By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
Today, WeWork and coworking go hand-in-hand. WeWork office design ideas are revolutionizing the way people experience work, and the company has pushed some popular design trends into the mainstream.
If you haven’t heard of WeWork, you’re about to. The company (or rather its umbrella entity, The We Company) filed for its initial public offering (IPO) on April 29, which could set its value at $47B. WeWork office design, coworking spaces, and entrepreneur resources make it a leading authority on the workplace of the future.
The company was founded in 2010, but started making headlines in 2015 after snagging more than $250M in Series D and E funding in just six months. Soon after, it pulled out all the stops. WeWork acquired several tech startups, bought extensive property in New York City, and signed a few big-name board members. The New York-based company hasn’t slowed down since.
The experiential workplace
Many of WeWork’s design experts come from traditional workplaces. They’ve talked at length about their disdain for gray cubicle walls, fluorescent lighting, and stuffy floor plans. It makes sense that WeWork office interior design is a strong departure from these antiquated concepts.
One of the consistent themes among all WeWork locations is an emphasis on experience. Rather than walking into a uniform space, every WeWork coworking space is a brand-new experience. The décor is unique. The atmosphere is different. The theme is distinctive.
This focus on experience makes WeWork locations feel less like an office. They’re not places people dread. Workers pay to enjoy the café-style settings or collaborate with peers on a purple couch with groovy tunes playing in the background.
Bridging the gap to nature
For companies looking to tap successful WeWork office design tips, one of the most universal is a reach back to nature. Regardless of theme, all WeWork office design concepts include two natural attributes: sunlight and greenery.
WeWork specifically chooses locations with large, imposing windows to expose the space (and workers in it) to nourishing sunlight. In spaces without windows, LED lights are used instead of traditional fluorescent bulbs. No flat-panel ceiling lights for WeWork. Creative fixture styles are the rage.
Greenery holds a special place in the WeWork office design ecosystem. The company places foliage throughout its spaces and even provides literature for guests on the benefits of plants in the workplace.
An array of workspace options
Within every WeWork location is a diverse range of individual workspaces. There are collaborative social areas for the free flow of ideas and concept sharing. There are also individual workstations of varying types, so employees can hunker down and stay focused. Quiet, secluded workspaces are also a growing trend in WeWork spaces.
Providing an array of workspace options is more than a convenience. As companies imitating WeWork’s have discovered, office designs are one of the best ways to enable workers. Workspaces that meet a particular person’s needs boosts productivity.
Emphasis on tech resources
There’s a reason people flock to WeWork locations instead of setting up shop at a café or public space. WeWork locations are smarter and more accommodating to those who demand the latest tech. And it’s not just about free high-speed Wi-Fi.
More than wireless Internet access, WeWork leverages tech in a way other companies should mimic. The company uses an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) to track and assign individual workspaces and give visitors access to controls for their individual workstation (lighting, sound, comfort, etc.).
Bigger than what it’s doing for workers is what WeWork’s tech emphasis is doing for companies. By adopting, normalizing, and showcasing the value of the Internet of Things (IoT), WeWork has normalized these integrations for companies.
More than a fad: A revolution
WeWork is more than a trendsetter. The company is driving workplaces into the future as the authority on workplace design. Not only are WeWork’s office space design techniques widely shared and proven, the company has launched design services for enterprise clients. It’s the next step in bringing better offices to more workers.
For WeWork, the workplace no longer looks and feels like the office of yesteryear. Today, it’s a completely new concept that demands a reimagined design approach. WeWork is modeling innovation as a proven leader in workplace design.
Keep reading: the WeWork experience is revolutionizing the corporate workplace, including how businesses think about their own corporate workplace.