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Workplace


in Madrid and features many of the characteristics we would expect, not least the almost total rejection of anything that might be deemed too corporate. Instead, it draws its inspiration from educational and hospitality facilities.


Thinking in new ways ‘


In some ways, this is the culmination of an ongoing trend to do away with the


traditional models of desk + chair + storage





Author information


Paul Goodchild is Design Director at Fresh Workspace. http://www.freshworkspace.com/


offi ces is even starting to spread out into more traditional corporate environments. The premise for this seems to be that whenever you ask people to describe their perfect offi ce, you almost invariably get a description of something that sounds like what we would now deem to be an archetypal coworking space – little or no openly corporate furniture or other interior features, comfortable seating, fast broadband, interesting and engaging people to work alongside, some private work areas, and decent food and coffee. One example of this is provided by Google which has now set up six coworking locations worldwide offering business start-ups not only an engaging work environment but also mentoring and advice. In return Google obviously gets to tap into creative talent and identify the next generation of ideas. The latest of these centres has been opened


60 FACILITIES


In some ways, this is the culmination of an ongoing trend to do away with the traditional models of desk + chair + storage. This is driven primarily by the trend towards non-desktop technology but also by the rejection of traditional career models by the new generation of employees now entering the workforce. They are used to working anywhere, anytime and in ways they see fi t and would clearly far rather be home or in Starbucks or even the street than sat behind a desk. This desire has now translated both into the aesthetic and functional principles we see behind at least some of the spaces inside pretty much all offi ce buildings nowadays but also in the very essence of the coworking phenomenon. This marks a fundamental shift in the way fi rms, especially those in the key TMT and other creative sectors, see their offi ce needs. Instead of a space to occupy, they are after a space to use. They see the workplace very much as they would any other asset, be it a piece of technology or even - increasingly – the services of individuals. This does not mean, of course, that


coworking offi ces are not owned, designed and managed in the long term by their owners just as they may a more traditional environment. It means that the layers that defi ne ‘the facilities management workload’ change their functions, interrelationships and responsibilities. And, as the coworking phenomenon continues to gather pace, and as we expect to see many of the ideas that defi ne it more widely embraced, so its infl uence will be felt in offi ces of all types beyond its core markets. This will include larger organisations which will use coworking facilities alongside their core offi ce space to deal with business change and create more fl exible and attractive working cultures to attract the best talent. We’ve only just begun to see the way coworking will reshape the offi ce but there is no doubt its impact will be profound and widespread.


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