having a variety of workspaces, device usage, and postures create the demand for a diverse furniture portfolio. Be sure to include soft seating, focus booths, tech-integrated furniture for power access, task chairs, modular furniture which you can reconfigure with little effort, bench desking, and furniture for Conference and meeting rooms.
Choose your chairs.
Don’t think that just because it’s comfortable for you that everyone else feels the same.
The furniture choices in your coworking space should revolve around your target audience. Furniture is an essential part of the coworking experience. While you can decide on desks, sofas, kitchen appliances, lighting, etc. don’t overlook the most critical piece of furniture for your members, “their chair.” Workers spend much time sitting and an uncomfortable chair can spoil the entire working experience.
When shopping for chairs, select the seating that is functional, fun, and fit within the space. If you’re on a smaller budget, you may find it tempting to purchase stylish yet cheap seating which may be uncomfortable for the workers. When prioritizing comfort, you may find very comfortable chairs; however, they don’t match your office style. To solve this conundrum, allow workers to either bring in their own chairs or choose from the ones available. If they choose to bring their own chairs, complement their efforts by working with furniture suppliers to offer them special discounts like dropping the rental price to offset their efforts and by providing cushions around the office to make them more comfortable and cozy. BYOC (bring your own chair) brings direct savings without compromising on the most critical factor, the user’s comfort. Otherwise, set an appropriate budget for them to choose their own.
Ergonomic furniture is now the standard in both classic offices and coworking environments. It promotes productivity, comfort, and well-being, especially with overtime hours. Sit-stand desks and adjustable-height seating with memory foam padding, are a must-have for a coworking location trying to achieve peak profits fast.
Keep Your Space Flexible
Don’t plan that your needs will stay the same.
The number of workers in your coworking space will fluctuate over time. As that happens, needs will also change. Upgrading your space for new demands and feedback can begin to burn a hole in your pocket. To avoid this, design a flexible space where you can adjust to different requirements from the beginning. Here are a few ways in which you can design a flexible space:
- Retractable walls: Change bigger meeting rooms into smaller areas with retractable walls. You can remove walls for bigger events and allow workers to book the smaller rooms on other days.
- Adjustable height standing desks: Use adjustable height standing desks that allow you to adjust the height to work while standing without changing your location. Standing desks encourage the participants to be more active which promotes good health for your workers.
- Privacy desk panels: Workers sometimes need additional privacy from others or may not enjoy the open space concept. Allow them to use privacy desk panels at their work desk when desired.
- Phone booths: Coworking spaces are great for encouraging social interactions, but sometimes professionals require privacy when connecting with clients or accepting calls. Create noise-isolating phone booths for members to make private calls or connect on video calls without external disruption.
- Movable accessories: Add accessories like plants, small reading lamps, and paintings that can be easily changed out whenever you want to create a fresh feel in the workplace.
Inspire with Your Interiors
Don’t be boring.
For small coworking spaces, you must make the best use of available space with particular attention to your interior design and lighting. Here are a few ideas you can use to inspire with your indoor spaces:
- Multiple color schemes: Use multiple schemes for color around the different areas of your coworking space to ensure you have something for everyone.
- Various seating options: Experiment with different seating options, like a bed to lie down and work, a comfy sofa to sit with colleagues for discussions, larger round tables for team discussions, spaces around the staircase area for individual seating, and so on.
- Be sure to have sufficient light: While creating the coworking space, be sure you allow ample natural light to fill the room during the day. However, be mindful of the direction of the sun, you don’t want the workers to suffer from the heat during the summers.
Here is a quick list of “must-haves.”
No two spaces are the same, but the majority of coworking spaces have similar needs. Here are some of the “must-have” furniture pieces that you’ll need to provide:
- Modular tables and desks
- Various seating options, including standing desks
- Lamps and other types of lighting
- Soundproof barriers and space dividers
- armchairs and Sofas for a lounge space
- Plants, art, and accessories
- Kitchen appliances and furniture
Regardless of your clientele, you must take care to choose furniture and facilities that will make your space both welcoming and efficient. No matter the group of professionals you target, your coworking space design, and the furniture you choose help define the personality of the space and will be one of the deciding factors that attract your ideal clientele. Style and comfort most definitely matter when it comes to coworking.
President/CEO at Collaborative Office Interiors
Collaborative Office Interiors is a complete office furniture and systems provider in the Houston, Austin and San Antonio area. COI specializes in providing high quality/low-cost solutions to companies that are moving, upgrading or expanding.
John opened ROSI Office Systems in 1993 and the company today is on Inc. Magazines’ Top 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in 2018. John specializes in new office furniture, space planning, new workstations, Work Fit products, remanufactured Haworth cubicles, asset management, furniture liquidation, and office furniture rentals.