Today, coworking spaces have changed the conventional work environment. The last five years have witnessed massive growth, and the demand for it is continually growing in India (1).
Startups are the early adopters of coworking spaces; however, soon, it would also see corporates leveraging its potential. Several giants such as Starbucks and Amazon are leading this trend (2). The reasons for corporates to adapt to the new environment are beyond cost-saving. They recognize that working together with energetic, young, and like-minded people astray from a conventional working set up can boost productivity, lead innovation, and improve employee satisfaction.
“It is not just about offering a workstation and an internet connection. The conventional system of renting an entire office and locking in the capital is phasing out. Increasing real estate prices have spurred the demand for collaborative and coworking workspaces.”
– Jaswinder Singh Tiwana, Co-founder of Starthub Nation (3).
While technology and e-commerce firms are the new working environment’s flagbearers, more traditional spaces such as banking, manufacturing, insurance will fuel the coworking spaces in the upcoming years. Today, corporates want to represent themselves as new-age firms and have a modern culture to attract young talent, and offering flexible work options is a dynamic approach (4).
The Emergence of Coworking Spaces
Today’s coworking options include modern workspaces with the latest amenities like a snack bar, game zone, conference rooms, fast WiFi, and the likes. However, these conveniences are generic in nature. They are suitable for all kinds of people, regardless of their work or personality.
The coworking space of BiggBang in Chandigarh nourishes a simulating atmosphere and an extensive community that administers the drive one needs for his company’s growth. Its membership offers a personalized working space in parallel with premium amenities.
The coworking industry will also have spaces dedicated to specific people (6), such as healthy snacks and gyms for the health-conscious or facilities for being open 24×7 for night owls. At present, over 41% of activities are user-based. According to reports, it would grow to 78% in the upcoming years.
In the past several years, the industry has reached tier-II cities (7) While Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru have the maximum number of coworking spaces in the country.
In the coming years, cities like Chandigarh, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Indore would see the agile coworking spaces growing.
It is worth highlighting that previously, the global sentiment with coworking had a limited impact on its growth in India. However, in the past few years, due to the workforce’s altering requirements, coworking business models in the country are evolving.
“The complaints about working from home have always been, number one, loneliness, and number two, productivity. Corporations realize that, if they want their remote workers to be productive and happy, they need to let them cowork.”
– Steve King, Partner at Emergent Research (8).
Today, operators focus on closed office spaces and fixed seats rather than hot desks to meet the requirement of corporate privacy and business performance. It is gaining immense popularity since most of the demand from business owners is for closed spaces and cabins with dedicated areas exclusively for the companies who rented the area from the operator.
Another concept gaining popularity is the built-to-suit centers where the operators develop customized office space as per the clients’ requirements. The inclination towards “Managed Offices” is also increasing (9). In this model, operators undertake real estate planning for their clients and search for a suitable space for their requirements. They meet all the real estate requirements, including reception, managing cafeterias, concierge services, internet lines, conference rooms, power backups, security, and the likes.
Coworking, The Future of India
Coworking space is no longer an alien idea to the general masses. Thanks to Millenials and startup culture’s rise, the western concept has found its wings in India. In early 2010, it was relatively new, but now the industry is carving a niche for itself in the country’s economy.
The coworking space industry is continually expanding, and experts estimate that it would reach a market valuation of 2.2 billion by 2022, with 5.7% market penetration. There is no denying that the future of coworking spaces in India is evolving and bright, considering the encouraging numbers and constant growth scale.
Since India has a thriving economy, growing employment, and abundant talent, coworking space is the perfect office environment to accept a new working style. The demand for innovative, collaborative, and flexible working spaces have begun to surge since the nation has started to showcase the needed flexibility.
The days of conventional workplaces with desks, chairs, separate housekeeping staff, high leases, and expensive cafeterias are long gone. Today, there is a shift towards more economical, collaborative, and a focus on working together and community building culture.
“A good coworking space is committed to igniting consciousness through personal transformation, both individually and collectively. We try to get everyone together and bring about a positive change. The aim is to uncover new frameworks and methods enabling businesses to become more impactful and profitable.”
– Navneet Singh Brar, Co-founder of Wotta Workspace (10).
Picture a workplace where you could connect with like-minded people of the same or different businesses. It can lead to business engagement and also foster crucial connections (11). Organizations would have more creative approaches with varying workforce segments working on ideation and brainstorming over a coffee cup; even a mug of beer would increase its effectiveness. The different industries and hierarchy would give organizations an extra edge, which can be a win-win situation for the whole community.
Why is the Current Workforce Moving to Coworking Spaces?
