Designing for Success: Blending Aesthetics with Functionality in Modern Workspaces

How Professional Coworking Has Evolved

For many reasons, the motive behind creating shared workspaces has evolved rapidly over the last few years. Nowadays, it is available everywhere, a sign of modern times. But where did the idea come from?

The concept was first introduced in the 1990s, driven by the desire for more worker collaboration. A brief overview of the evolution of this flexible approach to work goes like this:

  • The first coworking space was founded by hackers in Berlin and was called c-base and/or Hackerspace. The idea was to share space and knowledge to work on coding projects together. They started adding seminars and social events, which made it more mainstream. By the end of 1995, there were Hackerspace’s in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Brooklyn.
  • The word coworking was first used by Bernard DeKoven, who referred to it as “working together as equals.” Initially, ‘coworking’ referred to collaboration rather than the space itself.
  • One of the earliest examples of what we consider a coworking space today was displayed in 2002 in Austria. “The mother of coworking spaces”, Schraubenfabrik was built in an old factory in Vienna as a so-called entrepreneurial center that sought to have entrepreneurs and creatives work together, and thrive. 
  • Skipping to 2011, the first Coworking Conference was held in Austin, Texas. Larger companies began exploring different options for coworking spaces, with an emphasis on space design and community. 
  • The New York Times wrote about combining coworking with travel in 2015, thus birthing the concept of the ‘surf office’. This idea spread to many freelance workers worldwide, creating space in the workforce for travelling knowledge workers, now known as digital nomads.
  • Coworking began to bloom and expanded. In 2017 WeWork coworking company grew to become one of the most valuable ‘tech’ companies in the world, alongside Uber and Airbnb. 
  • 2020: The global pandemic hit, removing many workers from their permanent offices. Temporary spaces were also affected as public and private gatherings were limited. With an uncertain future head, many companies began considering cutting costs on permanent offices and replacing them with coworking spaces.
  • The coworking space industry’s adaptability flourished as the pandemic’s ongoing challenges were considered, leading to many notable global expansions of spaces by more than 28% in 2021. 
  • A broader shift in the global workforce due to the pandemic exemplified the need for more decentralized work environments and flexible spaces. Today, it is uniquely relevant to have a workplace that is not only focused on productivity but also on many new elements that fulfill the needs of a modern workforce.


Impact on Work Culture: How Design Influences Productivity and Creativity

The question to ask is how and why. How does design influence productivity? Why does great design lead to greater creativity?

The aesthetics of office spaces have proven to have an effect. How your office is set up right now is likely to either curb or encourage your productivity. Style and design affect our mood in ways we are not usually mindful of.

Creating, organizing, and maintaining an office that supports performance, collaboration, and safety is the foundation of good workspace design. Here is a summary of what to consider when selecting office space and how it influences productivity, according to PeopleKeep:

  • Noise: Choosing a new workspace layout means considering the noise level within the space. Some employees prefer background noise, while others do not. If one runs a company where phones are constantly ringing or multimedia content like podcasts and videos are being recorded, a quiet place is likely required for those who prefer silence. 
  • Privacy: Some employees are more productive when in open-plan offices, while others are not. Some feel uneasy about the lack of privacy within partitionless office environments. This can lead to far less productive interactions with their coworkers. According to a recent survey conducted by, 52% of employees favour more traditional private offices, while 28% prefer open-plan offices. Striking a balance between the two is the art of good coworking design with concepts like transparent glass barriers between offices, which create private spaces while feeling open, as well as strategically placed barriers, furniture or plants to create natural privacy. 
  • Flexibility: Giving employees a sense of freedom and flexibility is one of the most surefire ways to boost productivity. You can nurture a workplace environment that prioritizes employee well-being and boosts staff satisfaction by providing adjustable and ergonomic furniture, lighting and temperature control options, and an option of open or private workspace.

Here is the further impact of design on productivity according to Space Matrix:

  • Boosts Creativity: An aesthetically appealing office can stimulate the mind and inspire new ideas; including bright colours, unique artwork, and sleek, modern designs  can encourage employees to think outside the box. Stanza Living is a leader in co-living spaces and has created a startup space with a running ticker that displays real-time milestone achievements in a central location for maximum visibility. This approach no doubt inspires employees. 
  • Enhances Mood: A good or bad mood can make or break a work day. Dull workspaces create a dull mood. An appealing space can uplift employees and increase their energy.  
  • Increases Focus: Distractions are a common workplace problem, reducing productivity and job satisfaction. An aesthetically appealing, uncluttered workspace helps workers stay focused and engaged. Here at The Professional Centre (TPC), we provide a combination of linear and agile workstations, which include open breakout spaces and movable furniture for formal and informal meetings. The various options allow company members to focus on whatever environment suits them best. 
  • Improves Employee Satisfaction: Employee satisfaction is vital for productivity. Positive and engaging environments can be created through smart, inspired design.


