How co-working spaces have become the enablers for India’s business community?

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Coworking spaces really enable innovation at your company

  • Open spaces, which are fundamental for coworking. If you want to create a space where people can speak, learn from each other and get new ideas, you need to remove all the physical barriers that block communication, such as private offices and boxes. Even more, you want people to change their working spot as much as possible so that they can mix every day. This helps to break the individual comfort zone gently, fostering productive interactions. Remember that innovation is about collaboration and teamwork, so open spaces will surely contribute to make this happen.
  • A place to live and work 24/7. We all need a nice place to give our best. Good coworking spaces try to create an appropriate environment, full of different spots that people can use for being physically rested and mentally focused. This means that you can find a sitting desk shared with more people to network or quiet rooms to focus on a specific task. You can also comfortably sit on a couch with colleagues to discuss some issues in a relaxed manner. And you will find, every day, a kitchen fully stocked with essentials, such as drinks and snacks, and where you can bring your own food to cook. Very different from a regular office! At real coworkings you may feel like being at home, working at your own pace. Of course, you should drop any fixed schedule: some people give their best in the morning, others in the evening or even at night. Just set them free to do it their way.
  • A place to empower people. A good coworking is not just an open and comfortable space, it also actively promotes collaboration, networking, and action. Through daily, weekly and monthly activities, co-workers can share info, events, and workshops, and they can also find the tools to get things done. They can either hire their coworking mates or get new ideas from some colleagues. They can also manage to organize fantastic events where they can learn and innovate. Just remove any constraints and give people whatever they need to unfold their creativity.
Coworking spaces really enable innovation

Flexible co-working spaces are not solely driven by start-ups, millennials and small and medium-sized enterprises anymore. It is also not limited to a specific kind of audience – there is a growing trend of big corporations also adopting co-working spaces in the recent past. Companies such as RBL, PayTM, Swiggy, Vice Media, Pepsico and OLX have already begun to move away from conventional spaces to co-working spaces.

During its early days, the industry started offering co-working spaces with the concept of short periods of stays. In a relatively short amount of time, the co-working industry has gone from a part-time, small-scale venture, to a global worldwide phenomenon. Today, we are nearing two million co-workers, working from thousands of spaces all over the globe.

Co-working spaces are also increasingly becoming industry agnostic and are seeing impressive growth. This has been possible due to the adoption of innovations and hybrid product & service offerings provided by the co-working operators. Co-working spaces are rapidly evolving themselves, keeping in mind the needs of their varied audience and adapting the space according to the needs of their corporate clientele. This includes providing a mix of private offices, fixed seats and even customising the entire centre specifically according to the client requirement. The spaces provide multiple options for customised spaces to established firms, start-up employees, freelancers, and emerging businesses.

Corporations working out of co-working spaces have witnessed lower operational costs and hassle-free operations. Currently, India’s workforce is dominated by the millennials who prefer a work culture that promotes community engagement, collaborative spirit, flexibility, and individuality – all aspects that co-working companies provide.  

According to a recent report by JLL ‘Reshaping Indian Workplaces’, steady demand from corporates, start-ups, and entrepreneurs have resulted in a huge jump in the coworking share in total office leasing which increased from 5 percent  in 2017 to 8 percent in 2018. In Q1 – 2019, it further increased to 12 percent. Factors such as technological innovation, digital transformation have further fuelled the trend of corporate companies joining the co-working space. 

Another trend that’s emerging is the growing popularity of managed offices which are customised for each occupier to meet all their requirements which includes workspace planning, flexibility, managing cafeterias etc. The prospects of the co-working industry look bright with drivers fuelling the demand for high-quality workspace with amenities. 

In spite of the growing popularity, like every industry, this too has certain challenges to overcome. Data security and privacy issues are one of the top concerns by companies opting for co-working spaces. For a company dealing with high volumes of confidential data, sharing space with external organizations can be potentially challenging. However, effective policy frameworks, ensuring soundproof rooms, and other procedures can help mitigate those risks.

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