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Rising trend of co-working spaces

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Swanubhuti Jain - Mumbai

17-Jan-2020

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The concept of a co-working space is believed to be pioneered by American software engineer Brad Neuberg who started the first such collective space in San Francisco in 2005. The concept caught the imagination of the industry and has become a worldwide trend today. Indian startups are increasingly realizing the benefit of such a dynamic work environment that exposes you people of diverse backgrounds, broadens your horizon, allows the remarkable opportunity to network and make friends. Most importantly, save money!

For startups with a handful of employees, for freelancers, consultants or people working remotely, acquiring a full-fledged office space is not always a financially viable option. On the other hand, working from home is insipid, uninspiring and predisposes you to many distractions. However, as the requirement for a flexible yet office like space increases, the concept of co-working spaces is increasingly gaining traction. As India churns out more and more startups and innovative companies, the new trend of co-working spaces is sweeping the work space culture.

For those who have never heard the term, a co-working space is a place that offers a shared work area complete with all hardware and infrastructure to people from diverse work backgrounds at nominal charges. So, you can walk into the space on a daily basis, acquire a table for yourself, grab a coffee and use the facilities of a good wi-fi connection. You might be from an IT background and could be sharing the same space with a financial broker, a travel advisor, a blogger or a freelance journalist. It works like a shared service for office goers.

Co-working might be the future

The concept of a co-working space is believed to be pioneered by American software engineer Brad Neuberg who started the first such collective space in San Francisco in 2005. The concept caught the imagination of the industry and has become a worldwide trend today. Indian startups are increasingly realizing the benefit of such a dynamic work environment that exposes you people of diverse backgrounds, broadens your horizon, allows the remarkable opportunity to network and make friends. Most importantly, save money!

According to real estate organization CBRE's recent research, India has emerged as the largest flexible space markets in the entire APAC region. The flexible space stock in India increased by about 50% from 10 million sq. ft. in 2017 to about 15 million sq. ft. by Q3 2018, according to the CBRE research. It also expects space take-up from flexible space operators to rise from about 5.4 million sq. ft. in 2018 to about 7-9 million sq. ft. by 2020. Predictably, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi lead the co-working space surge in India.

Flexible, agile and new age workplaces are the trend of the day. Interestingly, while the surge was led by startups, gradually large organizations are also finding the idea lucrative and beneficial for productivity and are joining the co-working bandwagon.

Benefits of co-working : Why young entrepreneurs love this phenomenon

The benefits of co-working are immense especially if you are looking for having a no-fuss office space to yourself that is affordable and comfortable. Come to think of it, or a startup which has just taken off, investing in a new office space, hardware and infrastructure costs a bomb. In the initial phase of growth, organizations also have just a handful of employees who can fit in on a single table. They also require a lot of flexibility of operation and co-working spaces fit their requirements conveniently. For organizations who have established set ups in one city but are looking to expand to other cities as well, this flexible workspace option makes a lot of sense.

Cost effectiveness

This is by far among the most attractive benefits of co-working. Not only it saves you the cost of renting out a full-fledged office in highly expensive commercial zones of top cities, but also saves you the expense of investing in other office infrastructure and hardware such as printers, scanners, pantry service etc. If you are just renting out a co-working space, you can also do so in the centre of the city, close to businesses and your client offices. Besides, the service requirements of the space such as repair, power functioning etc are also taken care of by the providers, leaving you with least trouble of maintenance.

Opportunity of networking

The opportunity to work with multiple dimensions of people also allows you to network and connect with people, something that can work wonders for your business. Often, different people meet in such circumstances and end up sealing a business deal; startups may find lucrative investors or clients through this networking process.