According to a survey by Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View, 76% of India’s workforce would opt for another job if compelled to return to work full time.
India’s rapidly growing and modern workforce believes in working smarter and not just harder. “Flexibility” is gradually becoming an essential part of multiple business structures, which in turn is impacting the requirements of physical work space.. The inflexibility of traditional leasing options, cost saving benefits to companies, the push from a younger workforce for more life-work balance are some of the reasons why coworking spaces or shared workspaces are getting a boost.
India is showing signs of resilience even in these years of turmoil and that is because there is a strong push for creativity and a thirst to be leaders in all things. The rise of entrepreneurial and start-up culture has led the wave for hybrid working. In addition, the larger companies and enterprises have a requirement to strike a balance in their people management and a redefinition of culture within their organizations. Shared workspaces, offices on demand, coworking spaces offer flexibility that can give curated solutions to companies of scale and those looking to start from scratch, something traditional leasing has not been able to cater to.
The pandemic has addressed how companies should be looking at their workspaces during volatile times. Factors such as rotational teams, shorter lock-in periods, no capital investment, on ground facility & operations management, safety & security and overall low maintenance has even encouraged industry to operate out of flexible workspaces all around the world. In India itself there is large growth being seen in the take up of office spaces by coworking companies. “By the end of 2025, India’s stock of flexible office space is slated to reach 80 million sq. ft.”
Value for money
As a cost-effective strategy, SMEs,larger organizations, and independent professionals get the best of both worlds by providing themselves or their employees with an ideal workspace with the one stop shop price. Being part of a large space, one has access to larger meeting rooms, common amenities, different workspaces, break out areas which could not be possible if one chooses an individual office space. Costs can be managed as one pays for only what they consume. No hassles of high overheads and additional maintenance costs etc. Coworking spaces are extremely value-driven as they take care of everything while companies can concentrate on growing their business.
Sustainable and environmental impact
Apart from saving time and optimizing the use of resources, working out of a coworking space also reduces our environmental impact as we can make more sustainable choices in our daily lives. Flexi spaces are centrally located all over major cities, giving us an opportunity to work closer to our homes and eradicating the commute to work, thereby, reducing CO2 emissions by vehicular transport. Shared spaces are designed in a way which brings with it, shared amenities, decreased overconsumption or waste of energy- something to be cognisant of, especially with the challenge of meeting ESG goals going into the future.
A thriving community of like-minded individuals
Employee burnout can happen in different ways, low engagement and lack of face to face interaction can lead to decreased productivity levels and burnout. Lack of social structure can make certain employees feel ignored, alone, and demoralized. Coworking spaces are always bustling with zest, enthusiasm and energy with events and activities that bring everyone together. It also provides a great opportunity for networking and collaborating with people from similar or different industries as and when required.
To customize a working model that might be a remote-first hybrid or office-centric hybrid, companies must deliver the right balance between hybrid work and the requirements of the organization and people. The workspace itself shouldn’t be the only deciding factor, instead it should be the workplace experience. Coworking spaces provide space as a service where not only is flexibility and customizability of space important but so are the other intangibles that together end up being the sticky glue for the surging demand.
(The author is Mr. Robin Chhabra, Founder & CEO, Dextrus and the views expressed in this article are his own)