Cool, Creative Tech Workspaces
The DC region is home to over 40 co-working spaces, and by 2020, 1 million people will be working in one of them somewhere in the world, says Hickok Cole senior principal Yolanda Cole. The architect spoke yesterday at Bisnow’s Future of Office and Creative Workplaces event in DC. Her firm is developing a new concept called “curated building environments” where a community is created, not just in the office, but in the building and the neighborhood around it.
DC tech companies shared how they’re making their offices creative, including Bloomberg Government co-founder Don Baptiste. His firm’s space was designed to make technology and product development the core of the company. Programmers sit near the front of the office and engineers sit with the sales teams and product teams. He says the physical space matters in terms of facilitating innovation. And most of Bloomberg’s 170 offices around the globe have a consistent design, no matter how small the team. Everyone at Bloomberg Government has the same desk, including Don.
Everything is on wheels at The Motley Fool. Office culture director Melissa Malinowski says people are constantly moving from one team to the next. Melissa says the company also has bike and treadmill desks (42% of employees stand), as well as a full-time wellness coordinator who teaches fitness classes and meditation. Before opening a new office and making any 10-year lease commitments, the company has employees work in a nearby co-working space to see if they like the surrounding community.
Co-working is a response to what the market needs, says Disruption CEO Paul Singh, who introduced himself to a mostly real estate crowd as a "blood-sucking venture capitalist." It’s being driven by the fact that the average company size is shrinking but the average revenue per person is going up. When Facebook bought Instagram, it had a $1B valuation, yet only 13 employees. Those 13 could have easily worked out of a co-working space. Paul says the next unicorns are likely sitting in co-working space.