Category Archives: workspaces

Meeting Room design

Modern Meeting Room Design Tips for Coworking Spaces

Meeting rooms are an integral part of office space, it constitutes at least a quarter of your workspace design. Prominent research has depicted that various teams spread across different sectors and organizations spend most of their working hours in a meeting room, ideating and brainstorming.

Meeting rooms are mostly the secluded part of your office space, where most of the action and implementation takes place. Meeting rooms in coworking spaces are known for their innovative design and tech-enabled environment, which supports innovation and aids productivity.

Even though meeting rooms are a crucial element of coworking space designs, they are the most ignored. Gone are the days of dull and dingy meeting rooms, everyone prefers a vibrant-looking meeting room, which has a positive impact on an employee’s mood and keeps them motivated to accomplish the goals on their to-do list. There are many factors which contribute in shaping the overall look and feel of a meeting room, which includes the kind of furniture and their placement, lights and acoustics, conferencing equipment and the room décor, these design factors are an integral factor in the success or failure of a meeting, for a meeting room is an important factor which helps form the first impression.

Here are a few tips to design meeting rooms for coworking spaces:

Chalk out your audience

Before setting out to design a meeting room, it is imperative to understand the likes and preferences of your target audience. The idea ‘one-size-fits-all’ is a notion of the past, it is important to understand that with the emergence of new-age professions, different kind of work demands a different workspace experience. For example, a radio artist or a VFX director would need a sound-proof room whereas a marketing team would need a collaborative space, different key aspects of the meeting room like the lighting, furniture or sound system have to be designed keeping in mind the preferences of customers.

Pro Tip:
Bifurcate your target audience in terms of their profession, team member count and preference, before drawing the meeting room design.

Technology and Connectivity

Technology failure is the most common problem faced by people while conducting a meeting. Technology is a key aspect of your, it can either make or break the deal. Everyone demands a tech-enabled meeting room which helps increase their productivity and maximize employee engagement. A state-of-the-art conference room with the latest amenities like high-speed wifi, projectors, and display systems, concierge services aids the overall experience of the employees.

Coworking spaces should also focus on devising an easy way of booking meeting rooms, most of the problems faced by clients while booking a meeting room in a coworking space is that of no-show bookings and multiple bookings, an efficient app can be designed to simplify the process of booking meeting rooms.

Pro Tip:
Meeting rooms can be equipped with IoT for easy operation and maximizing energy efficiency

Design and Aesthetics

Another common problem while designing meeting rooms is sticking to the old and outdated designs. Gone are the days of dull and dingy meeting rooms, everyone prefers a aesthetically designed meeting rooms, with ample of seating arrangements and adequate lighting. A well-ventilated meeting room, with comfortable furniture, can make all the difference.

Pro Tip:
Research the analytics and study the utilization of data before designing the meeting room.

Focus on the walls

The texture of the wall determines the vibe of the space while having a positive and serene effect on the mood of the individual. Walls that have pastel shades or vibrant designs have a calming effect and help combat a high-stress work environment. A graceful wall décor can, not just add colors but also complement the individual’s sense of purpose.

Pro Tip:
Exposed brick designs and vibrant wallpapers are an upcoming trend.

The three basic considerations while coming up with meeting room designs are- floor space, privacy, and technology integration because meeting rooms are the spaces where most of the productive interactions happen. It can have a positive impact on the way meetings are conducted and the direction they steer. An excellent meeting room design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also takes into consideration employee comfort.

Transforming Workspaces For the Future Employees

Transforming Workspaces For the Future Employees

As we enter the new decade, it is imperative that workspace ranging from traditional office space to coworking/co-sharing spaces are ready to retain the new-age workforce in their businesses. The workspaces for the future are going to be revolutionized soon.

Over this decade, 693 million workers will enter retirement, causing a major worldwide shift in the modern workplace. This will result in businesses hoping to recruit and retain talent to go the extra mile to ensure their workspaces are adapted to the unique needs and expectations of younger workers. Flexibility will become more and more valuable as we enter the era of Generation Z.

Millennials, those born between 1981 to 1995 and Gen Z (sometimes referred to as Gen Alpha), those born after 1995 will become the major chunk of the workforce. According to a study by Cushman & Wakefield, which examined the biggest changes in demographics and a workplace culture that will happen over the next 10 years, some 1.3 billion Gen Z members will enter the workforce this decade.

