Sustainable practices are becoming increasingly prevalent in business, leading to a significant shift in customer behavior.

According to recent research by the NIH, customers of sustainable businesses are more loyal, more likely to engage in positive word-of-mouth marketing, and even willing to pay more for products and services.

So, whether you’re considering opening a new green coworking space or already have one but want to incorporate even more sustainable practices to gain a competitive advantage, you’re in the right place.

This article will give you a complete guide to creating and managing a green coworking space your members will love and be eager to spread the word about.


Quick Summary:

  • Green coworking spaces focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness, and they’re becoming more popular as customer behaviors shift. This means they offer market differentiation and can help you gain more members and profit.
  • There are several key steps to creating a green coworking space, including solidifying your location, choosing the right technology, and creating the right design layout.

What Are Green Coworking Spaces?

Green coworking spaces focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness in their design, operations, and policies. Their main goal is to minimize environmental impact while providing a calm, productivity-inducing working environment.

Typically, green coworking spaces attract groups of people who are interested in sustainability, including:

  • Local entrepreneurs: Wellness coaches, sustainable fashion designers, and green event planners
  • Corporate teams: HR teams that implement employee wellness programs and remote sales teams for green companies
  • Freelancers and remote workers: Virtual assistants, digital marketers, and remote software developers
  • Small businesses and startups: Green consultancy services, eco-friendly product manufacturers, and tech startups developing sustainable solutions
  • Educational and research institutions: EdTech startups, university research groups focused on sustainability, and green academic writers and editors
  • Community activists: Environmental advocacy groups, local non-profit organizations, and community organizers heavily focused on sustainability

And here you can see a list of the most common industries that use coworking spaces in general.

members of green coworking spaces

Benefits of Having a Green Coworking Space

Operating a green coworking space offers several benefits over everyday coworking spaces, ranging from financial advantages to a happier community with like-minded people. Here are the main benefits you can expect:

Financial Perks

Implementing energy-efficient systems — such as LED lighting and water-saving fixtures — will reduce your utility bills over time.

The added value of green spaces also allows you to charge premium prices. This can increase the number of members you get and help you make more profit immediately and in the long term.

Community and Networking

A coworking space focused on sustainability helps you attract like-minded people who get along well with you and have the same environmentally conscious views.

As a result, you might find it easier to communicate and collaborate, creating a happy community and a sense of belonging.

Learn more about leveraging the network effect in coworking spaces.

Market Differentiation

The coworking space market was valued at $10.81 billion in 2023 and is predicted to reach $36.92 billion by 2030. This indicates a massive increase in the need for these spaces, which is ultimately what can help set your space apart from others in your area.

coworking space market value

According to Harvard Business Review, sustainability promotes trust, especially among Generation Z. Since they’ll soon have buying power, it’s essential to consider this demographic in your decision-making.

Another way to differentiate in 2024 and beyond is by providing exceptional hospitality.

Higher Productivity

According to research by IOP Science, poor indoor environmental quality significantly contributes to productivity losses.

In fact, in a study conducted by View on over 1,600 professionals, 50% of respondents said that air quality makes them sleepier throughout their work day. Also, 33% said they lose more than one hour of work daily due to physical and environmental factors.

In contrast, improved air quality, non-toxic materials, and natural light can help your members get more work done. This means your green coworking space can be the solution they need to increase their productivity.

7 Key Considerations to Make When Planning a Green Coworking Space

If you want to make your coworking space sustainable and eco-friendly, consider incorporating the following to help it stand out:

1. Eco-Friendly Design

The physical layout of your coworking space needs to incorporate sustainable materials, natural ventilation systems, and architectural strategies that reduce energy consumption.

For example, consider designing your space to maximize natural lighting and use low-volatile organic compound (VOC) flooring, such as bamboo.

2. Energy Efficiency

To reduce energy consumption, use energy-efficient lighting, such as LED and automated lighting systems that adjust based on natural light levels. You can also implement HVAC systems and smart thermostats.

3. Renewable Energy

Many green coworking spaces take a proactive approach to energy consumption by incorporating renewable energy sources early on. These include solar panels and wind turbines that power the workspace, leading to a more self-sufficient operation.

You can also consider partnering with energy providers that offer renewable energy options.

4. Waste Reduction

Waste reduction is a vital aspect of any green space. You can implement comprehensive recycling programs for different materials, including paper, plastic, and glass. Also, encourage your members and employees to use reusable containers and utensils in their lunches.

5. Paperless Operations

Paperless coworking offices often adopt digital tools and cloud storage, such as electronic booking and invoicing systems, to minimize the need for paper.

This is where OfficeRnD Flex can help manage your coworking space entirely online. With it, you can:

  • Manage members and their plans
  • Automate billing and payments
  • Allow members to easily book desks and meeting rooms
  • Organize and promote community events
  • Get detailed analytics and reporting
  • Seamlessly integrate with popular tools such as Kisi, Xero, and Hubspot to avoid using multiple apps

6. Employee Well-Being

Green coworking spaces can improve your employees’ health, happiness, and well-being.

Here’s what you can do to make sure this happens:

  • Provide your staff with recreational areas where they can relax
  • Implement robust onboarding processes so your employees know what’s expected of them
  • Give them other benefits, like health insurance or gym memberships

Providing your workers with a positive work environment can make them brand advocates and help your business achieve long-term success.

7. Green Spaces

What a green coworking space would be without green areas, right?

Incorporate indoor plants into your space to enhance the air quality and provide a relaxing and calming environment. You can also have outdoor green areas with gardens where members can work, such as green roofs.

