Posts Tagged ‘co-working’

Co-working Backlash

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018


The rise of co-working we are told (WeWork to boutique offerings) is a trend that won’t stop in major financial centres and beyond. Demand for the traditionally designed office space is on an never-ending decline.

Have you have ever tried to have a confidential call in a public co-working space or undisturbed time to think? It is a constant attack on the senses.

Here is but three examples: John, the twentysomething facilities management salesman, who insists on telling Jo, his client at Selfridges how he pulled “a rough bird last night” while picking his nose… Sue, the “amateur” recruitment consultant, who asks her unwitting interviewee “tell me why did your boss let you go at Axa?”… Judith, the bespectacled marketing consultant, who insists on warming her Thai fish curry in the kitchen’s microwave, filling the last gasp of oxygen in the entire public space and blankly staring into a backlit screen.

If you haven’t seen this you are missing a treat. 

I have not been in one “open” space, WeWork included, where the building operator and designer has truly figured out the sentient experience, in a hundred plus visits to different brands across the globe.

We are putting up with it, in a way we “live” with low-cost airlines or Luton Airport, accepting hardship in return for lower costs and greater flexibility. Can you really see sustainable growth for these businesses without better design that addresses basic human needs (greater privacy, minimum disturbance, and a more pleasant working environment)? I cannot.