The pandemic has affected not only people’s lifestyles, but also their working environments. Since remote work is no longer rare and people can select where to work from, a free co-working space has been set up in the shopping centre Spice with the help of IKEA. It offers visitors 28 fully equipped workplaces and more than 20 comfortable seats in the lounge area with soft furniture, which will facilitate conversation and exchange of ideas. Keeping in line with the latest office interior trends, the co-working space is cosy, green, and sustainable.
“IKEA has almost 80 years of experience in furnishing spaces suitable for living, relaxation, and also work. With the opening of the co-working space in the shopping centre Spice, Riga will have another place to work, meet with business partners and customers, and generate new ideas. Considering that the IKEA experience is characterised by affordable prices and free interior design services, everyone will be able to use this co-working space for free,” points out Pēteris Grīnbergs, head of IKEA Latvia.
The space of more than 200 square metres is located on the 2nd floor of the shopping centre and can accommodate up to 48 people simultaneously. The co-working space is open during the business hours of the shopping centre from 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m., and no prior booking is required. Visitors have access to wireless internet, and all workspaces have electrical sockets and USB ports.
“In recent years, more than ever before, we have experienced dramatic changes in the organisation of daily work – as long as we have a computer at hand, we can work from anywhere in the world. Therefore, we are pleased with the cooperation project with IKEA, creating a free common area for visitors to hold meetings, answer incoming e-mails, or simply relax before moving on to their next daily activities,” says Iveta Priedīte, head of the shopping centres Spice and Spice Home. “The well-being of our visitors has always been and will always be our primary focus. Therefore, we particularly welcome such projects, which can significantly change the visitor experience in our premises by giving them even more functionalities that meet customer needs,” she continues.
Modern office furnishings
The co-working space is equipped with desks and chairs that are durable, sustainable, and suited to the needs of such a place. The selected furniture is functional and ergonomic. Auce Graudiņa, IKEA interior designer, who created the interior of the co-working space, emphasises that choosing ergonomic furniture is just as important as furnishing the office in a way that the environment encourages creativity and collaboration, reduces stress, and helps focus on the work to be done. This can be achieved with a cosy interior and by combining office-specific furniture with furniture and interior items that promote a relaxing and free atmosphere.
There are various desks available in the co-working space, including classic and adjustable-height desks, as well as ones with a changeable work surface angle. The room is also equipped with soft furniture, such as sofas and armchairs. It is possible for visitors to select furniture that is appropriate and comfortable for their work.
“The interior of this room was inspired by the place itself, the shopping centre. The environment here is full of people and noise is inevitable. In such places, people tend to work in coffee shops, but it is not a suitable environment for making important calls or for concentration. This is how the concept of a co-working space was born: everyone can pick the most convenient workspace for them and get down to work. We have achieved a sense of cosiness with plants and natural materials, calm tones and moderate lighting in the interior,” explains the IKEA interior designer.
According to the designer, sustainable solutions are increasingly being used in office spaces, just as they have been in homes for some time now. The furnishings in this co-working space have also been designed with sustainability in mind: desks, chairs, and soft furniture are made by saving wood resources, while the soft furniture fabric in the lounge area is hand-woven from rattan palm, a natural and rapidly renewable material.
“Nowadays, office spaces are often green, so they no longer seem cold and impersonal. Here too, we have not skimped on the green plants and tried to furnish the environment in a calm and creative manner. We have opted for artificial plants that do not require care, but look equally attractive and help improve emotional well-being. Some people find that working in a relaxed atmosphere increases their productivity. It is common for office spaces to be set up in a way that caters to various needs of people and creates a comfortable environment for all,” says A. Graudiņa.