5 Elements of Coworking Space Design that Change the Way We Work

5 Elements of Co working Space Design that Change the Way We Work


At its most basic level, a co-working space provides somewhere else, outside of the home, where serendipitous interactions can occur. But these interactions don’t always happen in open flexible co-working space or event space — just as many introductions and chance meetings happen in kitchens and stairwells. Designing these less-obvious elements of shared space is key to enhancing these social collisions: thoughtful design encourages utilization. For example, including branded messaging as elements of interior design invites users to pause there because they know that the space has been purposefully considered as an occupied place—not simply a thoroughfare.


The “Yin” to the shared space “Yang” is private work-space—a must-have for balancing an otherwise stimulating environment. At 25N Geneva, two open flex spaces with traditional office furniture are balanced by seating areas that include sofas and/or non-traditional surfaces and lighting that are suited for diverse work preferences. “With the two flo
ors of space, we created a variety of work zones, nooks and crannies,” explains Mara Hauser (Founder and CEO). “Depending on the project or task at hand, one can be in the mix of the buzz or tucked away for heads-down work.”


When the serendipity has worked its magic, or an idea has been ignited, coworkers need space to close the deal or execute the project. Here’s where a good-old-fashioned meeting room comes in—with a twist. We’ve established that a diverse community calls for diverse work-spaces, and the same goes for the spaces in which planned sessions occur. Successful meeting room design depends on providing a variety of options that cater to different objectives. For example, 25N’s Ideation Vault includes modular desks that allow custom configurations: perfect for workshop sessions that balance presentations with group work and collaboration. For meetings that require intimate discussions and a stellar first impression, 25N provides its conspicuous Third Street Meeting Room, which boasts eye-catching, comfortable furniture and an impressive wall of windows.


Co working spaces also owe their coworkers easy, intuitive way finding—that is, it should be easy for coworkers to move from zone to zone, private to shared space, with minimal interruption and minimal frustration. This can be as simple as clean paths through furnished areas or target lighting to highlight social spaces. And this doesn’t only apply to interiors; exterior signage and cues that funnel traffic to the entrance are crucial to efficient time management and positive first impressions on both prospective new members and, more importantly, the constant influx of clients of current members who visit a coworking space to meet.

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Co working spaces can also leverage opportunities to interrupt the “flow” of a space. Much like a rest area on an interstate, interruptions in flow don’t interfere with the overall circulation, but provide opportunities for coworkers to “pull over” and develop productive conversations with potential collaborators. For example, designers noticed that coworkers at 25N Geneva seemed to congregate around the corners of built-in counters in Geneva’s café/hub space, so 25N’s second location, Arlington Heights, includes an over-sized island with extra corners to maximize the effect.

All in all, testing the success of a space’s design is a lot like Goldilocks testing the 3 bears’ porridge: if a space is too open, it doesn’t work; if a space is too segmented, it doesn’t work. However, a flexible balance of the two? That’s juuuuuuuust right.

5 Elements of Coworking Space Design that Change the Way We Work

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