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What Traditional Workplaces Can Learn From Co-working Spaces

AUTHOR: Carson Design Associates - Indy   POST DATE:

Co-working spaces aren’t just a new, fleeting trend. Rather, they are a response to the growing demand for collaborative spaces that give remote employees a place to work and feel a part of a larger community.

People love co-working spaces because of the well-designed work environment and well-curated work experiences they offer. Those two things are completely attainable in a traditional office space. Giving people time and space to be authentic to themselves — as opposed to fitting all of your employees into the same box — increases productivity, engagement, commitment and overall happiness at work.

Here are a few characteristics traditional workplaces can learn from co-working spaces:


The layout of a co-working space typically includes long tables, desks in open areas, shared common areas like cafes and kitchens, conference rooms with glass windows, and a limited number of individual offices. In a co-working space, this design encourages collaboration and could result in a lawyer, engineer, marketing guru and non-profit manager sharing the same table.

While that combination would be more difficult to achieve in a traditional office space, more open environments could result in cross-collaboration between office departments or different hierarchies across the company. These moments of positive collisions often result in fascinating collaborations, big ideas, and an overall happier team environment.

More Movement

The temporary seating structure of a co-working space empowers employees to move more throughout the day. Furthermore, co-working spaces are often located within or next door to a gym, rock climbing wall or yoga studio. The pairing of work and exercise allows employees to take more meaningful breaks during the day that result in increased movement, brain function, productivity and ultimately happiness at work.

Joining a Community

It’s not surprising that people who work out of co-working spaces feel as though they are part of a community. When you are constantly making connections with new people, your work thrives and new ideas are formed. Co-working spaces often have managers who plan intentional programming for their tenants such as happy hours, self-care days with massages, info sessions from other tenants, and more. Someone at a traditional office could also be in charge of cultivating intentional community at their workplace, creating programming that promotes cross-functional meetings and learnings.

Increased Flexibility

People who work in co-working spaces are afforded total flexibility in when they chose to come to work, leave work, take breaks, work out, etc. While this may not be totally feasible in a traditional workplace, there are some learnings you can take away:

  • Offering employees flexible work hours based on their personal schedules.
  • Allowing employees to work from home when needed; or giving them the opportunity to work from home one day a week or a certain number of days per month.
  • Empowering employees to workout during the day, as opposed to before or after work hours — especially since we knowing sitting is killing us.

What Traditional Workplaces Can Learn From Co-working Spaces 1

If you’re interested in learning more about how to design an office space with benefits of a co-working space, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to hear more about your goals for your future workplace.

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