June 09, 2017

As a growing number of Australians ditch employment in pursuit of entrepreneurship, the popularity of the co-working space is on the rise. Here are our top five tips to nail your next co-working fit-out and build a design freelancers and start-ups will love.

Slattery Melbourne's office is a great example of an open-plan environment with glass partitioned private space.Slattery Melbourne's office is a great example of light-filled open plan with glass partitioned meeting rooms.

1. Flexibility is Key

As a collective environment, the co-working space is designed to be a shared office that can be booked for an hour, a day, a week, a month or even longer.

Entrepreneurs and freelancers will come and go, therefore it’s imperative that any design incorporates a high level of flexibility.

Sliding doors, partitioning systems, retractable walls and easily movable furniture will all assist in customising the space to suit changing requirements.

Pro Tip: While sliding doors and retractable walls can accommodate last minute changes, for a more permanent change post installation try Criterion’s Gallium Suite, which can be installed at various stages of a project – including after plaster work completion.  

2. Cultivate Collaboration

One of the key incentives to run a start-up from a co-working space is the proximity to other entrepreneurs and the opportunity for organic brainstorming and networking.

Jessica Wilson, creator of the fashion app Stashd, met her tech cofounder at the Fishburners co-working space in Sydney. This chance meeting resulted in the launch of her app, which now has users in over 85 countries. That is the power of the co-working space.

To cultivate collaboration in a co-working space, design a layout that incorporates a variety of elements to suit an entrepreneur’s working mood on any given day.

With the clever use of partitioning systems, sliding systems and doors you can create a mix of environments from open hot-desk areas to individual cubicles, offices, meeting rooms and of course social areas.

Pro Tip: Find a niche way to cultivate collaboration in your next co-working space design. Research the market and brainstorm a unique way to encourage a social aesthetic that fits in with your brand and keeps start-ups coming back.  

3. Pockets of Privacy

If you assumed with all the socialising, collaboration and creativity going on in co-working spaces, that the humble boardroom or private office was no longer required – you would be wrong.

With start-ups looking to get ahead of the market and their competition, private meeting rooms and offices to pitch investors and have confidential discussions are crucial.

To keep the look modern, transparent and open incorporate a glass meeting room into your layout.

Pro Tip: Use Criterion’s Linium Suite to seamlessly balance open plan and private areas. Linium is a contemporary glass partition system designed to connect spaces with absolute cohesion.   

4. Climate Control

Temperature, natural light, acoustics and ergonomics all play a part in the comfort of your co-working space.

While you hope it’s the inspired colour choice and funky layout your tenants will remember, if the environmental factors aren’t on point it’ll be the draughty working space and noisy meeting rooms that remain top of mind guaranteed.

In fact, a recent study found up to 60% of employees are frustrated by the level of noise in their workplace with the average employee losing up to 86 minutes a day in unwanted distractions.

Pro Tip: Check out Criterion’s free white paper on how you can reduce acoustics in the office.  

5. Personality

Last but certainly not least, your co-working space should incorporate a high level of personality.

If this is your company’s first co-working space this is an opportunity to develop a brand and imbue that identity throughout the space.

The beauty of co-working spaces is that much of the time there’s no set business or even industry that you need to fit within, you can move completely outside the bounds and create a design that is truly revolutionary.

Pro Tip: Need a hand getting started? Contact Criterion today.


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