The rise of co-working has completely revolutionised the way millions of people work every day. In the early days, co-working was primarily aimed at start-ups as a cheaper alternative to renting in a traditional office building, and they started off as a basic offering with rather basic spaces.

Paul Dare

Head of Design

16th May 2019

3 minutes read time

The rise of co-working

However, as competition has increased over the last five years, there’s been a steady change in how co-working looks, feels and behaves. It’s this evolved definition of co-working which has affected traditional office design as we know it. In some ways, co-working has re-defined millennial's expectations of the style and facilities that they expect in an office space. Communal areas? Trendy cafe space? Free beer? The list goes on...

Encouraging social behaviours

Traditional single-occupier offices now want designs focused on collaboration, social interaction, and flexibility. Co-working spaces have typically been more relaxed, homely and open with high ceilings and less 'barriers' between occupiers. Comfy-style drop ins and lounges, loads of natural light and clear sightlines are all typical design traits of co-working offices. We’ve found today’s modern offices want to incorporate these elements to encourage social behaviours associated with co-working. This style of space is increasingly being incorporated into traditional offices, with more communal spaces and larger shared breakout spaces taking up a larger footprint than ever before. Some offices have even fully embraced the 'co-working' model, with an emphasis on open plan and casual working - just take Anomaly for example, where 75% of space is dedicated to activity-based working. It's all about finding a space that suits your current task at hand.

Although as always, design should be approached with caution. Designers need to give each organisation an in-depth evaluation of their specific needs. We must create environments specifically designed to meet the needs of individual businesses, not just carbon copies of other successful spaces.