Co-working spaces set to flourish and become an advantage for real estate industry
The trend of co-working spaces is increasingly becoming popular not only in a developing country like ours but world over. The demand for such spaces has witnessed a 10-15% annual growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
But what are co-working spaces? A shared work environment when various companies or individuals share a common work space with flexible timings is known as a co-working space. In simple words, different establishments share the same roof and common facilities like pantry, reception area, break out areas etc.
Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi NCR are the most popular cities in India for such spaces and have many successfully running co-working spaces. Some of the known companies offering co-working spaces in India include WeWork, Co Wrks, The Executive Centre, Awfis, and 91 Springboard. In 2016, close to 1.2 square feet of office space was leased to co-working space providers and the number is expected to increase this year with global players like WeWork entering India and companies like Awfis getting funding. The trend is picking up in India and is here to stay.
Why such spaces are becoming popular in India? In the era of high rentals, start up and financial uncertainty, the flexibility that co-working spaces provide work wonders since unlike a traditional office lease the tenant is not bound by any long term office lease and they don’t have to pay a deposit. Companies pay as per the number of seats and number of hours they use the space for. They can also book a meeting or conference room as and when required. So they get both low-cost and flexible workspaces. Also, these spaces are well designed, usually close to amenities and are great for networking as one can meet professionals from different backgrounds.
Companies are known to have saved anywhere between 20-30% of the costsby opting for a co-working space over a traditional office setup. Not only do they save operational costs but also time and money needed for acquiring and fitting out a new office premises. These are suited for any organisation which doesn’t work on high level confidentiality.
Many small and mid-scale organisations work on project basis and their need for office space keeps altering depending on the project. Since they are not locked by a long term lease companies have the flexibility to grow or downsize as needed. Such work spaces are also preferred by start-ups and freelancers who need professional environment and likeminded people around them, but not an individual office space with the worry of fixed monthly rental plus over heads.
Few mandates for a good co-working space are good high speed internet, technical support, food and coffee service, flexible spaces and most important a good mix of professionals. You are working around people from different companies yet you have common celebrations for festivals.
Co-working spaces are preferred by companies not because of cost and flexibility, but also because such spaces function like an informal community. They are formal yet casual. You can meet professionals from different streams under the same roof, discuss ideas and grow your business.