A 2020 report found that there are approximately 10.9 digital nomads in the United States. In a world that’s moving further and further away from traditional office set-ups every day, there will be a growing demand for more co-working spaces, even as we battle the pandemic. This is because there will always be digital nomads who are getting tired of working from home and might want to experience something new, especially if being home 24/7 starts to get to their productivity and level of energy and motivation.
If you dream of opening your own co-working space for your community one day, here are some design trends you need to consider, especially as we navigate a post-pandemic world.
Alfresco working space
If you live in a state that boasts good and bearable weather all-year-round, an outdoor coworking space might be a suitable option. Especially since the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the virus particles of COVID-19 spread more easily indoors instead of outdoors, those who are at risk of experiencing the disease’s severe symptoms might find more incentive in choosing your coworking space since it’s outdoors and already has good ventilation.
You can amp up your outdoor space by using bright colors and hundreds of different species of plants to create a cozy, secret garden vibe. The plants will also help in acting as natural air purifiers. Over time, you can improve on the co-working space’s landscaping by adding structures like a patio or an indoor area with glass walls to maintain the garden feel. If you design it as elegantly as you can, it might even be able to double as a special event venue.
Health and safety design features
There are no two ways about it: We live in a completely different world now, one where we need to be careful about placing our hands on high-touch surfaces and keeping a physical distance from other people. This new way of living will obviously have to carry over to co-working spaces, where strangers have to share tables with people they don’t live with. If health and safety are not prioritized, your co-working space might be a super spreader place, and that’s the last thing you want.
To provide your future customers with a safe space for them to work, here are some health and safety design tech and tools that will need to be incorporated into your co-working space:
- Visual cleanliness. This should be a priority whether there’s a pandemic or not. Visual clutter creates an atmosphere of chaos and stress, and tables with coffee stains are more likely to disgust customers now more than they did pre-COVID-19.
- Appropriate distancing. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been some debate on just how much distance is needed to mitigate the risk of infections. There are many factors at play, such as mask-wearing, the number of people, and whether the gathering is indoors or outdoors. The best thing to do in these moments is to err on the side of caution. Once you open your co-working space, be sure to follow the CDC’s guidelines for your guest capacity and distance, as well as mask-wearing. Physical distancing and wayfinding reminders will also be handy during this time, even if COVID-19 becomes endemic.
- Touch-free hardware and fixtures. We live in an everything-smart world now, and nothing has accelerated this new world more than COVID-19. This is why touch-free tech tools will be preferred, if not necessary, for communal areas like restrooms, entries, elevators, kitchen areas, and others.
- Hands-free sanitation. Living in a post-COVID-19 world means alcohol-based sanitizers are necessary everywhere we go, and co-working spaces will have this feature in every corner of every floor.
Home co-working spaces
How about start-ups that are literally starting from the founder’s living room? This is not an impossibility, as many successful companies started from their founders’ living rooms, garages, and basements.
If you have a fairly large living room or any space in your home that you think you can convert into a co-working space, many of the previously-mentioned trends still apply. The best part is that home co-working spaces are cheaper to get off the ground–all you need to do is to invest in some bigger tables and more chairs, move some things around, hire professional services to install smart home alarm systems and other smart fixtures, maybe do a paint job or two. Investing in your home is a good place to start if you want to check it out first.
Co-working spaces will still be in our future, pandemic or not. Get ahead of the curve to provide the digital nomads in your neighborhood with a good alternative to their living rooms.