A new working culture: coworking spaces
As an Office Consultant, Günter Osterhaus knows what is important when setting up coworking spaces. We ask him about the opportunities the New Work culture opens up
Günter Osterhaus has already realised a wide range of modern workspaces. So he knows precisely what is important when furnishing coworking areas.
Why do you think coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular?
Günter Osterhaus: Teams working together in what we call a coworking setup provide fertile ground for good ideas. In coworking spaces, different departments or interest groups can quickly come together to discuss certain topics whenever and however they like. These could be departments from one particular company or from several different ones. Coworking temporarily brings the know-how of various experts together in one place, leading to new discoveries. Working in this way often allows new technological developments or start-up ideas to flourish, for example.
What are the benefits of coworking spaces?
Günter Osterhaus: They’re essentially versatile office spaces equipped with state-of-the-art furnishings. Their typical open-plan layout, especially with the cutting-edge technology of the equipment, helps information to flow quickly and effectively while ensuring efficient work from any point within the space. Users have equal access to a coworking space, and it is only charged according to how they use it. The coworkers, that is the people who work there, rent the office space for a limited period. This gives coworking spaces an extra financial advantage as they are usually more affordable than traditional office spaces and there is no need to sign a long-term rental agreement.
How is such a workspace typically set out?
Günter Osterhaus: It is set out using the open-plan office concept and comprises different work areas – from desks for single users and flexible group working spaces to comfy seating areas. Bench systems like Canvaro Compact from ASSMANN are deployed for brainstorming meetings in larger groups. These are arranged in a groups of four or six. The desks are usually height-adjustable to encourage ergonomic work. Experience has also shown that stand-up meetings are often really efficient. Often there is lounge furniture where people can relax or have constructive discussions in a cosy atmosphere. What we’re talking about here is a hybrid between working and living space.
It’s important here that co-workers feel at home and that the layout of the space helps promote creativity.
Who are the main users of coworking spaces?
Günter Osterhaus: As coworking spaces can also be rented for short periods, they are perfect for start-ups, freelancers and students, but even companies can benefit if they want to encourage creative brainstorming on a particular topic.
I’ve noticed that groups often come together deliberately. It is not uncommon, however, that the users of office environments work independently from each other and meet each other by chance. In such open-plan and creative surroundings, users will automatically make new contacts. As a result, projects frequently get great inspiration from outside, or new unexpected and fruitful collaborations are created.