What Renters Want: Acoustically Comfortable Co-Working Spaces

Apartment living has come a long way with luxury amenities designed to attract and retain residents. Rooftop swimming pools, yoga studios and dog washing stations were leading the line-up before the pandemic, but more and more these amenities are now competing with co-working spaces.

During COVID, office buildings sat empty while common areas in apartment buildings became the place where residents head to get their work done. “Co-working spaces took off as people fled the confines of tiny apartments—or roommates constantly on the phone or in Zoom meetings,” according to The New York Times article “Co-Working from Your Apartment Building”.

As architects and designers specializing in multifamily projects create these shared work spaces, private offices and conference rooms, an important consideration is sound control. Residents expect the highest level of acoustical comfort when they come together to do quiet work, jump on a zoom call or take a break at the coffee bar. Multifamily co-working spaces must provide an acoustical experience that matches or exceeds traditional co-working spaces. Snowsound can help with a wide selection of solutions from freestanding space dividers to ceiling-suspended panels and multifunctional products designed to be hung on the wall as art.

Madera Residential in Frisco, TX owns 50 apartment properties in Dallas | Ft. Worth and Houston. Co-working is top of mind when it comes to amenities. “I get into the market as much as I can and I always see people in the common areas answering phone calls or doing emails,” say Micah Worm, Asset Manager at Madera Residential.

The marketing team recognizes co-working as a top amenity and messages its availability to attract renters, especially in its Class A apartment communities.

“When we’re buying properties and doing value-add enhancements, we make sure that we are keeping up with the times and providing our residents with a place to work comfortably,” says Worm. This includes a combination of open and private spaces including phone booths. “We make it a private [working] environment, but open as well—so it’s not very confined and you don’t feel like you are in a cubicle or office all day,” adds Worm.

Even when purchasing older assets where co-working is harder to envision, the team executes creative retrofits.

Worm adds, “We just acquired an asset built in 2008. It has great amenities including beautiful courtyards, but there is no space to create co-working. We are thinking of taking a couple of the units off-line to blow them out and make them co-working space.”

As the pandemic continues to play out, Millennials and others in the workforce have said they will look for a new job if they are not given the option to work from home at least part of the work week. Madera Residential anticipates that the need for co-working at apartment properties will probably increase as the years go by. According to Worm, most everyone in multifamily is keeping that in mind.

If you’re designing co-working spaces for apartment residents, Snowsound can help. For a free acoustic analysis and quote, please click and fill out our online data form. We can calculate how reverberant a room or space is and demonstrate the benefit of adding Snowsound.

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