This is a big number! And on top of it, these Gen Z are also digital natives, meaning, they don’t know a world without internet or smartphones and their habit reflects that. These digital natives are always clicked on and have more knowledge than even their immediate Millennial peers.

So how can enterprises tune their workspace for future employees?

Holistic Workplace Strategy

To create a shared workspace, enterprises need to understand the cultural significance of Gen Z. Millennials are moving in the bracket of the new elders and are most likely to stick with their existing business. However, Gen Z is looking to more than just earning a living. They seek experiences and a better work-life balance. An agile workspace needs to cater to their professional growth while also giving avenues for self-growth such as recreational areas from a gym to a basketball court.

Fewer Silos More Collaborative Space

Professionally, Millennials and Gen Z now expect a shared workspace where there is free-flowing of information and accessibility. This means less siloed departments and more collaborative spaces with an employee-centric workplace.

As the way work changes, enterprises should be able to physically change as well. A space that is more collaborative physically. Offering wellness programming or a robust and dynamic design plan that puts employee needs first, without sacrificing productivity, will help companies easily align with the younger generation of workers seeking long-term careers.

Going The Extra Mile

For the younger generation, talking about inclusivity and sustainability is not enough. A business needs to showcase that they can walk the talk.

According to Cushman & Wakefield, 29 percent of Millennials rank environmental concerns as their top priority. Whereas, Gen Z has the highest level of social awareness, and that is reflected in their employment choices. Corporate social responsibility, alongside flexibility, is perhaps the leading competitive recruitment strategy moving into the next decade.

Brands and companies that are looking to highlight their positive contributions, will be more attractive to Gen Z.

Furniture-As-A-Service

A cubicle is a thing of the past and Gen Z will most likely not join a company that still has this type of setup. Soft furnishings that can be changed with the needs of the office and through subscription services are more popular than ever and with good reason. A coworking space that gives people the power to make their own space will be more successful in retaining talent. Business-wise it makes sense as there will be less waste and consumption which allows for more flexibility to create the workspace for the future.

Understanding the trends of Gen Z will ensure enterprises are ready to hire and retain this new workforce. They will, after all, lead your business and having flexibility at work will allow them to grow and get new talents too.

Bursting 5 misconceptions around coworking spaces

Bursting 5 misconceptions around coworking spaces

Over the last few years, professionals across the globe have been ditching traditional office spaces in favor of coworking, but some professionals are skeptical of the shift as this movement disrupts long-held business norms. People often think coworking spaces are too distracting, only for startups, or just a glorified term for any other office space.

While many coworking spaces do have a casual vibe, they are definitely much more ‘work’ than play. So, today, let’s debunk some of the most common coworking myths once and for all!

Misconception: “Coworking spaces are not for big enterprises.”

Truth: While coworking facilities are great for startups as they cut overhead costs, startups are not their primary users. Gone are the days when the majority of occupants at coworking spaces were startups or small enterprises. With affordable prices, a dynamic environment and ease in transitions (staffing, location, and renovations) many large enterprises are looking towards coworking spaces as a solution. Even Smartworks, in addition to several budding businesses, is home to conglomerates including Jaguar, and Amazon India.

Misconception: “Our business has a fully-functional office, so a coworking space isn’t suitable for the company.”

Truth: Traditional office spaces are a comfort zone for a majority of businesses, which is why coworking spaces become uncharted territory for them.

But the perception is slowly changing with professionals believing in a change of scenery. Companies are today using co-working spaces for a variety of tasks, for example, hosting business meetings with visiting clients, providing workspace solutions for short-term employees or renting the space during the expansion of the business.

Also Read: Fun Things That You Can Do in a Coworking Space

Misconception: “ Coworking spaces will only work for my business if I were a solo entrepreneur.”

Truth: Another name for a coworking space is “flexible space.” The coworking model is flexible and works for businesses of all sizes, be it independent workers, small businesses or satellite locations for larger corporations. According to an industry report by JLL, “Workspace, Reworked: Ride the Wave of Tech-Driven Change,” flexible workspaces will comprise up to 30 percent of corporate real estate portfolios by 2030. Which means coworking spaces will not only work for solo entrepreneurs but also provide an excellent setting for all size of enterprises looking to combat isolation and to thrive in a productive environment.

