With advanced technology and automation enabling a distributed workforce, emergence of the start-up economy and multiple travel options offering access to remote areas, community working, economical spaces as well as plug-and-play cubicles are the need of the hour and are on very high demand these days. We are already experiencing it with the rapid emergence of co-working offices everywhere mostly in the metropolitan cities of India. However, it’s not just co-working, it’s the motivation behind co-working -autonomy, independence, choice and meaning- that is changing the face of the workplace overall.
The co-working industry is still in its nascent stage in India, with several players emerging in the market. This is reflected in the fact that over 90% of India’s 300 shared workplace operators started their first co-working space in the last 2 years only and many more are already entering the arena or eyeing to enter soon.
Many of the smaller independent co-working spaces are creating a “workplace as a service” model. By focusing efforts on other value added services like lower prices, independence, unrestricted work hours, collaboration and networking opportunities, and revenue streams that enhance member experiences, they give workers an edge over a home office, the coffee shop, or even a corporate office. It’s not just the profitability piece that’s driving these evolved types of co-working spaces. Services and conveniences are truly what drive people to co-work. As such, these future independent co-working spaces will be like co-working on steroids. Rather future spaces will include a health club, spa, residences, dry cleaning, and even more retail options so members get an immersive experience.
Right now, co-working still means a lot of things to a lot of people: there are so many options depending on the space, the hours, the amenities, etc. As the market gets better defined, there will likely be a consolidation of best practices and service offerings.
Five Reasons Why Would You Want to Consider Co-Working?
For Corporates & Startups:
- Cost effective: Cost per seat in co-working spaces is anywhere between half and one-third of conventional leasing costs of the regular offices.
- No gestation period: Due to readily available infrastructure and plug and play setup, one can start working from day one. Even while travelling, you do not need to search for space to utilize your free time. You can pre-book your seat in the preferable area and start working with all desired amenities.
- Enhance productivity: Through tie-up with operators who have spaces at multiple locations or with multiple operators at different locations, you can provide the nearest options to employees—saving time and improving productivity.
- Collaboration: Collaboration with professionals from other fields can help employees stay updated on market trends and enhance their skills or incorporate new skills. It also provides a chance to meet new talent and promotes knowledge sharing.
- Easy team expansion: There is no restriction on increasing number of seats in a co-working facility unlike conventional leasing, where due to the limited size of the leased area team expansion becomes difficult.
There is no denying the fact that the nature of work is changing, however, so it’s worth embracing the positive aspects of that phenomenal and instrumental change. What constitutes a job is no longer neatly bound by notions of a career, the nine-to-five, of 40-hour weeks and four-weeks’ holiday leave, and nor should it be.
Flexibility that empowers workers – as opposed to the sort of “flexibility” imposed from above by employers – should be welcomed and co-working spaces help enable that sort of change in budding entrepreneurs, freelancers, employees of the corporate firms, and to those who want to break out from the large corporate offices to open spaces.