The number of coworking spaces worldwide is expected to reach 41,975 in 2024.

But the question remains: Can a different coworking space layout really improve the productivity of your office?

In this article, we explain why the layout of a coworking space is so vital to the success of your business. We’ll also provide you with all the information you need to get started designing the perfect coworking floor plan layout.

Ready to dive in?


Quick Summary:

  • A coworking space’s layout is integral to its success.
  • It’s essential to understand how the space can be best proportioned for functionality, collaboration, and optimal employee productivity.
  • Your coworking space should include open spaces, meeting spaces, private offices, restrooms, amenities, and relaxation/ fitness hubs to support and inspire your members.

Why is the Layout of a Coworking Space Important?

Coworking spaces offer flexibility and productivity-inspiring settings for independent workers and teams. One of their most important benefits is how they support work-life balance by fostering a shared sense of community.

importance of a good layout

Here are three reasons why the layout of a coworking space is so important:

  1. It impacts collaboration and interactions between coworkers: A well-laid-out coworking space facilitates meaningful interactions, leading to the exchange of groundbreaking ideas, better knowledge sharing, and impactful partnerships.
  2. It affects employees’ productivity and comfort: Carefully curated spaces that support employees’ needs for comfort and concentration can make all the difference in their work performance. For example, consider how acoustics and natural vs. artificial light impact concentration.
  3. It allows for versatility and adaptability in employees’ schedules: Creating different areas around the office, such as “work zones,” “focus areas,” “quiet pods,” and “collaborative zones,” encourage optimal productivity.

The layout of your coworking space should help bring workers together, not keep them in isolation.

What Should a Coworking Space Consist of?

Designing a well-equipped coworking space means accommodating comfort and practicality. In other words, not only should it look and feel beautiful, but it should also make your employees’ working lives as comfortable and productive as possible.

10 Must-Have Coworking Space Features

Although you have total creative freedom over the design and layout of your coworking space, specific features are particularly important.

These include:

  1. High-speed internet
  2. Open seating
  3. Dedicated desk stations
  4. Private offices with doors that close
  5. Collaborative zones
  6. Colorful artwork and plenty of plants
  7. Kitchen facilities
  8. Relaxation spaces complete with meditation rooms and/or fitness areas
  9. Printing and whiteboard equipment
  10. Meeting rooms with video conferencing equipment

All the best coworking spaces feature these inclusions and are reaping the benefits.

Image via Common Desk.

For example, Common Desk is an upscale “garage warehouse,” complete with zone rooms and shared desks. This distinctive quality helps it stand out from the competition while still catering to its workers’ basic needs.

What Features Do Workers Look for in Coworking Spaces?

In 2024, freelancers, remote workers, entrepreneurs, and employees all look for one common feature in a coworking space: value for money.

With the increasing availability of coworking spaces, offering more than just a high-speed internet connection and a desk is crucial. Instead, think about providing a space that fosters a sense of community and exciting bonuses. For instance, consider the following:

  • Unique inclusions: Employees seek spaces that offer everything they need. Hybrid workers, in particular, who may need an extra push to get out the door, need a space that will offer them something that their at-home office doesn’t. For example, include a screening room or a video conferencing area where employees can host hybrid meetings to impress potential clients.
  • Eco-friendly facilities: 80% of workers want an eco-friendly coworking space. One way you can make this happen in your office is to monitor how much plastic you bring into it. Additionally, try to opt for paper straws and reusable cutlery in the kitchen and employ a “no paper, electronics only” policy.
  • Niche spaces: While some coworking offices try to be a one-stop shop for all remote and hybrid workers, a recent study has found that employees seek specialization in coworking spaces. For example, an art director and copywriter working in advertising may be more inclined to use a space targeted at creatives instead of a traditional office environment. The rise of niche coworking spaces is something that we explore more in detail in the insightful webinar, “FlexIndex By OfficeRnD: Essential Coworking and Flex Space Trends for 2024.”

Don’t be afraid to be experimental and bold — after all, that’s the best way to stand out in the sea of coworking space options.

The Ideal Coworking Space Layout

The reality is that even with the best features, your coworking space can be a letdown if the layout and allocation are not optimized.

For instance, if only a minimal amount of space is dedicated to collaboration or hot desking, you may deter freelancers or contractors with flexible schedules from using that space.

Use the following guide to allocate the right portions of the office to each functional space.

ideal layput of a coworking space

Open Workspace

Suggested occupancy rate: 60–70%

Most coworking spaces should be collaborative, open work zones where workers with flexible schedules can come in and work whenever it suits them.

