Future of coworking spaces

Despite the epic fall-from-grace experienced by WeWork in the UK, London is leading in the coworking boom (according to UKTN). The latest data from CoworkingResources shows 48 new coworking workspaces have opened in London since the beginning of 2019, more than New York (32) and Berlin (17).  

There’s also the increase of coworking spaces emerging in the outskirts of major cities which are a contributing factor of the ‘flex economy’. They are anticipated to create more than £12 billion to local economies in the next decade (source: Workplace Insight) which is pretty significant. 

Beautiful Soho Works (Image copyright: Soho House www.sohoworks.com)

For the past few years, IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) delivers a well attended Freelance Awards ceremony. One of the award categories is Coworking Space of the Year – so it’s clear to see there is still plenty of demand and supply of flexible office space.  

The choice of furniture for a coworking space is crucial. The furniture must offer flexibility so that it can be used properly by all occupants and offer practical, reconfigurable layouts for the coworking business. It should be easy to adapt the workstation for each client. We tend to recommend our SitStand desk ranges to give immediate height adjustment from sitting to standing height which can accommodate all users. 

Richard Thomson, MD of Solutions 4 Office

He continues; “style is also an important aspect to keep existing clients and attract new customers, especially the younger entrepreneurial businesses that are a large target market for coworking enterprises. Considerate design, colours and modern space plan layouts with integration of biophilic elements; all help to demonstrate a healthy workplace created to encourage productivity.”

We also recommend the creation of private working acoustic pods or focus hubs throughout the coworking floorplate. These pods offer the ability for coworkers to move to a private environment for those sensitive calls or meetings. Our Acoustic Pods solve the biggest obstacle to coworking – privacy. Some should be bookable and others left for flexible ad hoc private working but sensibly rationed to keep the essence of community use.

Richard Thomson, MD of Solutions 4 Office
From the Cambridge Science Park website - Bradfield Centre

Pictured above: Mantle co-working space at the Bradfield Centre which was until December 2019 operated by Central Working. (Photo: Cambridge Science Park) 

The very collaborative nature of coworking spaces makes them attractive to entrepreneurial businesses such as technology startups.  Manchester for example used to be the creative capital and London was always coined as the tech hub but coworking spaces have dispersed sector specialisms across the UK. Flexible rental agreements/memberships that coworking spaces often allow means they can accommodate a variety of businesses which is a big tick for the local and national economy. 

As office space planners and experts in all things relating to office furniture, here are our most popular products which suit coworking spaces:

  1. Acoustic pods
    Some coworking spaces will have telephone pods or ‘Skype booths’ but acoustic pods provide a cost-effective solution for spaces which require increased privacy for coworkers. 
  2. Ergonomic chairs 
    Ensuring that the users of coworking spaces have suitable seating for their needs is an important aspect. The chairs should provide good support and be fully adjustable. Don’t sacrifice design for comfort and support.
  3. Soft seating
    No coworking space is complete without the addition of trendy upholstered soft seating. From line…These seating elements offer the option to get away from the desk and chill in a break-out environment for relaxation or informal meetings. A lot of good business ideas spring from informal chats
  4. SitStand Desks
    It’s a modern approach in the UK but SitStand is ubiquitous in Scandinavia. It is proven that alternating between sitting and standing is good for your health and improves productivity. Offering electric SitStand desks can give a strong efficiency and wellbeing advantage to any coworking environment.
  5. Biophilic Integration
    Introduce nature into the workspaces as part of the design. Psychiatrists have long known the benefits of nature on mental wellbeing and designers of workspaces have been slow to adopt the integration of nature into space planning. A bland coworking space can be transformed with the addition of strategic plants and living walls.

We aim to provide bespoke quotations for the above products – get in touch with us to start the conversation about your office space improvements.

So, as long as the cost of a city square metre doesn’t sky-rocket, we believe the future of coworking spaces looks pretty bright!

Not sure where to start?

Our team of experts are ready to help you find the best solutions for your office.