The Coworking Hybrid
Traditionally favoured by independent workers and start-ups, coworking has steadily grown over the years and is now considered a ‘must’ by many large companies and remote workers. It’s even a great way to create a new base for your company in various locations with fewer overheads while allowing you to recruit from a wider pool of candidates.
The first official coworking space opened around 2005, however this office movement is thought to have stemmed from 90s Hackerspaces. These spaces were originally created as a solution for lone workers, allowing them somewhere outside of their home to work and socialize. Historically, coworking spaces were different from serviced offices as they were created by and for the ‘creatives’ rather than the ‘suits’. In recent years, these two types of workplace have begun to blend making way for a new collection of spaces with different focuses.
Take us for example, while we have taken some elements of a serviced office, we have also taken inspiration from the coworking movement. This is partly to do with the physical aspects of the building. As a former sports court, there was a huge open space and high ceilings allowing us to add an upper floor. Rather than creating traditional, boxed in offices, we wanted to look to the new way of working and the ‘coworking values’ of collaboration, openness, community, accessibility, and sustainability.
Open plan spaces are social. They are designed to encourage communication and promote a sense of teamwork due to the diversity of its members. It becomes a place where like-minded businesses can inspire one another, network and potentially find collaborative work partners. Finding yourself sharing a space with an array of people from different backgrounds, with different interests, different businesses and different goals gives you unique opportunities that would have otherwise pass you by in a more typical office building.
“[Coworking] is a place and a style of working that combines independence and co-dependence. One that allows you to be a soloist, but still play in the orchestra. To be social when you need to and to hold you accountable for delivering the things you say as important” (Dunstan, M (2015) The Coworking Revolution: Four Secrets to Successfully Working for Yourself)
While bean bags and pool tables may be suitable for the more quirky coworking space, we have followed a more traditional aesthetic but with our own twist. We chose a calming blue colour scheme as this is said to improve efficiency and performance, and rather than removing the original glass ceiling, we restored it and added several other large windows around the space. Natural daylight has been proven to enhance productivity, health and mood. We knew also that for the work our current and future members do, our priority had to be to get the essentials right (such as connectivity, comfort, location and a focussed environment to name a few) and offer a high quality, well thought out product.