Select Interiors

Why should businesses embrace co-working?



First a potted history of the Evolution of Co-working.

The global co-working movement can trace its origins to the emergence of ‘hackerspaces’ in the mid-1990s. These open workplaces provided physical spaces where people with common digital technology interests could gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge. Co-working as a term was coined by Brian DeKoven, a game designer in 1999, he named a working style to facilitate collaboration and meetings. 2005 was the first official collaborative workspace: The San Francisco Coworking Company launched a non-profit cooperative which offered an alternative work community combining the freedom and flexibility of independent working with the structure and community of traditional offices. Three years on and there were 75 co-working spaces in operation across North America and Europe. Six years after the first Coworker the movement had expanded into Asia, Mumbai, Singapore, Hong Kong and other cities with limited office space and rapidly growing start-up communities.

The co-working movement continues to experience rapid growth. The number of shared workspaces nearly doubles each year and serves an increasingly broad community of users worldwide, including 30.2 million independent workers currently employed in the USA. Helping to drive this expansion is the growing class of entrepreneurs who work as sole practitioners in their own business ventures — — as well as those who take on part-time independent assignments — sometimes referred to as ‘side-giggers’.

“Coworking can be defined as “the flexible” working of knowledge workers largely independent of each other at a common, institutionalised location. In that respect, the hierarchy – free social network facilities wide-ranging cooperation benefits for the participants”  – Fraunhofer IAO

As co-working continues its mainstream expansion, the movement is also extending its reach from primarily urban areas to less populated locations, as well as taking place in non-traditional venues such as hotels, abandoned warehouses and former churches. This rapid growth has spawned the creation of a new class of office sharing business venture. Perhaps the most prominent and ambitious example is WeWork, the New York-based business that currently serves more than 50,000 members at 77 locations across North America and Europe.

Biz Spaces

UK based Biz Spaces has expanded into a niche for providing flexible office spaces, some with WeWork as tenants! The incredibly s offering super flexible terms and Coworker spaces in 106 locations with 3833 businesses operating in their expanding portfolio

Select Interiors_Gateshead_Biz Spaces group

Select Interiors_Gateshead_Biz Spaces group

The above project by Select Interiors in collaboration with designer Kate Yates was fitted out for expanding Biz Spaces group in Gateshead. The scheme incorporated additional exec meeting spaces and a Co-Worker area with a previously little used atrium and reception giving the client excellent return on their investment

Select Interiors_Gateshead_Altrincham

Select Interiors_Gateshead_Altrincham

The above scheme for Biz Spaces and Designer Kate Yates incorporated a Café & Coworker space into a previously little used ‘greasy spoon’ café. During the project, we uncovered and refurbished original Victorian features, the tiled floor in the entrance and the beautiful parquet was lovingly restored by Select Interiors

Back to the original question, why should businesses embrace co-working?

A broad range of mid and large-sized organisations have chosen co-working strategies as part of their supplementary, and sometimes even primary, office solutions. These strategies typically follow one or more of the following:

  • Placing individual employees in community co-working environments so they can experience the communal benefits reported by independent co-workers. This alternative is most often used for remote or work-from-home employees who are physically disconnected from co-workers
  • Integrating co-working spaces within the company’s office workplace strategy, either by leasing portions of an off-site co-working space to accommodate specific employee teams or by creating a co-working environment on-site in an existing corporate-owned or leased office. This strategy is most commonly used for innovation, engineering and R&D teams as well as for HR professionals
  • Leasing corporate facilities to vendors, sub-consultants, business partners or other non-employees for use as co-working space. This strategy has been embraced by firms with progressive cultures, primarily those in the technology sector.

OBI Property

See an example below of the design and process to create the popular Hello Work Co-worker space for Allied London project managed by OBI Property

Allied London project_OBI Property

Before images of the space subdivided with concrete block walls and partitions

Sketch brief_Hello Workspace_Allied London

Sketch brief for the creation of Hello Workspace by Allied London’s insanely creative Chief Executive Officer Michael Ingall

Select Interiors_Plan layout_Scheme

Plan layout developed by the Select Interiors design team based on the sketch brief above

Select interiors_3D Model_Hello Work concept

3D Model of the proposed Co Worker space for the expanding Hello Work concept

Select Interiors Ltd_Granada headquarters_Manchester

Co-worker space design & fitted out in former Granada headquarters in Manchester by Select Interiors Ltd for Hello Workspaces & Allied London Estates

