Coworking. The concept is simple: many individuals, professionals, start-ups and students share a workspace in order to cut down on costs, make the best of resources and form new connections.
Who would’ve thought an idea this straightforward would cause such a ripple across industries, sectors and cities in India?
Effects across the board
While the community that spearheads the growth of flexible spaces in India is undoubtedly the start-ups, we’re seeing a much larger and generalized change in working culture taking effect in 2019.
For example, the use of coworking spaces isn’t limited to small businesses anymore, as large enterprises like Amazon and Starbucks embrace the shared workspace trend. We think big corporates across the board are soon to adopt the coworking strategy, not merely to cut costs, but because the value of working alongside young, passionate and creative individuals has shown to lead to bigger, greater and more innovative ideas. To put it simply – any employee feels better about work, if the working conditions stray far from the traditional.
And speaking of traditions, we also foresee the more ‘traditional’ industries such as banking, finance, or insurance making the switch to coworking in the coming years. They’ll be joining the throng of IT and ecommerce businesses shortly in shared workspaces, because it’s important today for traditional industries to portray themselves as new-age, up-to-date and evolving, in order to attract young, talented employees.
This isn’t limited to the big cities like Bangalore, Delhi or Mumbai, by the way – although these cities do have the largest number of coworking spaces at the moment. Cities such as Chandigarh, Kochi, Indore, Ahmedabad and Jaipur are starting to adopt the philosophy of state-of-the-art workspaces that accommodate a plethora of professionals.
There are two major reasons that all of this change is brilliant: one, is that we’ll put our heads together (now that they’re all under the same roof) to find better ways to be productive, satisfied and fulfilled at work. From incorporating yoga classes into workdays, to seminars, events and workshops to foster collaboration, networking and learning, we’ll all be leaving our offices with a skip in our hearts.
And secondly, the progression of better workspaces with good facilities is also leading to creating spaces that incorporate nature and greenery to increase productivity, alongside cleantech, or facilities that take great care to cut down on carbon footprints – such as solar powered lighting, copper ACs and so on.
Inspired by India’s youth
The days of working from 9-5 at an office desk only to return home with a heavy heart and unfulfilled dreams are now firmly entrenched in the past. Ask anyone above the age of 25 in India today, and they’ll agree that change is definitely in the air.
India is about to emerge as one of the largest markets for coworking spaces in the years to come. Millennials will form 50% of our workforce by 2020. And by opting for coworking spaces, there is a drastic shift in office dynamics – as one is no longer bogged down by stupendous rents, long-term leases or security deposits. The mind is now freed up to think of greater ideas. The idea of brainstorming over a mug of beer with a professional from a totally different industry is what excites today’s creative working professional.
As the possibilities of small businesses spreading their wings are now greater than ever, there is hope that one need not acquiesce to systems and cultures that stifle creativity, in order to survive. Today, going to work isn’t about staring into a computer screen, and paying the mortgage. It’s about working in a space alongside other passionate people, pushing boundaries, saving time and money, making friends, and yes – having fun.