There has been a lot of talk in the Atlanta community about co-working spaces and this has had me thinking of my ideal work space. I have had conversations with a bunch of people and everyone has shared their own opinions. Using these and my own experiences to get work/studying done while in college, I have designed this, the ideal co-working spot concept (for me).
Please do take this with a grain of salt and do contribute your thoughts on this. If you like the idea and want to turn it into reality, do come talk to me and I’ll help anyway I can. It is after all 1% idea 99% execution.
The Ideal Co-working Space
by Ajai Karthikeyan
The Atlanta community knows that the Tech Square Starbucks and Octane are major hubs for startups and students. There is always a crowd there and over the last couple weeks, I have clocked more hours in there than their employees(I am not joking). Most entrepreneurs and students are not adverse to working out of coffee shops and many, including me actually love to work in such a setting. It is a fun environment. The Coffee is flowing and it is also a great spot to meet with other people, both scheduled meetings and randomly bumping into people whom you know.
For most of us, all we need is a comfy. the design should also be so that no seat is over 5 feet from a power socket and ample number of power sockets should be made available to the customers.
Despite everything, there are days when Starbucks is not my perfect working spot. Either, I am getting a little too distracted, or I need to make a conference call, or I need to have a closed room conversation with other people. I personally, walk across the street to the Entrepreneur Resource Center when I have this problem, but having this problem solved would be great. This is where Meeting/Breakout/Private rooms come in. I foresee two types of room here, a private room with a single desk and a phone serving as a temporary office and conference rooms of varying sizes (from 2 to 12 ideally). Some of these rooms could have additional features such as projectors and screens and some with conference call functionality while other will be plain old meeting rooms without any additional features.
I won’t go into the logistics of how many such rooms will be needed as that will be proportional to the scale of this project.
I’m not actually going for lockers like most of you had in high school. My idea for this is a place where you can store your files and other stuff so that you don’t need to carry things home and back everyday. Portability is also of the essence as you will need to move these around to your Private rooms when you do use them. My concept here is more along the lines of a small file cabinet or chest of drawers on caster wheels. I would ideally have different sizes too cause not everyone will need the same amount of space space. These units should be stored in a side room when not needed.
Probably the single reason why this idea is not like all the others. I propose we use the Japanese capsule hotel idea and set up rooms with sleeping capsules. So, the basic concept of sleeping capsules is a box about 1m x 1m x 2m stacked with one above the other. What do they provide? A place to take a nap or get a good nights rest cause a rested body works better any day.
I have had to sleep on couches and in chairs many times when I worked late into the night. What does the capsule hotel do to this startup environment? We have better rested startupers. You need a short nap? You managed to work till 3am and don’t want to drive 1hr to go home at this ungodly hour? Well, here is the solution to your problems. A comfortable bed in a somewhat private area.
The low footprint and the fact that the only feature of each of these “rooms” is a bed, the maintenance costs should be minimal.
Two words: Atlanta Summers! Got all sweaty in the Hotlanta heat? Go take a shower! Took a nap in an uber awesome capsule? Go take a shower! Need to clear your head? Go take a shower!
The whole idea behind the showers is to help the people using this space to be refreshed (and to also reduce the odors in the area). My idea is for basic shower stalls with maybe a changing area for each stall. Also included will be some lockers (on the line of gym lockers) for your towel, soap, toothbrush, a fresh set of clothes, etc.
Despite my desire for it to be, not all meetings (or meals) can consist of coffee and muffins . Sometimes, a meeting calls for a decent meal (and for some, a glass of wine to go with it). As many of the Tech Square croud frequents WaterHaven, we are all aware of the need for another watering hole for the community other than a coffee shop. This is, as I have mentioned, optional, but it will be a great addition to the community.
Laundry Service (optional)
What can I say? We are going to need something to handle all the linens that the capsule hotel will be generating. Might as well add a laundry service to wash, iron and dry clean our guests clothes, for a nominal fee of course (we do have to keep this thing running and maybe make some profit out of it too). It doesn’t even need to be on site laundry; we could send it somewhere else but having a collection point on site would be beneficial. Once again, this too is optional.
The Logistics – brief and concise version
- Uber fast free Wifi – #1 Priority
- Printer and copier.
- So, most of these will work on a membership system. The coffee shop is open to all, but everything else is accessible to only members.
- Memberships available at different levels based on amount of usage of additional features (rooms, sleeping and lockers).
- A reservation system for rooms and sleep capsules?
- Private/meeting rooms and sleep capsules available to walk-in non members if they are available (for a fee of course)
- Located close to a stationary shop?
- Located in an urban area. Don’t know why, just a personal preference.
Thats about it folks. Did I miss anything?