The space should include:

  • Versatile furniture arrangements
  • Designated “talking and sharing” zones
  • Comfortable lounge areas for more casual collaboration

This setup will help cater to various work preferences and promote a more dynamic and interactive environment.

Meeting Spaces

Suggested occupancy rate: 10–15%

A well-equipped meeting space is also important in a coworking building. Employees look for coworking spaces that allow them to conduct essential meetings in a professional and private setting.

The space should include:

  • Soundproof rooms for private meetings
  • Video conferencing equipment
  • Long conference tables

Remember that meeting spaces should facilitate confidential discussions with clients and colleagues, as well as collaborative brainstorming sessions. So, remember to consider the little details and include whiteboards and dry-erase markers, too.

Private Offices

Suggested occupancy rate: 10–15%

You’ll want to reserve some space for private offices that recurring office workers can book. To boost these individuals’ value of personal workstations, add touches such as name tags on the door.

The space should include:

  • Mousepads
  • High-resolution monitors
  • Writing materials, such as pens and notepads

Building private offices is also a great way to diversify your revenue streams, as it encourages remote workers to sign up for membership packages. It also helps to reduce distractions for those who require quieter spaces.

Restroom and Amenities

Suggested occupancy rate: 2–5%

As you plan your coworking space, try not to get so caught up in the fun parts that you forget about the essentials, like restroom facilities.

Amenity spaces could also mean:

  • Kitchens or kitchenettes
  • Printing stations
  • Water cooler areas

There should be an appropriate number of bathrooms on site. While this number will depend on how large your coworking space is, as a general rule of thumb, there should be at least one restroom per 20 people.

Relaxation and Fitness Hub

Suggested occupancy rate: 2–5%

Although your coworking space will be a productivity hub, it shouldn’t only be about work.

We recommend allocating at least 2% of your space as a communal relaxation zone or wellness hub — a space where employees can go and enjoy a few minutes of stress-free leisure.

This space could include:

  • A zen room for meditation
  • A yoga room
  • A room with 2–3 nap pods

Equinox is an excellent example of a company that created a luxurious coworking space with many on-site wellness facilities, such as shared gyms.

4 Examples of Well-Designed Coworking Spaces

Let’s delve into a few real-world case examples to better understand the types of coworking layouts that work best.

nook

Image via Nook, Instagram

The following four coworking spaces are industry leaders that found success in their innovative design and practical layout approaches:

Nook

Nook is a coworking space company in Dubai focused on supporting and accommodating entrepreneurs.

Special features:

  • Locker facilities
  • An on-site yoga studio
  • Dedicated parking

It costs 250–4,000AED per hour to rent a space at Nook, depending on the size and capacity you’re looking for. The company also offers yearly membership plans starting at 12,000AED.

crew collective cafe

Image via Crew Collective Cafe, Instagram

Crew Collective Cafe

Crew Collective Cafe is a coworking space in Montreal that stands out due to its unique design concept. It features a fully operational cafe inside a heritage-listed bank building and incorporates modern desk features with classic architectural elements.

Special features:

  • Private cubicles in an on-site cafe
  • Designated “water service”
  • Floating desk options

It costs $20 for a day pass that includes basic amenities, such as a comfortable workstation and high-speed WiFi. There’s also an option to upgrade to a dedicated desk or meeting room.

Spaces

Spaces stands out in the coworking landscape for its emphasis on flexibility, collaboration, and a vibrant community. With its origins in Amsterdam, Spaces has expanded globally, providing professionals with an environment that’s both inspiring and functional.

spaces coworking space

Image via Spaces

The interior design of Spaces combines the comfort of a coffee shop with the professionalism of a high-end office environment, making it an ideal setting for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and businesses looking for an engaging workspace.

Special features:

  • Community and networking Events: Spaces hosts regular events ranging from networking breakfasts to after-work drinks, providing ample opportunities for members to connect, collaborate, and expand their professional networks.
  • Innovative and flexible Layouts: with open-plan areas, private offices, and meeting rooms, Spaces offers a variety of work environments to suit different tasks and work styles, encouraging productivity and innovation.
  • Design and comfort: the aesthetic at Spaces is carefully curated to stimulate creativity and comfort, featuring stylish furniture, art pieces, and indoor greenery that make the space feel welcoming and energized.

