Co-working is beginning to make a big impact on how people do business. Along with the major changes in organizational structure, it would appear that co-working is fostering some changing design dynamics as well.
A purpose built co-working space in Lisboa, Portugal was just opened by Spanish firm SelgasCano, and they decided to bring in 1000 plants to make this old market building look amazing.
Cardiff University’s School of Psychology conducted a study that monitored productivity in two large offices in the UK and the Netherlands. And what they found was amazing. Just by adding plants to the work space, productivity jumped by 15%.
The levels of concentration that the participants reported rose when plants were added. The greener office also had an air quality that the workers felt was noticeably higher.
The research team lead, Marlon Nieuwenhuis, comments:
“Simply enriching a previously Spartan space with plants served to increase productivity by 15% – a figure that aligns closely with findings in previously conducted laboratory studies. This conclusion is at odds with the present economic and political zeitgeist as well as with modern ‘lean’ management techniques, yet it nevertheless identifies a pathway to a more enjoyable, more comfortable and a more profitable form of office-based working.”
Clearly this new space has taken that advice to heart, the the results are stunning.
In addition to the plants, the design team used organic forms to make the space feel less like “an office”. We know for sure that plants add fresh oxygen to any area. In this space they also add a lot of privacy.
People can work in a shared space, and not feel like they are being starred at.
The architect, Lucia Cano had this to say about the design:
“Two completely different spaces have been created in the given L-shaped plan: the main working space where the long table sits, and the café lounge area. Both designed to be distinct and even opposite spaces: one for people to work and another for people to relax, talk and unwind. Each space with a totally different ambience and personality.”
She is referring to a café area that people can go and unwind in, or just use for a change of pace while they keep tapping away at their laptop. There is also a surf bus that will take the members to the beach after work.
If this is what working green looks like, we have a lot to look forward to.