Misconception: “ Coworking spaces are an extrovert-friendly arena.”

Truth: People often think of coworking spaces as offices with a  bunch of hipster programmers working on their start-ups, walking in and out with their pets, usually wearing pajamas. That’s really not true. A coworking facility does not confine to a set layout, every space is different, and some are designed to facilitate socialization more than others. While some spaces offer open office space, others provide private offices.

These spaces include both common areas as well as spaces for independent work. Therefore, professionals get to choose the extent of socialization and can strike a balance between mixing and personal autonomy. This benefit offers space for personal expression and creativity, making coworking professionals thrive.

Misconception: “Coworking spaces mean people who share a job.”

Truth: This is one of the most common misconceptions about a coworking space. People tend to assume that only similar businesses and jobs share a coworking space. Getting different professionals to work together is not always the purpose of a coworking space instead of a coworking environment often has professionals working on various projects or even in different industries.

What sets coworking spaces apart, is the rapport that coworkers working in different industries build, as their work relationships grow. Such camaraderie allows for a transfer of knowledge across industry lines which has the potential to bring insights and innovation to disparate fields.

Coworking is a unique business model that has something for every business. So, if you’re on a hunt for the most productive and profitable environment for your business, consider coworking.

 

5 Characteristics that Make Good Workspaces GREAT

5 Characteristics that Make Good Workspaces GREAT

Times are changing fast. Workspaces that people yearned for, expected and cared about a few years ago are so different than today. The first priority for founders and managers today is to create an environment where the work is both exciting and challenging. A place where careers blossom and the bottom line thrives.

So what are the essential values and behaviors that every organization must follow to thrive in the future? What can an organization do to ensure that a workspace is a place where employees want to be and not have to be? Focus on creating a workspace that goes way beyond choosing nice decor or comfy chairs.

In this article, we’ve enlisted five essential characteristics of a workplace that attracts and motivates people to come to work every day.

Authentic leadership

The success of any great workspace arguably hinges on great leaders. From executives down to front-line managers, authentic leaders demonstrate respect, credibility, and fairness to employees and the organization.

These leaders consistently present a clear vision for their company and increase trust every time they listen carefully to employees and live up to their word. So start by identifying, hiring and promoting leaders who cultivate strong bonds with their teams, connect everyone to the mission of the organization, and spotlight team members’ successes.

Also Read: 5 Must-Read Books For Entrepreneurs Recommended By Billionaires like Steve Jobs

Clear purpose

A great workplace, or any workplace for that matter, has a clear and specific purpose for existing which is captured and ingrained in every action or decision a company takes. A 2014 study by Deloitte found that an organization that focuses on ‘purpose’ is an organization that inspires higher levels of confidence among stakeholders and one that boosts growth. Similarly, a 2010 Burson-Marsteller/IMD Corporate Purpose Impact study found that a strong and well-communicated corporate purpose can contribute up to a 17 percent improvement in financial performance.

So make sure that your organization has a clear purpose in place. Your employees should have a clear understanding of this purpose and must be enlightened by leaders as to how their roles help to achieve the company’s purpose.

Equal opportunities

The cardinal rule of a great workspace is maximizing its human potential. When all employees are at their best at work, it’s better for businesses, better for people and better for the world.

Create a culture that allows every employee to be innovative and contribute to their own capacity. Even Apple’s Steve Jobs firmly believed companies that want to retain great employees have to let them make decisions. IBM in 2006 invited 150,000 employees, family members, business partners and clients to an online brainstorming session called an ‘Innovation Jam.’ Participants from 104 countries responded, and their ideas led to $100 million in investments by IBM on suggested projects.

Diversity & inclusion

With the millennial generation entering and representing the significant segment of the workforce, the expectations are changing. Workforce, today, expects their employers to create inclusive spaces around gender, race and even sexual orientation. They look forward to open and candid communication where everyone should be able to voice their perspective respectfully.

Therefore, companies should take note and add multigenerational positions within the organization where inputs from anyone and everyone are appreciated.

Workspaces that WOW you

Employees today don’t need a lavish multi-story office to feel more productive. Design working environments that are safe, comfortable and hassle-free. Ideal workspaces are those where people feel free to move around, don’t feel tied to their desks, and create more opportunities for creative collaboration.

