What 8 years of coworking experience taught us about communities
We’ve identified three main working mindsets, that people experience throughout their working day - social, active and focused - and in terms of the physical workspace, people will naturally gravitate towards different zones that fit those mindsets, often without even realising they’re doing it.
Arguably one of the best curated coworking spaces in the world, BizDojo is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to design-led thinking. Workspace zoning is just one of BizDojo’s ongoing experiments focused on redefining the ‘recipe’ for the perfect coworking space. It’s a process that requires an inspect-and-adapt approach, resulting in continual revision throughout the life of a project.
On top of that, is the design-led thinking, where BizDojo really takes the lead. Taking on a design-led approach means subscribing to the belief that the function of the space matters more than the form, so we’re constantly asking ourselves, why is that piece of furniture placed there? What does it accomplish by being there?
Centred around the social, active and focused mindsets, BizDojo’s spaces aim to create a natural flow between each zone and foster productivity because people work best in spaces where they can be both physically and mentally ‘in the zone’.
Social spaces are child-like with their functional yet playful feel, which maximises social interaction between people and opens the doors for serendipitous meetings and connections.
Active spaces are somewhere in between the child and parent. These adult-like spaces are more work-oriented, but brighter and more visually interactive as well. People can still focus on their individual work while also engaging creatively.
Focused spaces are brighter, quieter and free from foot-traffic. Visual and audible distractions will be minimal if any, so people can get stuck into their work when they really want to.
CAPTION: Playful and outgoing, social zones are often designed with ambient noise and a natural, easy-going feel.
Most people move through each of these mindsets, multiple times in a day. We just naturally gravitate towards the spaces in which we feel most comfortable, so it makes sense to have different spaces that cater to those changing needs.
CoLo has taken these learnings from BizDojo, and pushed them one step further by creating the Culture Engine & Space Gauge.
The Culture Engine is two-part tool that is totally unique to CoLo and new to the coworking industry all together. The first part involves personality based questions to determine your working personality - are you more traditional or innovative?
The second part asks questions related to your working environment and spatial preferences. These questions are answered each time you’re searching for a new space, because you’re likely to be in a different mindset each time you search for a space.
Then, using our Space Gauge triangle, guests and hosts plot where you they sit on the map, e.g. if you’re looking for a buzzing workspace, with hustle and bustle, plot the point closest to the social corner. As your community and workspace evolve, Hosts can retake the Culture Engine test and re-plot their Space Gauge point to suit their current style.
Together the Culture Engine and Space Gauge ensures CoLo guests find spaces that fosters productivity, purely because it ensures guests work in communities and spaces where they feel totally comfortable.
For hosts, these tools help bring the right people through the door, that being people that not only fit your community’s culture, but bring their own unique value to it too.
The beautiful thing about the Culture Engine, is that it takes each different mindset into consideration, and places as much importance on space, as it does with people and culture. Having an imbalance between either aspect can create a significant disconnect, leaving guests and hosts feeling like the system has failed. But, with just the right mix, guests feel connected and welcome in the spaces they visit, and hosts develop their culture and grow their tribe.