Businesses Look towards Co-working for Feasible Option
Sanjay Chatrath, Managing Partner, Incuspaze
How the office segment space is evolving?
In the past few years, office spaces have been undergoing significant transformations. The way offices of today look and feel is evolving tremendously. Companies are strategizing and bracing themselves for how businesses will shape up in the coming times. The need to collaborate has transformed traditional cubicles into agile workspaces and the need for flexibility has given way to co-working spaces.
With the rise of new-age working style, the co-working industry successfully bloomed globally. For some time now, the growth of co-working spaces has been steady which was boosted further by a rising number of gig workers. If we go by the reports conducted on the growth of the co-working sector; several of them have revealed that the thumb rule for space requirement of 100-plus sq. ft. has decreased by 20-30% on an average, optimising the real estate costs. The potential co-working market in India is made up of 12-16 million seats. Despite the uncertainty created in the commercial office markets on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, the co-working segment is still expected to contribute at least 10% of the overall demand in 2021 and 2022. This is a big reason why companies are turning towards co-working spaces.
What are the reasons for Co-working emerging as a Viable Alternative?
Over the past year, co-working spaces have proved beneficial to not just professionals and startup teams but even SMEs. The outbreak of the pandemic changed the rules of the game in favour of this segment. Considering the need to observe social distancing norms and avoid crowded workplaces, many businesses started opting for co-working spaces because of their flexible seating arrangements, along with other benefactors like private cabins and distanced workstations.
For companies applying hybrid work models, the ‘hub and spoke’ model of working appears highly beneficial. With co-working spaces filling the shoes of the satellite offices for bigger organizations and MNCs, teams could function without any difficulties even with varied employee demographics. This also enables employees to work from anywhere or even find a workspace close to their clients.
What Makes Co-working Spaces a Preferred Choice for India Inc.?
Co-working spaces offer an incredible set of amenities such as virtual & remote workstations, ergonomic furniture, high-speed internet, meeting rooms in addition to provisioning basic requirements such as professional printers, high-tech security, parking spaces, IoT, among others. They are also equipped with cafeterias with 24×7 snacks and beverages and basic stationery supplies for everyday usage. The modern workspace layout, private cabins and spaced seating make it worthwhile to work out of these spaces.
Co-working spaces are an optimal solution for people who want to continue working from home in the current times, without hampering their productivity. These employees can easily work and collaborate at remote workspaces without having to commute long distances and jeopardize their health. Most co-working spaces are disperses in sub-markets and even at non-commercial areas, which makes them easily accessible. Professionals can easily find flexible terms best suited to their needs and timings, without compromising with health and safety protocols.
Affiliation with colleagues and engagement opportunities are two important factors that make people crave returning to offices. Flexible workspaces offer these opportunities to individuals. They provide a highly people-centric working environment, ensuring opportunities for collaboration and networking. Employee engagement is not only driven by employees’ enthusiasm and involvement in the work but also by their workplace.
Are Co-working offices cost effective?
Co-working spaces help start-ups and small businesses save a large chunk of their initial investments for technology, research, innovation, rather than using it for buying new office spaces altogether. Moreover, a single routine payment covers all charges related to operational expenses and other additional costs. With this, businesses can enjoy entire workspace solutions under a single roof completely, taken care of by the workspace provider. There are also several features like pay-as-you-go, which is extremely beneficial for new-age entrepreneurs and freelancers.
In the foreseeable future, more co-working players are likely to emerge who will offer fully-managed spaces with extensive enterprise solutions. As the concept of traditional offices is diminishing, the future of work through co-working spaces promises to offer more flexibility and agility to businesses. By offering promotional offers, niche product offerings and revenue-sharing models, the flexible-office providers will scale up the demand for co-working spaces by a huge margin.