After understanding India’s coworking spaces’ complexity and evolving nature, it is also essential to look at significant factors contributing to the surge in demand for the coworking area. It becomes necessary to understand why the current workforce is moving towards coworking spaces.
In the traditional workplace culture (12), a person could only afford an office space when they reach a certain financial point else they end up spending a considerable chunk of their money on it. With the addition of coworking spaces, entrepreneurs can finally take a massive step towards their business growth. They can now save money that they would have otherwise spent on property, office furniture, equipment, and invest it in business development and growth.
It is also a considerable ecstasy for freelancers who traditionally worked from home. They are now moving towards coworking spaces since it allows them to focus on their work and avoid constant distractions and delays at home.
Previously, people looked down upon; freelancing, and Indian workers only considered it a second working option. In today’s world, the youth doesn’t want to be restricted in confined space and take up various freelancing jobs to work according to their requirement and at their own pace. Thus, coworking spaces work wonders since it offers them a home away from home.
“We expect to see a growing number of flexible workers try coworking – and a growing number of employers embracing coworking as a tool to help their increasingly mobile and flexible workforce to do their best work.”
– Money Magazine (13)
Considering that it offers both entrepreneurs and freelancers a central location, it is one of the most significant advantages. For example, in Chandigarh, BiggBang, you can find other entrepreneurs and freelancers and their employees, investors, mentors, and customers from Panchkula, Mohali, and of course, Chandigarh.
It would not only help you find a workplace close to home but is also at a prime location of Chandigarh where your clients won’t have a hard time locating you.
The coworking operational model is very cost-effective. The industry operates on short leases, cheaper, and offers flexible plans. It also allows team scalability as it expands. They host different workforces zones such as freelancers, new startups, SMEs, and MNCs, who prefers coworking. The capital cost eventually goes down and offers additional opportunities for growth, expansion, and good infrastructure. It is a practical approach that allows entrepreneurs to save up to 20% to 25% savings than any traditional office set up, especially in metro cities.
“Coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. But it’s not just digital nomads and entrepreneurs taking advantage of those facilities: Major corporations are also getting involved.”
– Uptin Saiidi, CNBC. (14)
Networking and Collaborative Opportunities
A new entrepreneur or freelancer is always looking for new clients to approach new or more work and expand their horizons.
When working in a coworking space, it becomes ever-expanding since a shared office allows you to surround yourself with other goal-oriented people looking to grow.
It means you would have an opportunity almost every day to network with other entrepreneurs and freelancers who may need your help and also offer you a substantial professional base that you can hire according to your requirements.
It also allows you to find professional partners, mentors, and clients at the same place with an ability to outsource their work to you and vice versa easily.
All of the coworking spaces in India have tons of amenities. They help provide basic workplace amenities, engagement activities, community connections, knowledge transfers, pitching sessions, the latest IT infrastructure, recreational activities, latest technologies, 24 x 7 security, and the internet.
With BiggBang premium services, it enables you to access private offices for a team of all sizes, meeting rooms, and event spaces to host conferences, networking meetings, and seminars.
When it comes to conventional working, due to constant demands and travel time, one loses family and “me” time and cannot achieve a work-life balance.
With shared office space, one can control his working hours and have venues to de-stress and recharge during working hours.
Moreover, most coworking spaces offer weekly or monthly special events to keep you involved with others working in the coworking space and work from daily working.
According to Business Standard (15), India is the youngest startup country globally, with 72% of business founders being less than 35 years of age, the millennial. With changing time, work style, and preferences also change, and coworking is one such change that allows the young workforce the right network opportunities and exposure.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, people who belong to coworking spaces thrive on an average of 6 on a 7 point scale, which is at least one point higher than average employees of regular offices.
“Our research — which is ongoing — suggests that the combination of a well-designed work environment and a well-curated work experience are part of the reason people who cowork demonstrate higher levels of thriving than their office-based counterparts.”
– Harward Business Review. (16)
As per Kowrk, the number of coworking members globally would expand to 5.1 million by 2022. In the past few years, coworking culture has taken the Asia-Pacific region by storm with leasing more than 8.0 million sq. ft. space between 2015 to 2017.
Several researchers also suggest that India holds the next key for the coworking culture as it has a triple workforce compared to the USA. Notably, India presently only has over 1 million sq. ft. coworking space.
The demand for flexible workplaces would continue to grow with more people and cities joining the working spaces in the upcoming years. Moreover, India is the cheapest country for cowork in Asia; hence, it makes the country a boon for new entrepreneurs looking to unravel India’s growing startup ecosystem.
The coworking culture is no longer limited to Tier-I cities as more coworking spaces open up in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. They are most likely to work hand-in-hand with top management establishments and technology institutes.
