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How doors can open new revenue for your coworking business
How many offices do you need to be profitable?
What kind of open floor space makes sense?
What about event areas — how should you plan for that?
And what happens when one team outgrows their office?Space configuration is the top concern when creating and designing your coworking business. There are financial models and layouts that will help you calculate revenue. But coworking is, at its core, about flexibility. Shared resources. Scalability. Nimble solutions.
That should apply to your interior design, as well.
But how can spaces adapt to the changing demand of their members, the changing needs of the workforce, and even seasonal change in their occupancy?
We wanted to talk to experts in interior office design systems, so we reached out to Belle Morales at The Sliding Door Company. The team have the bona fides: Sliding Door Company helped work through the vision of a brand called WeWork (heard of it?).
“We were proud to work through the vision and voyage and install our wide variety of interior glass door solutions in the WeWork buildings across the nation,” Morales said. “Coworking has evolved and even improved since, and The Sliding Door Company is still configuring amazing workspaces for coworking landlords and entrepreneurs.”
Why coworking office configuration matters
A successful coworking design takes multiple demographics into account. You may choose to establish your operation based on surrounding tech and business hubs, close proximity to public transportation, or in the trendy parts of town, near art districts that offer dining options and shops that appeal to the everyday worker.
Those factors will also influence the decisions you make around the design of the interior of your space as you configure and divide it as will suit your potential clientele.
So what do operators need to think about when opening a new coworking business?
“Your layout or potential location can be broken down into many options,” explained Morales. “We can help you plan the ultimate setup to ensure bookings and desirable options for your community. Our well-trained team listens carefully to each specific set of job requirements and knows how to meet your needs.”
So what considerations should you keep in mind to make sure your space meets the needs of your future members — and creates a pleasant, functional environment?
- Hotdesks layout:
- Spacing: Ensure there's enough space between desks so people don't feel crammed.
- Power outlets: Everyone needs to charge! Make sure there are plenty of easily accessible outlets.
- Variety: Some people like standing desks, others prefer seated options, and some might want more lounge-like settings.
- Meeting rooms:
- Size variety: Offer small rooms for one-on-ones and larger ones for group meetings.
- Tech Setup: Make sure there's easy-to-use video conferencing and presentation equipment.
- Acoustics: Soundproofing is key! You don't want meetings disrupted by outside noise or vice versa.
- Booking System: Have a simple way for members to reserve rooms, either through an app or a physical calendar on the door.
- Event space:
- Flexibility: Can you rearrange furniture easily to accommodate different events?
- Capacity: Make sure there's enough seating and space for larger gatherings.
- Audio-Visual: If someone wants to host a workshop or presentation, they'll need microphones, speakers, and projectors/screens.
- Access: Think about how people will move in and out during events, especially if there are large groups.
- Furniture: Invest in comfy chairs, especially if people are sitting for long periods.
- Lighting: Natural light is great for morale, but also have adjustable lighting for different times and needs.
- Temperature Control: Nobody wants to work in a space that's too hot or too cold.
- Common areas:
- Kitchen: A space for people to make coffee, store their lunch, or even cook if you have the facilities.
- Relaxation Zones: A place to take a break, maybe with some couches or bean bags.
- Phone Booths: For those private calls or video chats where someone needs a quiet spot.
- Decor and vibe:
- Art: Consider local artists or even members' work to brighten up the walls.
- Plants: They purify the air and make the place feel alive.
- Color: Different colors can evoke different moods. Think about what kind of atmosphere you want to create.
- Storage solutions
- Lockers: For those who don't want to lug everything home every day.
- Shelving: Near hotdesks for books, supplies, or personal items.
- Wheelchair friendly: Ramps, wider doors, and appropriate desk heights.
- Signage: Clear and easy-to-read signs to help newcomers navigate the space.
You want to design your space in a way that encourages interaction, collaboration, and creativity, while also respecting the need for privacy and quiet moments. And to do that, you need architectural options that give you flexibility.
Connect your coworking space layout to revenue
Designing your coworking space isn't just about making it look and feel good; it's also about ensuring it aligns with your money-making strategy. When you match your layout with a monetization model, you're laying the groundwork for consistent monthly income.
Think of it this way: if you have an area filled with hotdesks, you could charge a daily or monthly fee for folks who want flexibility. Meeting rooms? You can rent those out by the hour or day. Got a swanky event space? It's perfect for workshops, launches, or networking events, which can bring in additional revenue. Now, to really get a handle on your cash flow, create a pro forma—a fancy term for a financial projection—that lays out all these potential earnings.
By doing this, you'll get a clear snapshot of your potential Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). Knowing your MRR is like having a crystal ball; it gives you a peek into your future financial health and helps you make informed decisions.
Morales ticked off a long list of products to achieve the various design goals coworking space operators might have. “Some of the elements we offer include space-saving, stacking sliding glass room dividers, suspended doors, bi-fold doors, swing doors, and partition walls. We also have a line of glass-styled cubicles that can be crafted into not only offices but also conference rooms, telephone call cubicles, and more.”
What’s truly amazing about solutions like The Sliding Door Co is that they can evolve as your business evolves. You may launch with 5 large private offices and 10 small offices. But with the right space management software, you can see that your small offices remain booked, while your larger offices sit vacant. With structural elements like those at The Sliding Door Co, you can make layout decisions driven by data — and revenue.
“The technology behind our patented design ensures safety and quality with the flexibility to be modular,” Morales explained. “After all, the fewer empty offices the better! Having multiple configuration options, choice in design and style, a commitment to quality, warranty, and maintenance ensures that your coworking space can continually be optimized to serve your members and to look great doing it — for years to come.”
And it’s not just about how many offices you have. The way your space is configured will also determine how your utilities function, as Morales reminded us. “Our open-air solutions allow the sharing of lighting, heating, and air conditioning, saving the building owner energy costs year over year.”
The turnkey solutions from The Sliding Door Company include high-quality product, accessories that are ADA-compliant, and top-notch installation processes that are systematically efficient, precise, and clean.
"Our teams have this process down to a science, ranging from small jobs with a few openings all the way up to multi-floor projects with hundreds of different opening sizes and systems," Morales explained. "We ensure you can minimize downtime, keep your space immaculate, make changes as needed, and grow as your coworking space thrives. "