“Community is really the future of work.”
Adam Neumann, CEO of WeWork
The design of a space is a powerful tool in creating a positive environment while driving productivity, innovation, and encouraging engagement among the residents of the space. WeWork is the world’s leading co-working company providing shared workspaces and services for startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, small businesses and large enterprises. They “build structures that build community” so good design has been a key driver behind their decision making from the get-go. With each space, flexibility is important. A responsive design system that can be restructured easily and efficiently to suit the fluid and varied demands of tenants is absolutely vital to their business model.
Like Uber and Airbnb, WeWork hopes to disrupt a certain space – the office space. A lofty goal that may or may not be achieved but, regardless, WeWork can be admired – even thanked – for its formidable efforts to reimagine the workspace along the way.
With locations in almost every corner of the world, WeWork’s impact is undeniable. Each location is different but all deliver beautifully designed common areas and lounges, cool private work spaces and meeting rooms, the right lighting, local art and of course, the best snacks and beverages -all to attract the some of the best and brightest people and companies. The hope of course is to create community. Working in pleasant spaces, the theory goes, members will be more productive, and will mingle, network and potentially generate new ideas, partnerships and companies, enhancing their lives and the economy as a whole.
Below we’ve selected some of our favourite WeWork spaces each demonstrating some of their key design tenets.
Natural Light is the Best Light
“Access to natural light is a basic human need.”
Ashley Couch, Creative Director at WeWork
As much as possible, WeWork spaces rely on natural light as natural light is known to boost creativity and concentration. Big windows, high ceilings, and maximum outdoor exposure figure prominently.
Many Ways to Work
While some people like the solitude of a close office, others prefer the company or simply, the presence of others. WeWork recognize that there are different strokes for different folks when it comes to work habits. Each space offers private offices, open common areas, booths, desks and tables.
Plants are Perfect
WeWork has incorporated greenery in almost all of their spaces and encourages people to bring their own plants to work (as well as pets in some spaces). Plants are known to help reduce stress in the workspace due to the relaxing and calming effect of the colour green. Read more on WeWork’s take on how “houseplants can grow happier, more productive offices” here.
Common Areas encourage Community
Part of WeWork’s mission from their beginnings in 2010 is to build a community. WeWork offers members a wide variety of social spaces where workspace tenants can converse, network, or just hang out.
Bring Home to the Office
Rather than taking work home, WeWork is committed to bringing a sense of home to the work place and furthering the sense of community. Warm colours, textures and shapes dominate, rendering sterile cubicle farms a distant memory.
WeWork tailors each space to reflect the community it is in, paying homage to the city it resides in in order to create a sense of connection to that local community. For certain WeWork offices, local artists are commissioned to create works for the walls and halls of each space.
Read our previous article in our Brand series featuring Starbuck’s Brand Evolution here.