The perfect workspace is a place where you feel productive and creative, but also relaxed. Striking the right balance isn’t easy, so we sought advice from the designers at WeWork.
Founded in 2010, WeWork has locations all over the world and objectives that go far beyond designing shared office spaces. The company, headquartered in Manhattan, wants to build a community where members can connect to each other and be inspired. The design team describes it as “a place you join as an individual ‘me,’ but where you become part of a greater ‘we.’”
According to Rachel Montana, senior designer researcher at WeWork, “You want to exert your personality in all aspects of your life, to express more of who you are.” And for the past few years it has become particularly true in our work environment. Here are more tips for creating your best office.
Use Natural Light
“Access to natural light is a basic human need,” says Ashley Couch, creative director at WeWork. “Research proves that we are more productive and feel better — and even heal faster — when we spend a majority of our time in spaces with natural light. Vitamin D is a real thing! When we feel better, we work better. It’s a simple fact.”
Make It Feel Homey
“Don’t be afraid to use residential furnishings in moderation when it comes to designing your ideal office,” says Justin DiPiero, interior design lead at WeWork. “This is a space where you will spend a large majority of your time, so it should feel more like your home than a sterile cubicle. Plush fabrics and comfortable furniture will help you feel relaxed and amp up your productivity.”
“Even when you have a view, it doesn’t always mean there are trees or grass in it. More often than not — especially in the city — it doesn’t,” Couch says. “So try placing some plants of various sizes throughout your workspace. It’s good for filtering the air, and it adds a critical pop of color and some life to the space.”
Allow Multiple Ways to Work
“Think about creating a layout that has a gradient of high-energy public spaces down to private and focused spaces,” says Devin Vermeulen, WeWork’s creative director.
“Open and public spaces have great energy and promote community, but they can also be difficult places to do focused, heads-down work. Offsetting those spaces with nooks allow you to move around the space throughout the day to find an area that best suits the task at hand.”
Create Social Spaces
“At WeWork, we try to create a whole range of spaces for our members to hang out in,” Couch says. “It’s important to remember that we are not alone in the challenges that our work life throws our way. Other people are going through the same thing, and their ideas can be just as valuable as our own.”