When coworking places first established a strong presence in the marketplace around 2012, they grabbed a lot of attention. In the past, coworking spaces were looked upon as a passing trend. Cut to 2020, coworking spaces are an international phenomenon.
For those who are new to the term ‘coworking space,’ they are office spaces for freelancers, where one person pays rent for space and amenities. Millennials have embraced this concept, wanting to have more flexibility in their working environment, wanting the choice to work by themselves or seek collaborative solutions with others.
Since coworking spaces often seat people from related domains together, you gain access to a lot of business knowledge or social connections. According to a coworking growth study (2019), the number of coworking spaces in 2020 will exceed 20,000 and reach 26,000 by 2022—a total increase of 42% from 2019. So, why is it now that coworking spaces have become insanely popular? The answer: coworking spaces are cheaper to rent, offer a more flexible and interesting work environment and save on operational costs.
Digging a Little Deeper
For instance, let us say that you are looking to set up an office in Kolkata. To achieve that you have two options. Your first option is to hunt for a good place to rent, manage peripherals and other amenities that may cost tens of thousands of rupees a month depending on your requirements. Your second option is to rent out some space at a coworking place with a range of amenities such as: printing room, events room, gym cafeteria, medical room, recreation room, some spaces will even have a daycare. All of this at a prime location for a time period that best suits you, membership plans will likely be anywhere between INR6,000–12,000/month (based on the package you prefer). People are more likely to choose coworking spaces, simply because the latter comes with more benefits for a much lower cost.
With newer technologies, startups are finding it easier than ever to launch their business, and freelancers today have more practical options than working from home. Back in 2007, coworking was limited to a few dozen spaces across the world, and then the millennials came. As more millennials become entrepreneurs, they want the greater value for money and a workplace that ensures a better wellbeing.
Coworking comes with:
- Lower costs involved with more amenities
- No lease responsibilities and maintenance bothers
- Organic scope for networking
- Less commitments, easier to shift
- Convenient location
Coworking spaces are becoming more in demand across the world. Bangalore houses the world’s third-highest number of startups.
The high real estate costs and remote locations of available office spaces are causing people, especially startups, flocking towards coworking spaces. Corporations globally are also moving staff into coworking spaces, as their increasingly younger workforce needs a more flexible and collaborative environment to thrive. According to reports, India’s coworking shall rise to 13.5 million users by this year-end.
Real-estate considerations and Symbiosis of Coworking spaces and Malls
Think about it. When there’s a huge demand for workspaces, turning a building into a shared coworking space is easier than going deep into the real-estate market and hunting prime spots at absurd prices. Even for real estate investors, coworking spaces appeal to more potential tenants, ultimately resulting in more income for the lease holder.
Shopping malls are generally less busy on weekdays, thanks to the working week. This has made the same malls lease out their space to coworking owners. With high-end locations, good connectivity, easy commutes and access to amenities, coworking spaces in malls are becoming trendy.
The Startup Side
Coworking spaces are flourishing the entrepreneurial environment and nurturing the community. When a successful coworking space organizes an event, most of its participants, community members, and guests will be entrepreneurs, young startups and members of the millennial workforce. More corporations are becoming coworking members. Why? Because they gain access to new exciting startups and look for partnering or recruitment opportunities.
Gone are the days when work meant slogging away in a cubicle. Millennials believe in redefining these social taboos with equality of expression, collaborative environment, and of course flexible work timings.
Overall, coworking spaces are valuable for almost all types of workers and will boost productivity while saving costs. From stimulating the economic growth of a city, to nurturing a collective sense of professionalism, to rekindling innovation, coworking spaces are revolutionising our cities.
We’ve talked a lot about the reasons why and benefits of a coworking space, but we haven’t actually looked in-depth at what working in a coworking space is like. For further reading, we recommend this piece describing a typical coworking day and this one about how coworking can benefit you.