According to Statistica projections, by the end of 2024, there will be around 41,975 coworking spaces globally. In 2023, over 5.7 million individuals could become coworking space members. These figures imply that a significant transformation is in the works for the corporate office landscape, with coworking spaces taking center stage. In fact, data shared by JLL stated that coworking spaces could occupy 30% of corporate office spaces by the year 2030.
This profound shift is beyond the promise of mere physical spaces. The hype behind the trend is rooted in its potential to revolutionize how the organization offers and promotes flexible coworking environments that ensure privacy and foster a sense of community of like-minded professionals.
Coworking in an open space fosters community building, but different businesses have different needs. Some members may wish to work in a coworking space conducive to networking and collaboration, while others may prefer a quiet corner that offers privacy to work in peace. This is why, when designing a coworking office, it is imperative to create a co-working environment offering an ideal blend of community and privacy for a collaborative and productive space.
Keeping this in mind, leading flex working companies are offering different types of seating arrangements and rooms to their members to suit their needs. For instance, most coworking places now have unassigned spaces and open floor plans that foster communal settings. They also offer private offices and assigned spaces with dedicated desk space. This way coworking space companies are trying to maintain a balance between the need for privacy and community feeling for their members.
Ways to promote privacy in coworking space
Coworking spaces foster a sense of community and promote networking better than traditional office setups. However, some members may prefer a private workspace to maintain privacy for sensitive discussions or confidential work. A coworking space company provides such members with much-required privacy through these efforts and facilities -
Private meeting rooms - Private conference or meeting rooms are suitable for sensitive discussions, confidential work, or client meetings. These spaces are usually quieter and devoid of distractions, making them suitable for confidential business discussions. Similarly, a private phone booth allows members to connect with their clients in a quiet and peaceful environment.
Private cabins - Today, leading coworking companies offer private spaces with multiple cabins to allow team members to collaborate, while maintaining their privacy. Private workstations or cabins are usually set up far from the din of high foot traffic areas, allowing members to focus on their work.
Breakout zones - A breakout space helps individuals unwind between work hours and play games without causing any ruckus in the workspace. Such setups also allow members to network with fellow members without hampering others’ work. Private pods to attend personal calls also allow members to take calls frequently without distracting those working around them.
Distraction-free work zones - To overcome the bustling ambiance of shared workspace, flex working space companies should also ensure minimal distractions to provide a distraction-free work environment where members can concentrate. They can offer members noise-cancelling headphones to block external chaos and noise.
Storage and security - Coworking spaces should provide members with secure storage lockers and facilities to store their valuable equipment and documents. In addition, flex workspace companies should also prioritize the digital safety of their clients through internet and data security. Coworking spaces should protect members against cybercrimes by securing their WiFi networks and keeping all system hardware and software updated. This will help minimize the risk of cyber fraud, malware attacks, and phishing scams, giving clients the confidence to plug into the shared network without worry.
Ways to build a sense of community
Co-working spaces offer a unique blend of networking and collaboration opportunities by bringing established companies and professionals from different sectors under a roof. Typically, coworking spaces facilitate the free flow of communication for promoting collaborations in these ways -
Organize events - To build community co-working space companies organize multiple corporate and social events. In special corporate events, these companies often invite external guests to conduct insightful sessions and discuss topics on the latest business trends and technology that interest members.
Celebrate special occasions - Flex workspaces also help clients organize employee birthdays, work anniversaries, and community celebrations to boost their client’s employee morale and engagement. Coworking space companies organize frequent games and competitions to help members break the monotony and increase productivity. Some coworking spaces even have designated gaming zones to help members unwind from work stress and form new friendships.
Cafeteria- Leading coworking spaces come with cafeterias, which allows them to grab a quick bite and share meals and ideas with like-minded professionals. Conversations in a less formal setup often boost a sense of community and foster a sense of belonging.
In these ways, coworking spaces create a vibrant community that promotes networking and effective collaboration. However, they should implement strategies to counter noise, minimize distractions, and resolve privacy concerns to boost productivity. On the other hand, members need to know when to set boundaries so that excessive socializing or unwarranted interruptions do not hamper their productivity. They should learn to establish clear boundaries to minimize distractions.