Why Modern India Needs To Welcome Co-Working

Mr. Sammeer Pakvasa, MD, Eleganz InteriorsGone are the days when the working-class functioned within the 9-5 time frame. Today, the corporate world is defined by startups, flexible working hours, and the ease of space. This in turn, has revolutionised the way we work, including our office space. To this extent, co-working as emerged as one of the fastest growing trends in the work environment. This is further validated by a JLL report that states that the share of co-working in total office leasing spiked from 8 per cent in 2018 to 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.

These flexible work spaces were initially popular among freelance professionals, and startups, but today, have become a big part of the corporate office structure. Many in the field have realised the numerous advantages that they hold, and have embraced the change. Not only do these create an enabling environment that allows professionals to channel their creativity, and boost productivity, but it also allows one to network with like minded and diverse professionals, from a cross section of industries. It is no wonder then, that the co-working segment is today a booming real estate business for landlords and plays a vital part of the strategy to attract occupiers. In fact, co-working spaces have become so popular in India, that a report by real estate consultancy firm CBRE stated that the segment witnessed a 70 per cent increase on a quarterly basis, touching 2.9 million sqft by the end of Q1 2019. Here's why co-working will continue to grow in popularity, and modern Indian should embrace this trend:
Co-working allows Productivity to be Increased and Creativity Nurtured
Research shows that being surrounded by likeminded individuals can greatly increase one’s productivity. In fact, a survey by CBRE's Research and A&T Occupier Group found that 50 per cent of the respondents saw their productivity increase, as well as collaborations since they started using shared workspaces. Additionally, co-working companies offer facility management which enables users to reduce their operational costs, and maximise productivity. The introduction of Artificial Intelligence in co-working habitats allows for smart desks that workers can use to control lights and heating, and as this technology further develops, it will define co-working in the future.

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence in co-working habitats allows for smart desks that workers can use to control lights and heating

Co-working Helps meet Sustainability Goals
With several companies and people working under one roof, electricity, water and other resources can be optimally utilised. This can go a long way in helping achieve global, as well as corporate sustainability goals together. In India, roughly 75 per cent of startup founders who are below the age of 35 works from a shared space. This consumer base is also found to give conservation of natural resources its due importance. Thus, with the conservation of resources on such a scale, it can result in 20-25 percent savings on operational expenses. Furthermore, most co-working spaces are centrally located close to public transport hubs, and are a great way to encourage the use of public transport, easy commutes, and ultimately lower carbon emissions. More recently though a lot of shared workspaces have begun adopting green practices especially in terms of design layout, and utilities. Their design incorporates the use big windows for natural sunlight to flow through, smart lights solar powered systems and more. Some companies in fact, are also incorporating air-purifying plants and those which are drought resistant to help save water.

Co-working is the Present and Future
India has the third largest startup ecosystem in the world according to industry body, NASSCOM. It is also estimated that about 10500 new startups are expected to enter the market by 2020. Further projections by CBRE show that the space takeup from co-working space operators will rise to 7.9 million sqft by 2020, up from 5.4 million sqft in 2018. As a result, the sector is poised for tremendous growth and will soon become the new normal in the corporate environment.