Impact Hub

Impact Hub offers a unique coworking space that merges sustainability with innovation, catering to a community of change-makers.

impact hub

Image via Impact Hub

Its design emphasizes eco-friendly materials, energy efficiency, and a layout that promotes both collaboration and individual focus. Impact Hub is not just about providing a place to work; it’s about creating a space where members can contribute to making a positive impact on the world.

Special features:

  • Eco-Friendly design: Utilizing recycled furniture, energy-efficient lighting, and abundant greenery, Impact Hub creates a workspace that is both beautiful and environmentally conscious.
  • Flexible workspaces: Offering a mix of open collaborative areas and private nooks, Impact Hub ensures that members can find the right space to suit their work style, fostering productivity and innovation.
  • Community-driven events: With a focus on social and environmental issues, Impact Hub hosts a variety of events and programs that not only enrich members’ professional lives but also contribute to their personal growth and commitment to social change.

8 Important Steps to Create Your Own Coworking Space

Now that you know the optimal coworking space layout, the next step is to create your own.

The following checklist will guide you through this process, ensuring you’re taking the proper steps to ensure the success of your new coworking space:

  1. Define your vision

  • Clearly outline the purpose and goals of your coworking space.
  • Identify the target audience and the type of environment you want to create.

2. Conduct market research

  • Research market trends to form an understanding of where your coworking space will fit in the market.
  • Identify potential competitors and assess their offerings against the needs of your target audience. Here’s a good resource on coworking space marketing.

3. Go location scouting

  • Choose a location with lots of natural light.
  • Find a space with good accessibility.
  • Compare rental prices in different areas. Search multiple neighborhoods, states, and postal codes.

4. Start legal and financial planning

5. Talk to a professional about the design and layout

  • Arrange a meeting with a qualified architect to scope out the layout of the space.
  • Talk to a space management specialist to optimize the space for functionality and comfort.
  • Hire an interior designer to consider optimal positioning for different workspaces, like meeting rooms and amenities.

6. Invest in the right technology and infrastructure

  • Talk to an Internet connectivity provider to negotiate the best deal.
  • Purchase high-quality desktop monitors.
  • Place access controls on the front door of your building and the different rooms.
  • Install essential technologies, such as monitors and screens.
  • Use the right coworking management software to automate administrative tasks and better manage your location.

Watch this short video about OfficeRnD Flex:

7. Determine what amenities and services you’ll offer

Consider including the following:

  • Printing facilities
  • Kitchen areas
  • Event spaces
  • Gyms and/or wellness centers

8. Focus on community building

  • Host a “networking night” at your coworking space to engage new members.
  • Organize educational workshops and events to boost exposure.
  • Establish a “members-only” communication platform where members can share ideas, seek advice, and build relationships within the community.
  • Regularly host social gathering events, such as barbecues or potlucks in the space.

Take Your Coworking Space to the Next Level With OfficeRnD Flex

The design of your coworking space layout will dictate how attractive your space will be in the eyes of your potential members.

That’s why it’s so important to take a strategic and thoughtful approach from the planning stages of your design to your space’s execution.

When it comes to the efficiency of your space, using the right coworking software is crucial for success.

Combining ease of use on the front end and deep customization in the back end, OfficeRnD Flex allows you to white-label member experience, automate billing, and make data-driven workplace decisions.

Book a live demo with OfficeRnD Flex to learn how we can streamline your coworking space’s operational efficiency.

FAQ

Who Needs Coworking Spaces?

Coworking spaces benefit workers with flexible schedules, such as freelancers, remote workers, startup founders, or small business operators. They provide a professional environment for employees and contractors and access to amenities these individuals may not have at home, such as high-speed internet and meeting rooms.

Why do Coworking Spaces Fail?

Coworking spaces can fail due to poor planning in terms of location, layout, and marketing, as well as unsustainable pricing models.

How do you Lay Out a Coworking Space?

To lay out a coworking space, start by defining distinct areas for different activities, such as quiet zones for focused work, collaborative spaces for team projects, and relaxation areas for breaks. Ensure there’s ample natural light and ergonomic furniture to enhance comfort and productivity.

What is a Coworking Office Layout?

A coworking office layout is designed to accommodate a mix of private and shared workspaces, fostering collaboration and flexibility. It includes open areas for communal work, private offices for focused tasks, and meeting rooms for group discussions, all aimed at supporting diverse working styles.

What is the Design Concept of a Coworking Space?

The design concept of a coworking space focuses on creating a versatile, community-oriented environment that encourages networking and collaboration among its users. It incorporates elements like open-plan layouts, communal tables, and private booths to cater to various work styles and promote a sense of belonging and innovation.

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".