July 2, 2018
Coworking has been revolutionizing the work culture across the globe for the past few years. And India – a country with the second largest labor force in the world – also didn’t remain immune to the winds of this change. As the demand for shared office spaces increased throughout the country, it was felt more prominently in category A cities than in most other cities in India. The surge of start-ups and a new generation of workers who prefer a flexible work environment fanned the trend for coworking spaces in these cities.
Coworking: A trend on the rise
Start-ups were the first to be attracted to the coworking culture, but the attraction for shared office space didn’t remain confined to start-ups and freelancers. Not long after coworking spaces made their presence felt in Indian cities, large corporate houses, multi-national companies, and even media houses took notice of the advantages of such spaces. The result was that the popularity of coworking spaces started rising at an incredible speed. As per a report by real estate firm CBRE, coworking companies will take up almost 10 Million SqFt of office space by 2020.
So, what makes coworking so popular? What makes it the preferred choice of many start-ups, SMEs, freelancers, and entrepreneurs? Let’s take a look at the 4 main factors contributing to the demand and ever-increasing popularity of coworking spaces:
1. A cost-effective alternative to renting and leasing
Thanks to the rapid increase in the price of commercial spaces across India, it has become a highly expensive affair for a company of any size to lease a traditional office in an urbanized area. The situation is even more alarming for start-ups and individuals who are yet to make a mark in their industry and are not sure about cash flow. In such a situation, coworking comes across as a fresh breath of relief. To lease a traditional office, you have to fork out a fixed initial amount that includes a refundable deposit, advance maintenance charge and other expenses for necessary items like office furniture, gadgets, installation of electrical fittings, etc. On top of that, you have to bear a monthly expense for rent, electricity, internet charges, and the like. Now, if you opt for a coworking office space, all that you will need to pay is a small monthly rent for your seat. This rent is much less in comparison to the monthly rent of a traditional office. Also, you will be able to use various facilities like meeting rooms, printers, etc. at an affordable, or no additional, cost. All these make coworking a feasible option even for large companies that want a space for their employees in an industrial hub.
2. Flexibility matters the most
Recently, there has been a shift in the way the new generation of office-goers expect to work. Flexible timing and a more casual or relaxed work environment stand at the top of their priorities. Offices that can offer such options to their employees are succeeding at keeping the attrition rate low. An easy and effective way to achieve this objective is to opt for coworking spaces. Just walk into any of the coworking office spaces and you will be greeted by colorful interiors and vibrant settings that offer a welcoming feel. When an organization rents such a space for its employees, it translates into increased employee efficiency and productivity.
3. Scale up or scale down: It’s up to you!
One of the main reasons why traditional offices lose out in the popularity race is the scalability issue. If you rent a traditional office in any part of the country, you lose the advantage of increasing or downsizing your team at will. To increase your team, you have to move to a bigger space. This means you have to spend more money on a new lease and then set up the new office for operations. On the other hand, if you downsize your team and do not decide to move out, you have to continue to pay rent for a much bigger space than your current requirement. Seems like a catch 22, doesn’t it? Coworking spaces provide the perfect solution to this issue. You can easily increase or downsize your team as per your requirement. All you need to do is rent out a few more seats to accommodate your growing team or let go of a few seats to downsize.
4. Facilities: The biggest drawcard of coworking spaces
When it comes to the facilities provided by Coworking office spaces, they are in no way less than those found in a corporate office environment. Conference rooms, Wi-Fi, whiteboard walls, lockers, printers, coffee machines, cafeterias, special event spaces, relaxing zones, you name them and they have them. For any well-established company that wants to reserve seats in one of the coworking offices, such facilities are a big draw. Having these facilities at their disposal means employees of the company won’t have to compromise on any kind of amenities due to working in a shared office.
In light of all 4 points mentioned above, it is not a big surprise that coworking is becoming more popular day by day in all major cities of the country.
Aditya Verma is Founder & CEO of Neighborhood Co-working (NCW) Company in India christened The Office Pass (TOP). He drives the company’s vision, strategy and growth. He enjoys creating workspaces that have energy, soul and momentum. Workspaces that makes “working” an enjoyable experience. He wants The Office Pass (TOP) to become a platform (for individuals and companies) to find high quality, yet affordable office spaces near to their place of residence or work. Prior to founding The Office Pass, Aditya was the Co-founder & CEO of Makaan.com (one of India’s leading real estate websites in India) which was acquired by PropTiger (a NewsCorp investee company) in April 2015. This was among the few successful exits in Indian online real estate space. He also held leadership roles in Monster.com and Rediff.com.