Allied London’s Hello Work concept ‘shared worker’ spaces, in the HQ complex Manchester, & Leeds Dock was at the forefront of the trend for communal informal shared workplaces. These drop-in spaces where entrepreneurs and techies came together to work, meet & collaborate. Encounters with like-minded individuals have fertilised a seedbed of start-ups. The economic, flexible workspaces and business support have transformed the traditional rented office business model

Select Interiors Ltd_Old Granada Studios_Allied London Estates_OBI Property

Image of Co-worker space in Old Granada Studios for Allied London Estates & OBI Property by Select Interiors Ltd

Coworker space in Leeds with Café designed and fitted out by Select Interiors Manchester design & fit out company for the uber-cool independent coffee chain Caffeine & Co, Allied London Estates & Icon Project Management Ltd

Latest News…

Select Interiors have been working on the design of a major innovative ‘Nasa’ type workspace for the rapidly expanding Miller Vanguard Group in Bury

Select Interiors_Miller Vanguard_Site survey

See survey image

Select Interiors_Miller Vanguard_3D design model

Image of 3D design model created by Select Interiors for Miller Vanguard

Slightly different view of the above, 3D model currently in development


Select Interiors Manchester Design Make are proud to be working with the mighty Bruntwood properties on the design of an exciting demountable theatre, presentation & cinema concept.

Select Interiors_Bruntwood_demountable theatre_cinema concept

Lake District National Park

We have recently completed works for The Lake District National Park. A full reconfiguration & fit out of a café in Brockholes an outstanding example of Arts & Crafts architecture on Lake Windamere. Scope of works included bespoke hand painted joinery, general carpentry, mechanical, electrical, ceramic tiling, Copper cladding, decoration & management

Lake District National Park, Fit out, Cafe


We have recently completed a contract with uber cool Agency Kagool at their northern head office in Grade II listed building St Georges House on Peter Street in Manchester. Scope of works includes partitioning, acoustic upgrade works, phone boxes, bespoke circular furniture/meeting area, desks, screens, concrete flooring, Moss wall & decoration

Select Interiors_Kagool_Peter Street

Mosaic Studios

Select Interiors have completed some interior space planning & design for award winning agency Mosaic Studios in York, the brief was to create a dynamic flexible workspace circa 6000sqft for 55 workstations, utilising 10 existing. Scheme to be split with works areas, MDs & executive offices, high table combination breakout, collaborative and open plan spaces with RH side combining informal meeting spaces, Coffee Shop Canteen, games area, collaborative & brainstorming / presentation space, see below some clips from our digital mood board & drawings

Mosaic studios, Moodboard

Digital mood board by the Select team for Mosaic Studios

Mosaic studios, Plan layout scheme, Revit

Plan layout in Revit for 50% of the scheme for Mosaic Studios in York

Jordan Fishwick

Select Interiors Manchester Shop & Office Fitters have recently completed works for premium Estate Agents Jordan Fishwick on Deansgate in Manchester. The 4-week project was to design & fit out their new retail space & offices. Scope of works included bespoke joinery, general carpentry, mechanical, electrical, data, flooring, glazed balustrades, decoration, graphic design, furniture, illuminated LED displays, fixtures/fittings & management

Jordan Fishwick, design & fit out

V Properties

Select Interiors Manchester Shop & Office Fitters have recently completed works for the dynamic Vincent Cheng, Managing Director of expanding property letting agents V Properties on Manchester’s Deansgate. Scope of works included bespoke joinery, general carpentry, mechanical, air conditioning, electrical, data, flooring, glazed offices and sprayed glass cladding, decoration, graphic design, furniture, illuminated LED displays, fixtures/fittings & management

V Properties, fittings & management

Cat A Fit out

Select Interiors are near completion on a Cat A Fit out for the mighty Castlefield Estates. The works on the 3rd floor at 2 Commercial Street to complete a Cat A fit out over a five-week period, the scope included computer access flooring, electrical, lighting, fire strategy, coffer ceilings, wall linings, plaster finishes & decoration

We at Select Interiors Manchester know It makes sense to create office environments that not only make the most efficient use of space but that incorporate a sense of fun and unique bespoke elements to every scheme

Please find the following a selection of our work within our Pixieset link

Talk to the experts about how an engaging fit out can improve productivity and wellbeing to help attract & retain motivated staff call the Select Interiors design team on 0161 445 4040

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0161 445 4040

Studio 31a, Tib Street, Manchester, M4 1LX