The Design Philosophy Behind TPC

The interplay between a space’s design and its functionality is crucial, especially in a workspace. As we’ve touched on before, the demand for coworking spaces—by SMBs, large remote companies, startups, and freelancers—is on the rise. These diverse groups require environments that not only support their work but enhance it, transforming potential friction points into seamless, fluid experiences. Whether it’s the solitary worker who finds solace in silence or the dynamic individual who draws energy from the ambient hum of an open-plan setting, top-tier coworking spaces like ours are designed to cater to every preference.

Here’s a glimpse into how TPC marries efficiency and functionality with an ambiance that’s both sophisticated and inviting:

Features Spotlight: Unique design elements in our spaces

  1. Private Offices
    Thoughtfully considered details are at the core of the private suites. Style, space, and privacy have been shown to enhance productivity. Natural light, along with state-of-the-art technical equipment and ergonomic, comfortable seating. While renting the private offices, the clients are privileged to on-demand services and use of amenities, including meeting rooms, collaboration zones, and a spacious business longue, all infused with flexible accommodations. All executive suites can be customized to suit a client’s unique requirements.
  2. Meeting Rooms
    Like private offices, there is an assortment of meeting room options, ranging from various quantities of seating, display options, table shapes, and room sizes. Prices will vary, with available wifi, natural light, whiteboards, flip charts, and a 50-inch TV monitor available, depending upon the selection.
  3. On-Demand Offices
    On-demand offices are offered on a pay-as-you-need basis that aids freelance workers and companies in escaping from working from home without a long-term commitment. Days or weeks can be booked, with fully furnished rooms, accommodations like fully stocked kitchens, and a professional on-site staff that can aid in administrative and technical support.
  4. Virtual Offices
    The benefits of TPC can still be enjoyed by booking virtual offices. Those who work remotely or run an online business can use the Downton Toronto mailing address and professional telephone searches. These services include a 416 number and voicemail, personalized telephone answer, after-hours answering services, and transfer of calls to a remote number.


Looking Forward: The Next Wave of Design Innovations in Coworking Spaces

The horizon for design innovation within coworking spaces is not only bright but perpetually dynamic. These advancements are inextricably linked to the pioneering efforts of architects and interior designers, who are at the forefront of creating environments that seamlessly marry comfort with productivity. 

The emphasis is increasingly on incorporating ergonomic furniture, optimizing lighting, managing noise levels, and curating aesthetically appealing spaces. Here are several forward-thinking strategies employed to infuse modern design elements into collaborative workspaces:

  1. Embracing Nature: The tranquillity nature brings to the mind is undeniable, significantly boosting long-term productivity. Introducing elements like indoor plants, fresh flowers, or serene water features can create an atmosphere that not only soothes but also enhances a brand’s overall vibe.
  2. Strategic Color Use: The psychological impact of colours on mood is well-documented, making colour strategy essential in workspace design. Employing colours that inspire — such as the calming influence of blue to foster concentration, or the energizing effect of yellow to spur creativity — can transform the work environment.
  3. Incorporating Art: Art has the power to personalize and deinstitutionalize a workspace, making it feel more inviting and less mechanical. Opting for art that aligns with the company’s culture and values — be it through vibrant murals, inspiring sculptures, or thought-provoking paintings — adds depth and character.
  4. Innovative Lighting Solutions: Lighting’s impact on mood and productivity cannot be overstated. Investing in a mix of bright and soft lighting that harmonizes with both the natural and built environment of the workspace is crucial. The right lighting strategy can significantly uplift an employee’s mood and, by extension, enhance their productivity levels.

These design innovations represent just the beginning. They underscore a commitment to not only meet the evolving needs of coworking members but also exceed them, setting new standards for what a productive, comfortable, and inspiring workspace can be.

Professional coworking has undergone a remarkable evolution, proving that spaces designed with both beauty and practicality in mind are essential for inspiring innovation and fostering community. So, as we embrace this new era of workplace design, let’s commit to creating environments that empower, engage, and elevate us all.

Ready to elevate your workday? Discover our flexibly designed and fully managed workspace solutions that blend form with function, crafted for your success.