From Traditional Office To Creative Workspace

The traditional office is being reinvented as creative workspace that offers a place to thrive for entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, freelance workers and even large businesses. But can it fulfil its early promise?

From old style office to new style workspace

Traditional offices are being redesigned as workspace to encourage people to share their experience and knowledge by working closer together in a more relaxed setting. The idea started as a way to provide affordable workspace to start-up and small businesses but has grown to provide space for some of the largest businesses in the form of Microsoft, IBM and CitiBank.

The model of providing space in this way has spread and now available in hundreds of cities and locations around the world. The companies who specialise in providing such space are now amongst the biggest landlords, just as Airbnb has grown to become one of the largest providers of bed-nights.

The secret to their success is the introduction of design as a concept that changes the traditional office into a more user-friendly and productive place. Lights, colours, furnishings and open work areas are used to transform traditional offices into an oasis of calm and collaboration that feed not only the bottom line of the business but also the soul of the individual.

Food, soft drinks and, of course, coffee are provided and play an important role in creating the right atmosphere. Fun spaces in the form of common areas are populated with soft sofas and chairs, pool tables, and even foosball is provided to amuse clients.

More advanced offerings include gyms, yoga and pilates classes, well-being areas and sleep pods designed for those who want to power down to recharge their creative batteries. The general attire of users is casual as they work singly or in small groups on laptops with the capacity to manage any task or project. Entry is flexible and low cost and starts with the hire of a desk or desk-space all the way up to an office or offices of any size with a range of services.

A sense of community

One of the most interesting things about such workspace however is that advocates suggest the most important element it provides is a sense of community and not just the physical surroundings. The idea ties in with a new generation of workers that seek more than a monthly pay-check and want to be valued and engaged in meaningful work in a caring and supportive environment.

Cynics are critical of the concept but new start-ups and large businesses are competing for the next generation of workers and willing to invest in serious design to attract and keep the best people. Such aspirations are also driving the valuations of the top end workspace providers, as property professionals wonder if it is another bubble about to burst or a significant transition to a new way of working that will provide rich rewards.

So, the traditional style office of the past is dead; long live the cool shared workspace of the future.