Trio Zones for Considerate Coworking

Startup Office Zones

Coworking Office Space Usage Guidelines at StartSoc

The global trend in coworking spaces is to gradually move to zoning for purpose. Here is an overview –

  1. Focus: Quiet working at your own desk. The cost of interruption is higher than you probably realise. e.g. programmers/developers

2. Connect: Communal areas like office kitchen/lounge. The value of connecting especially in a curated quality community is probably higher than you realise. e.g. tech micro communities, mentors, investors.

3. Create/Collaborate: Meeting rooms. The value of team collaboration around your own agenda is ultimately reflected in your business market capitalisation, stakeholder satisfaction and retention.

The Start Society is the first in Australia to implement what we call the trio-zone model in a independent tech startup space.

We think this makes sense so here are the details on our implementation approach at iCentralCo by The Start Society locations.

Our Three Zones: Focus, Connect, Create

We have defined our spaces with three zone types, we call this the considerate co-working community trio-zone (or tri-zone) model.

1. Focus Zones (Quiet)

  • For:  Individual quiet work by members only.
  • Looks Like: Lots of desks, screens and office chairs. These are quiet desk areas for individuals to work, solo programming, solo design, solo writing etc. Approximately 60% of our spaces are typically allocated for solo work.
  • Bonus:  Keep an eye out for quiet lounge area and library for a change of pace, position and seating.  These double for collaboration areas after hours.  Maybe some cabinets/standing tables and gym balls for a change of posture.  Feel free to move around to try different micro spaces.
  • Pro Tips:  Use headphones or earbuds to show you are concentrating and don’t want to be disturbed.  Move to commons areas in the Connect Zones to make calls or chat, this does not mean you must move from your desk to make a call but it does mean you can and should make it your first choice now technology makes is easy and seamless and out of respect for your peers.  Move to Inspire Zones for team/guest meetings.
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2. Connect Zones (Chat/CallCollaborate Openly)

  • For:  Open sharing/collaboration by members and their quests across teams. Connect, learn, be inspired and maybe even you will inspire your professional peers.
  • Looks Like:  These are large common meetup areas with communal tables (large long tables and smaller cafe tables typically) for open brainstorming, pitching, lunches, debating across teams, sharing tech insights and casual get to know you conversations with fellow members and maybe your guest or theirs. These areas are characterised by lots of light, glass windows, whiteboard/glass marker pens and post it notes, coffee, snacks and even beer/cider/wine for later. Great for getting away from your desk for that video/phone call too. Keep any eye out for the nearby common services like stationery cupboard, kitchen appliances, fridges and lots of shared tables.
  • Bonus:  After core hours the lounge and library also serve as a casual break out space not just all focused work! Check for out door areas nearby too.
  • Pro Tips:  Move to private meeting spaces in Create zone if you don’t want to be social today, conversely if you are in the mood, make an effort and introduce yourself and your guests to other members, this is the ideal space to be social and practice open peer learning!
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3. Create Zones (Private Meetings)

  • For: Private meetings between members and their guests only. All guests must be hosted by a member at all times.
  • Looks Like: These are semi-private meeting spaces for closed meetings just for your teams and guests, typically resources include meeting tables for 4 to 14 people, white boards and windows to write on. These spaces are lightly partitioned off with cabinets, plants and distance from other areas and sometimes physically closed spaces.
  • Bonus: Lighting kits for specialist photography including green screen for video background editing and special effects.
  • Pro Tips: For larger meetings and metopes with lots of guests reserve the large auditorium style spaces well in advance. For smaller meetings be considerate of neighbours.
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