How to Create and Manage a Green Coworking Space

Creating and managing a green coworking space might seem complicated, but if you take the proper steps, it becomes easier. Here’s what you can do to create a tremendous green coworking space and manage and market it effectively:

1. Plan and Research

Conduct research to determine the demand for green coworking spaces in your area. Analyze competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to create a stand-out plan.

Create a plan and vision clearly stating what features you’ll implement to make your space green, including lighting and electronic systems.

Also, remember that green initiatives can often be expensive to set up, so come up with a comprehensive budget that includes the cost of everything you want to include in your space.

2. Identify the Ideal Location and Building

If you want to start a coworking space from the ground up, you’ll need to identify a location that works well for your space.

Look for a building with green certifications, such as LEED, or one that can easily be upgraded to meet those standards. Members should also be able to access the building easily via public transportation or bike.

Once you’ve researched and identified the perfect location, you can start crafting a business plan for your coworking space.

3. Design Layout

Consider the coworking space floor plan. You can design the space to maximize natural light and ventilation and use smart lighting systems, such as smart bulbs and LED technologies.

Consider doing the following, as well:

  • Use eco-friendly materials for furniture, such as low-VOC paint and bamboo tables
  • Install low-flow faucets
  • Incorporate indoor plants throughout the space for a more comfortable atmosphere

coworking spaace floor plan considerations

If the building allows, you can also add an outdoor space for improved air quality and to give members a place to relax.

In addition to focusing on these “green” amenities, consider implementing other must-have amenities all coworking spaces need.

4. Choose the Right Technology

Implement digital tools for member communication, billing, and document management. You can use all-in-one coworking management software like OfficeRnD Flex to manage your coworking space online.

OfficeRnD Flex:

  • Allows your members to book meeting rooms effortlessly by managing booking credits and providing door access
  • Helps you get paid faster with automatic invoicing and billing
  • Gives you data and analytics to see how your space is used so you can uncover revenue opportunities
  • Manage leads and membership contracts all in one place

5. Create Plans and Policies

Create different membership plans based on prospective customers’ needs to increase your revenue potential. Some members may only need day passes, while others want full-time access.

To avoid turning any of these members away, create different pricing plans with varying access levels. Here’s an example of how these could look:

  • Day Pass: $30 for single-day access during business hours. Members can use shared workspaces, receive complimentary coffee and tea, and access common areas.
  • Two Times Per Week: $200 per month to access the space two days per week on a flexible schedule. Members can use shared workspaces, access common areas, and get two hours of meeting room use per week.
  • Full Access: $425 monthly for unlimited access on a flexible schedule. Members get a dedicated desk, a personal locker, and unlimited meeting room use.

Here’s a useful guide on upselling for maximizing profit.

6. Apply for Certifications

This is an optional step, but you can apply for certifications such as LEED, WELL, or BREEAM to validate your business’s sustainability efforts. This will add to the credibility of your space.

Another option is collaborating with local environmental organizations and green businesses to become known in the market and attract even more members.

7. Market and Promote

Without members, your business won’t succeed. This makes marketing crucial. Use different marketing strategies to attract more members, including face-to-face and digital marketing.

Let’s take a look at what these mean:

  • Face-to-face marketing: Promote at local shops, host events, hold regular free coworking days, distribute business flyers, and more.
  • Digital marketing: Optimize for local SEO, promote on social media, use coworking listing websites, and implement paid Facebook and Google advertising.

marketing strategies

Your dedication to sustainability means you and your employees can also attend or arrange green community events to promote your business to attendees.

8. Encourage Community Engagement

To retain your members, consider hosting events focused on sustainability, such as recycling workshops and green living talks. This will allow members to participate and collaborate with one another and with locals to build a sense of community.

9. Monitor and Improve

Regularly monitor your space’s energy and water use to ensure your efforts succeed. It’s also vital to get feedback from your members so you can improve your processes and the layout of the space as necessary.

A tool like OfficeRnD Flex can give you valuable data insights into how your space is being used and what can be improved.

Try OfficeRnD Flex to Manage Your Coworking Space

Creating a green coworking space brings many benefits, including a competitive advantage and the opportunity for higher revenue.

OfficeRnD Flex can help you streamline bookings, monitor payment systems, communicate with members, and deliver best-in-class member experiences.

Book a live demo to learn how OfficeRnD Flex can help streamline your business systems so you can increase your coworking space’s efficiency and grow your business faster.

FAQ

What Is a Sustainable Coworking Space?

A sustainable coworking space is a shared working space that focuses on eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient lighting, and paperless systems.

These spaces often leverage architectural strategies to maximize the amount of natural light and greenery for a more calming work atmosphere.

What Is a Green Workspace?

Green workspaces are designed to create a healthy working environment. They often use recycled materials and eco-friendly furniture, such as reclaimed wood, to minimize their environmental impact. They also focus on waste reduction, energy efficiency, and natural lighting to create a calm and productive work environment.

Why Do People Use Green Spaces?

Most members use green spaces because they’re dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint and working alongside like-minded people committed to sustainability. Working in these spaces also often aligns with their personal or corporal values.

How Do You Create a Green Workspace?

To create a green workspace, start by incorporating sustainable materials such as recycled or eco-friendly furniture and using non-toxic paints. Optimize natural light to reduce energy consumption and enhance employee well-being. Introduce plants to improve air quality and add a calming element to the office environment. You can also implement recycling programs and encourage practices like digital documentation to minimize paper use. Investing in energy-efficient appliances and promoting a culture of sustainability among employees through education and incentives can further enhance the green credentials of your workspace.

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".