September 18, 2019 | Shyam Nagarajan
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the way we work has changed. And it all comes down to technology. You can work anywhere and at any time as long as you have Wi-Fi and a laptop. There are even times a mobile device with 4G will do the trick. And companies have noticed!
They are allowing, scratch that, urging their employees to work remotely a few days a week. Real estate developers and investors have noticed as well. Massive investments are taking place in the coworking space. Check out this piece in livemint that says flexible working spaces have seen a 277% jump in leasing to nearly 3 million sq. ft. in the first quarter of this year.
Now, let’s go back to the title of this post. If you haven’t heard of the term, #futureofwork is anything that redefines the way we work. And coworking spaces is most definitely the #futureofwork, especially in India.
Let me break it down for you.
First off, flexibility in work is something that millennials gravitate towards and India’s millennial generation is larger than China’s or the US’s. Second, according to this piece in Economic Times, India is home to over 20,000 startups across the country. And finally, The Hindu Business Line, says that one in four freelancers in the world is from India.
So where will all these millennials, startups and freelancers work from? Answer: coworking spaces.
Your company allows you to work from home twice a week, to save you that long commute and to increase productivity. Or you have a great business idea but are tight on funds. What do you do? You could turn your guestroom or living room into an office. But not all of us have the ability to switch on to work mode while at home. And we all know working from home comes with a host of distractions and interruptions. Is that the doorbell, again? But, by taking yourself to a coworking spot and making it your office for the day, you have a dedicated space to focus and work.
Everyone can folks, everyone. There are spaces to suit every need and budget. Are you a freelancer working on a website design for a client, step into a coworking café for the day? Do you have a startup and a limited budget? Rent out a shared office space that comes fully equipped. Are you a motivational coach looking for a convenient spot to have a workshop? Hire out an event space by the hour. Are you a salesperson running in and out of meetings? Drop in at a hotdesk and get some work done in between. I could go on!
Even if you’re part of an organisation, you don’t need to be physically sitting at the head office to work. Your team and you could be scattered across the country or even the world and still get the job done thanks to apps like Zoom, Slack, and Gmail, to name a few. Technology has in a way birthed coworking spaces.
Even large corporations and companies are on board. It’s been found that 55% of desks at corporate offices are vacant. This has led many companies to rent out these desks and become coworking space providers. And some companies have shifted out of rented offices to plug-and-play coworking spaces and found that they save 30% on operational costs in the process. You can read more about it here.
Think about it, today’s corporate positions and titles have become a bit outdated, jobs are fluid and contractors and freelancers are brought in more and more. A single employee can fill multiple roles sitting remotely. This all means flexibility. Yes, I’m using that word yet again. This is all a part of the #futureofwork and coworking spaces are a major part of it as it enables you to work wherever and whenever. And I should know, I’m writing this piece sitting at a coworking café, around the corner from where I live, whilst sipping on a cup of tea!