That’s where co-working spaces like ours come into play. Make a switch today to spaces that allow for privacy, collaboration, and networking.

Solving the Snag with Smartworks: Vibe ain’t right!

Are the daily tasks lists and meetings the only reasons for your gloomy mood and fatigue? While most of us unconsciously blame it on the certain external factors, we miss the most important one- the vibe of your workplace.

The vibe of any place has the power to set the mood for the day, and this holds true for coworking spaces as well. Depending on who or what is using the space, a coworking space can go from utter chaos one day to being as quiet as a library the next.

Even at a regular office space ‘work’ becomes a convenient scapegoat. However, the real culprit is the disapproving vibe existing in the air around you. The inexplicable nagging and constant pessimism have become quite prevalent in most workplaces. At a coworking space, the intensity of such a vibe tends to increase due to the variety of companies working there. Every firm working in the vicinity will have their good and bad days which most likely won’t be in sync with yours. While most days would be spent in harmony, there will be others where this ‘vibe’ might float over to your side.

Fret not, at Smartworks; we believe the vibe at a coworking space can only be what you make of it. And it can be so much more than just another place to get work done. The potential for productive networking within a coworking space is one of the significant advantages. Interacting with individuals beyond your colleagues can be therapeutic of sorts. When done right, this networking can be low-key and feel as productive as a brainstorming session with colleagues.

That said, there needs to be just the right amount of interaction and privacy. At Smartworks, we provide fully-customizable workspaces to suit your business and employees needs. From a smart suite, a non-intrusive office space that shadows your business’ ethos, to a smart cube, a space with the best of both worlds- private, with the benefits of networking as well. There is an option to suit every need. Moreover, regular interactive events act as an ice-breaker between firms. It not only provides a much-needed breather from mundane work but also presents an excellent opportunity for healthy networking.

Lastly, the coworking mentality is one of openness. We believe in nurturing a supportive community where one shares the knowledge that can not only help a co-worker but also lead to future gains. We also believe in creating a harmonious environment where all our members can thrive in good energy.

Smartworks Takes Bengaluru!

 

A casual stroll in Cubbon park, an exciting evening at Koramangla, breakfast at Brahmins’ Coffee Bar or a shopping spree at Brigade road. Bengaluru is not just a melting pot of cultures but also the Silicon Valley of the country. Here, a number of successful startups were conceived and today, new ones are born every fortnight. So, the tech-first city invariably became our choice for our newest coworking space.

With recently launched centres in Hyderabad and Mumbai, we’re all set to launch our biggest centre yet in Bengaluru. We’re thrilled to be back in the city to open our second centre at the Global Tech Park in the beautiful suburb of Bellandur.

Accessibility feels like a dream in a city known for its exasperating traffic. To soften this blow, we decided on a strategic location to ensure your corporate life is a joyride. Our flagship centre is easily accessible to all parts of the city via BMTC and close proximity to key residential hubs like Outer Ring Road, Bellandur et al. Keeping in mind the frequency of travel for work, the Baiyappanahalli metro station, and the KR Puram railway station are at a distance of 15 km and 10.5 km respectively.

The luxurious marble-finished double-height lobby and perfectly manicured lawn will greet you as soon as you step into the spacious compound.  It not only offers plenty of natural light but also superior indoor air quality. As you look around, biophilic architecture and open walkways will catch your eye. Furthermore, the enormous centre has enough space to house 5000 members.

The members enjoy benefits like multi-cuisine restaurants, planned crèche and gym facilities in the vicinity of their workspace. Not to forget, our offices have opened the doors to your furry friends as well (pet-friendly). Whether it’s taking a much-needed coffee break in the smart cafeteria or a quick pop-in to the nearby mall, this new centre has it all. In addition to malls, the centre is at a stone’s throw away from premier hotels like Royal Park Plaza, NOVOTEL, Aloft, IBIS, CITRUS and retail outlets like More HyperMart, Total Mall.

We’re excited to take a plunge into Bengaluru’s bustling tech scene through the reinvention of traditional office spaces. We’re certain that our coworking space will become an indispensable part of the city. Come and experience the true essence of coworking and productivity at our centre!