Furniture and decoration are very important as they help give a coworking space its character. There are as many solutions as there are spaces and each one reflects the personality and type of environment that space managers wish to create. From design pieces from big firms to do-it-yourself creations, all must ultimately aim towards a pleasant working environment for space members.
Sometimes furniture design, creation or assembly is a great excuse to get the rest of the community involved. Company like Lakdi The Furniture Co have published several, where coworkers helped assemble furniture and then ate together. You can see their DIY construction process in this excellent video.
This being said, there are some things to bear in mind when choosing furniture for a coworking space:
- Ergonomics: Workers are often sat for many hours in front of their screens, so they need a chair that promotes good posture. As a coworker, I would say that scrimping on chairs is one of the biggest furniture investment mistakes you could make.
- Modular solutions: It's a personal option, but using modular solutions is a great way to expand a space as more members join.
- Interaction: Furniture can really influence how members interact with one another and build relationships. Areas with different types of tables or chairs allow users to recognize where privacy should be respected and common areas where interaction is more normal. You can find some designs created for coworking spaces in this Deskmag article or tables designed for working environments by Clive Wilkinson, such as the “endless table”.
- During an interesting panel at the last GCUC USA held in Berkeley (San Francisco), Jerome Chang talked about different space designs, as well as needing enough light in the workspace, the advantage of situating meeting rooms around the outside of the space, bathroom location, etc. In a recent article on Everything Coworking there are some tips on this subject, and you can also find out more information in one of our past posts: “Folds and Unfolds” of Coworking No. 1 – The Rose: How a cube can become a beautiful flower.
- In addition to purely functional features, furniture materials, textures and colours really help define the space's personality. Using white or cold materials such as plastic or metal creates a neutral and minimalist environment, while colour and warm materials or wood make spaces seem more casual and intimate. The Deskmag article “Color as communication tool” shows us an excellent example of how colour can be used.
In many cases, the space managers' personalities are often reflected in the space's environment. And what about you, how do you choose furniture for your coworking space?
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