The benefits of a space designed for communal use

Photo by Tanialee Gonzalez from Unsplash

Nothing is better than when people work together and inspire each other – what better place to do that than in a communal workspace?

We’re in an age where jobs can be done and businesses can be run from anywhere, thanks to the incredible developments in technology. Many companies have implemented remote working –  an employee working from home or from a coffee shop, it doesn’t matter as long as the job is done.

However, there are many businesses in various industries where remote working wouldn’t be effective because people in these  businesses rely on collaboration and face-to-face communication with their colleagues to get and keep their business up and running.  Spaces for communal use are important for such companies, and could lead to communal workspaces.

The benefits of collaborative workspaces

Co-working spaces or communal workspaces started in big American cities in the mid-2000s, as more people became self-employed either as freelancers or startup founders. The trend has slowly grown in South Africa in recent years with places such as The Work Space, opening in 2016. The purpose of communal workspaces is to provide a co-working space for small businesses, entrepreneurs and corporations to conduct business, without paying the traditional office space costs. However, the biggest benefit is the sharing of costs. Space is expensive and companies don’t want to take on the costs of the entire environment. Especially considering that team members of such startups might not necessarily utilise their workspace as much as traditional companies use their facilities.

There simply will never be a sufficient replacement for good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction. Even though many businesses these days allow remote working, there are still times when meetings will be called to which the entire team needs to be present. Better communication leads to great collaboration. Where companies support each other in service or similar industries, cross-collaboration can be beneficial.

time & space worked with a client who saw the advantages of sharing their office space with smaller businesses. A client has approached us to design an office space where they have designated an area for smaller businesses to use and where there will be a collaboration space. This was not the typical collab space as it was designed to be used on an ad-hoc basis.

Communal workspaces are full of individuals with similar goals, a similar work ethic, and similar mindsets. It’s nice to be around other entrepreneurs and people doing similar work. The teams working within a communal workspace have different goals, personalities, and talents, but they are tied together by one common factor – they all want to create something to improve the world around them.

Communal spaces within an office environment

Communal spaces are a more regulated and organised version of public spaces. Every building should include communal spaces regardless of the building type. From a library, canteen, or a games room, a communal space is always needed.

Personal and private workspaces are shrinking or changing open space office, but the trade-off is that you have amazing communal space within the office. Playrooms are also becoming a trend in large corporate environments.

Having a physical space to hold meetings in, is important for the success of a company. Having a central headquarters of sorts makes it much easier to communicate without having to contend with potential disruptions in a public area.

Our Office Space Calculator will give you an estimation of how much space you need, so choosing the right office space will be easier.

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Changes in tradition

Office spaces should be designed to serve the needs of the business occupying them and not about hierarchy. Executive office suites and fancy lounges are falling away as CEOs, MDs and the like are wanting to sit near their employees, without barriers, to get to know what’s going on in the business and be relatable and approachable to their employees. This trend started with the young entrepreneurs of Facebook and Google and will spread into other business industries.

There are offices that still have the traditional office setup like in the government sector where you’ll find the traditional setup of  the boss’s office closed off from everyone else, wide hallways, and massive desks. Many corporate offices have realised that there are only need to have barriers for people need to focus on their work, and not having it based on job titles.

While the eight-hour workday is not yet a relic of the past, shared workplaces are making a case for the idea that it’s not how long you spend at work, but what you accomplish during your time spent working that matters.

If you’re ready to move your business to a new, fresh office space get in touch with us today and we’ll help you design the perfect space for your needs.

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Jill Munger

Author Jill Munger

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