A Critical Component for Corporate Real Estate
Along with individual professionals, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startups who were already demanding the coworking space, big enterprises and corporates are also eying the sector. The changing nature of the work environment is now based upon collaboration, flexibility, and agility, driving the changing work nature.
Companies are now seeking co-working spaces to support their strategic agenda, including talent attraction and retention. Coworking operators are also leasing larger areas such as taking the entire floors or entire buildings in many cases to cater to the demand.
The new generation coworking sector is attracting big corporates towards them since they offer high-quality and amenity-rich workspaces. They are taking space in coworking centers besides their own traditional offices to station some of their teams in newer markets.
Notably, there is a growing demand for coworking space because of the aggressive expansion of existing operators and new players’ entry.
With a growing number of organizations looking to gain from coworking spaces’ benefits, it is only a matter of time before coworking becomes an integral part of the corporate real estate strategy.
Coworking and COVID-19
While concerns due to COVID-19 have led to reduced footfalls in coworking space could be temporary and could last till precautions are mandatory, according to the chairman of 315Work Avenue, Manas Mehrotra (17 https://www.linkedin.com/in/manas-mehrotra-a291679a/?originalSubdomain=in).
As per Manas, any business would now seize the opportunity to reevaluate their working arrangements to offer more flexibility to its workforce. After considering its benefit in engagement and productivity, it would increase the demand for coworking space.
After the lockdown period, most companies are focusing more on cost optimization and preferring flexible workspaces. Most organizations would avoid expenditure and likely to turn towards co-working facilities to grow their business.
“Coworking is likely to see subdued demand over the next few quarters, but will also see the fastest revival”.
Once the pandemic pressure eventually ease-out, several businesses would look to restart in these flexible workspaces.”
– Ashutosh Limaye, Sr Director & Head – Consulting, ANAROCK Property Consultants (18).
Limaye added that coworking spaces are not only cost-effective, but it also offers flexibility in rental agreements and periods. He noted that one could rent coworking spaces on a monthly, daily, or even hourly basis.
According to the Chairman of ANAROCK Property Consultants, Anuj Puri (19), while budding entrepreneurs and startups make a beeline in coworking spaces, large organizations wary of depending on them for their expansions. However, it is quite contrary to the trend observed in developed nations.
Mohandas Pai, Former CFO, Chief Financial Officer of IT Major, Infosys (20), stated that coworking spaces have to manage social distancing. It would take a hit since their density is relatively high.
According to a leading operator in the coworking space, the social distance would mandate the density of open work stations. While there are reduced desk sizes, the occupant would now need to at least 6 ft apart. They would need new air-conditions to take care of the air quality and prevent airborne viruses and cross-contamination within the coworking setup.
Nevertheless, the pandemic is not an end to coworking culture as people realize the benefits of social gatherings concerning its emotion and intellectual fulfillment, which is crucial for society’s overall health. Mehrotra added that people also need options and access to a collaborative work environment for success in work and life.
Coworking Spaces Trending in India
Startups are one of the initiators that drive the thriving coworking trend in the country. At present, many large enterprises are also demanding shared workspace. We can say that the coworking trend is not limited to flourishing startups’ development. Instead, it is transforming businesses’ nature and the workforce that drives the growth to a great extent.
“Coworking is often considered a millennial venture – strictly for those who are young, starting and crave the unstructured work environment. While coworking may have begun in this demographic, this is less and less true as coworking becomes increasingly popular. All kinds of workers are realizing they can have a flexible and diverse working environment without sacrificing the professionalism of the office.”
– Don Ball, Co-founder of Fueled Collective. (21)
If you are seeking a coworking space in Chandigarh, which offers a feasible working and networking environment and also comes equipped to increase your productivity, then BiggBang is the best choice. Their office environment attracts today’s workforce. Your business needs to stay relevant in this competitive era, and this is what BiggBang’s coworking space is offering.
Why BiggBang to Kick-start Your Startup?
BiggBang would help you keep the business chaos in order with an engaging and flexible workspace for startups. Its coworking space in Chandigarh ignites a stimulating atmosphere to boost your firm’s growth.
Its desk membership offers individualized working space, premium amenities, private offices for different team sizes, meeting rooms, event space, and other substantive services.
Its diverse ecology would foster your networking skills and offer access to partnerships and big players.
BiggBang envisions to act as a stepping stone for your entrepreneurial venture with its innovative and inspiring coworking space for you and your team. It introduces the best entrepreneurs from Tricity, Chandigarh, Panchkula, and Mohali, along with their prospective employees, investors, mentors, and customers.
They aim to create an expansive and gripping working environment for your business and encourages the flow of your ingenious ideas.