Coworking spaces are a global phenomenon and are vastly changing the landscape of employment. According to the 2018 Global Coworking Survey; 1.7 million people will be working in around 19,000 coworking spaces around the world by the end of 2018; and we, at Scarlet Opus, are no exception.
The Waffle 21 – The new home of Scarlet Opus HQ
Recently, we decided to relocate our studio to a dynamic, shared space that combines collaboration, community and connectivity. It is clear that a traditional, confined office is undoubtably a thing of the past as we see more and more businesses; both well established and start-ups; joining this movement. In this post we will highlight some of the attractive features our new coworking space has to offer and why we feel this trend will continue to alter our working environment.
Coworking is not collaboration although it naturally facilitates and encourages it. Our team at Scarlet Opus have decided to join a coworking environment, to interact and collaborate with like-minded individuals, share our expertise, interests and ideas. Working in this type of surrounding allows for multi-diciplinery research, co-creations and discussions of how to innovate, progress and develop fresh design concepts.
Most importantly this space is about building a community, bringing together people of different disciplines to work in the same place. Social interaction and conversing with a variety of peers with multiple expertise and specialisms actively accelerates learning, ultimately helping us build a better future.
The Waffle 21 assists in making collaboration possible through their facilities, for example the space includes bar height tables, smaller, cosy areas for private meetings, group white board wall with daily inspirational quotes, and zoned socialising areas.
A remote-working lifestyle
As Trend Forecasters our role involves a large amount of travelling, we love the ability to work freely from anywhere in the world which is one reason why coworking spaces appeal to us as a business. The rise of the digital nomad and global freelancer further reinforced a growing need for greater flexibility within the workplace. Technology of course has been the facilitator in enabling people to work remotely, we need high speed internet connections with the best possible connectivity to be able to work effectively. However, more importantly we are focusing on creating a desired lifestyle, experiencing different cultures while also working, having the ability to travel around and not be restricted to one desk every day.
Home from Home
It is important to make a collective workspace feel comfortable, where you can be your true self as opposed to the ‘work version’ of yourself. People tend to be most relaxed, happy and satisfied when they can work in place they are able to speak their own mind, move around freely and eat/drink/relax when they feel is necessary. The movement towards blending the office with personal living has been evolving for some time, many companies are adapting their spaces to a reflect a more ‘homely’ style of working.
So what does The Waffle 21 do for us to meet this need? Firstly they provide the accessibility to good quality food and drink throughout the day. They also have break-out areas for socialising, comfy sofas and seating zones as well as chessboard, table tennis and games area… not to mention the amazing wallpaper supplied by Tektura.
Balanced Work Lifestyle
People of all ages now seek to achieve a sense of wellbeing and balance in life, they respond better to a working environment that allows for an experience, with control and flexibility over traditional linear career progression. Wellness and social responsibility is, in some way, more important now than wealth therefore many businesses are taking necessary measures to ensure they are meeting these needs. For example many coworking establishments have onsite gyms, yoga or fitness classes and outdoor areas to walk and exercise.
Furthermore solo business owners and freelances can sometimes feel isolated when always working alone. Being in a busy environment full of like-minded people welcomes the opportunity to be involved in social interaction however you can also still work on your own… it is your choice. By humanising the workplace more we are increasing positive interactions which ultimately benefits our overall health and wellbeing.
Connection to Nature
Biophillic design concepts are inspiring workspaces worldwide, it is instrumental to enabling a more sustainable future. Our connection to nature continues to be at the forefront of wellness, mindfulness, productivity and employee satisfaction.
In our modern working environment we are constantly connected, trying to maintain intense focus in fast-paced, busy and sometimes stressful situations. Short breaks or distraction are therefore welcomed, we need the influence of nature around us to create a mindful space that can calm and re-energise us.
At The Waffle 21 there is a full wall of large windows that allows natural light to flood in. They have an abundance of reclaimed wood panelling around the room, the walls are painted in an intense forest green colour that works perfectly with the theme of the business lounge area. They have utilised recycled furniture… Oh and there is also a fish pond with a water feature; creating a very relaxed sounding atmosphere!
What does the future of the co-working industry look like? The adoption of ‘coworking’ design elements is intrinsic to practices and businesses worldwide. It encourages and brings together a network of individuals; performing work in an entrepreneurial style; which assists in the development of innovative and inspiring solutions and outcomes. If these spaces are not in the workplace that your company creates, then an inability to attract talent & retain it, is likely to be a contributory factor in the failure of the business. Perhaps in the future we will see coworking spaces that are of specialist subject areas or that inspire a global movement such as The Wing; a network of coworking and community space designed only for women.
As a creative, innovative business we strive to ensure our ability to co-collaborate, debate and discuss, research and review and ultimately respond to global change. If you would like to understand more about workplace trends, or the challenges employers face regarding talent acquisition and retention please do not hesitate to get in touch.
(Phil Pond – Mob: +44 7896 088 996 email: firstname.lastname@example.org)