Several orange couches, plants and green furnishings in a sustainable coworking space by O2Work in Singapore

The Latest Coworking Trend: Green Coworking Spaces

Fires raging in the Amazon rainforest in August. A historic global climate strike — and Singapore’s inaugural Climate Rally, kicking off in September. Reports about rising sea levels and extreme weather growing increasingly dire. With the conversation surrounding climate change ramping up, environmental sustainability surely is at the forefront of everybody’s minds. Growing awareness of the problem and the need for change means that a ‘green’ workspace will soon become the norm rather than the exception. Green coworking spaces, as hubs of innovation and collaboration, are perfectly placed to pioneer innovative, eco-friendly solutions.

What is the future of work? How can we align it with a sustainable future? These are the problems that green coworking spaces have the potential to solve.

The Rise of Green Coworking Spaces

Sustainability is at the very core of coworking. Conceptually, the sharing of space and supplies amongst many different teams inherently cuts down on wastefulness. Printers, copiers, refrigerators, meeting rooms — these all produce tons of waste and use up energy. Collective use of these resources leads to fewer office supplies destined for the landfill.

In recent years, however, coworking spaces have taken even greater strides beyond this. The rise of the ‘green’ coworking space is an effort to cultivate eco-consciousness both in the community and in the sustainable design of space. Sharing ideas and connections along with material resources, these coworking spaces present opportunities for collaboration on new solutions to the climate change problem. The open and creative culture surrounding coworking makes the possibility for meaningful change even greater and more exciting.

With the green trend taking hold in many countries, beautiful eco-friendly workspaces have been popping up all around the world. One of the most well-known is Green Spaces in Denver, USA. Billing itself as the “Workspace for Green Entrepreneurs”, Green Spaces is dedicated to building a supportive community for environmentally-focused startups. All members fill out a green mission statement as part of their orientation, and the space uses 100% solar power and reclaimed materials only. Closer to home, CoCoon in Hong Kong incorporates sustainability in every aspect of its design. Bamboo flooring, low-energy LED lights, and drought-resistant plants all make CoCoon’s space green and energy-efficient. The open and friendly space facilitates regular idea-sharing and brainstorming, encouraging members to engage with social responsibility and environmental entrepreneurship in their work.

The Green Trend in Singapore

O2Work at North Bridge Road is one of the first green coworking spaces in Singapore designed specifically with environmental sustainability in mind. Eco-friendliness and resource-maximisation is at the heart of O2Work’s space design. Building off the mantra of “wellness at work”, the space houses a three-dimensional eco-system of plants for cleaner air and clearer minds, leading to greater physical and mental health. The lush greenery and bright, zen-like atmosphere is invigorating, reducing stress and promoting creativity and productivity. Lighting is energy-efficient, and appliances and furniture are built with refurbished materials.

Lobby of a green coworking space, consisting of orange sofas, green carpeting, plants, and chairs

Open area at the newly-opened O2Work, a green coworking space on North Bridge Road

Through the sustainable design of the space, O2Work also aims to build a wider sense of investment in and awareness of the environment amongst its members. Building a sustainable and inclusive community of healthy members who possess an environmental consciousness and who can work and thrive together — this is the ultimate goal of O2Work’s eco-friendly project.

How are Coworking Spaces Tapping on the Trend?

There are many ways in which coworking spaces are imbuing eco-friendliness into their ethos. Here are some of the most common ways in which spaces incorporate sustainability into their community and design:

  1. Refurbishing existing buildings and spaces wherever possible. This not only prevents waste, but also adds a unique and historical character to the workspace.
  2. Maximising the sharing and use of resources. The most common are shared kitchens with common dishwashers and cutlery, accessible recycling bins, open breakout and meeting spaces etc.)
  3. Plants and natural greenery are incorporated into the interior design, creating a beautiful, healthier and cleaner environment.
  4. Opting for renewable or recyclable materials like bamboo, reclaimed wood, and recycled cork.
  5. Common urban gardening space that is open to all members. This creates a space for people to directly engage with the environment and builds more investment and care for nature.
  6. Eco-friendly lighting, such as motion-sensor or low-energy LED lights.
  7. Reducing carbon outputs through the installation of bike racks, indoor cycling paths, and car-share programs
  8. Organising networking events and seminars on sustainability, inviting members across different industries to share their insights, learn from others, and develop cross-disciplinary solutions to the climate change issue.

Final Thoughts

Climate change is a global problem that all of us must play a part in solving. The open and innovative environment of coworking provides a perfect jumping-off platform for forming new solutions and making tangible change. GorillaSpace helps you fully understand not only what amenities and facilities a coworking space offers, but also what they promise in terms of environmental sustainability.

If you are on the look-out for green coworking spaces to work in, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly Space Experts! Explore a variety of coworking spaces for rent in Singapore. Contact +65 8817 9170 or drop an email to [email protected]

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