The Emergence and Rise of Coworking Spaces across the World – 1st Series.

By: Dev BT

Is Coworking Spaces SUBSTITUTE of Expensive and Inflexible commercial office leases?

Definition of Coworking!!

In Short - A Social, Energetic & Creative WORKPLACE.

  • A place where everything an independent Professional/worker needs to function Professionally under one roof.
  • Desk space and practical facilities aside, users have the “immeasurable bonus” of Professional COMMUNITY – including “opportunity to gain on-ground Professional knowledge, knowledge-sharing, networking, unexpected collaborations, referral opportunities and that boosted daily energy that can only come from a shared Coworking space.
  • Coworkingis a style that involves a shared working environment and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, the Coworking spaces are usually not employed or managed by the same organization rather it is run by an Individual or an Entity, the users will take/buy space on hourly/ daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis by enrolling as Members. 
  • Community – Coworking is also the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values,and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded talented people in the same space which can be found only at Coworking Community. 
  • Isolation – Coworking offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancers or independent professionals experience while working at home, while at the same time letting them escape the distractions of home.
  • Not a Conventional office – Coworking is a work style for businesses that do not yet, or may never require a conventional office.
  • Ideal solution for launching a business – Launching a business is a tough experience. Most start-Ups & entrepreneurs start thinking on their own, taking challenges alone. It is also financially difficult to support individually the cost like facilities, desktops, infrastructure, furnishings, manpower cost, etc. when a start-up is expected to grow rapidly, the Coworking Space offers all these services and more under one roof, saving lot of time, energy and money to members.
  • Professional Atmosphere – In coworking spaces, members share one big office and can benefit from a wide range of services depending on their membership i.e.: conference rooms, espresso Tea/Coffee, free mineral water, free Internet/Wi-Fi, professional atmosphere & business lounge. This concept is perfect for entrepreneurs that don’t want to manage their own office and deal with buying furniture’s, setting-up Xerox machines and hiring an assistant. Members can rent a desk that becomes their own reserved space or without assignment to specific desks for a very flexible period of time: from one day to one year. Most of them provide a drop-in option where people can stop by and work in an unreserved common area for a lower fee or even free.
  • The Design – Latest and best in design, most coworking spaces are well designed suitable for new generation Freelancers & Entrepreneurs, the spaces are very different depending on what you are looking for, you can find industrial loft or site with a more corporate ambiance.
  • Different World – The atmosphere of Coworking spaces goes hand-in-hand with the startup lifestyle offering a new on-the-spot to build projects and generate connections. It’s a completely new & vibrant PROFESSIONAL WORLD.
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image courtesy – wework.com

Coworking Space History

  • Nobody could exactly pinpoints on the map, locating where this coworking space culture first emerged; but one thing is for sure.. the culture has flourished worldwide and growing VERY FAST.
  • The idea came when many Freelancers had found out how costly it is to work in a Café. As freelancers, it really bothers them to pay, say Rs.500+ for a cup of coffee and snacks, lousy Wifi-network to work in a café that’s not even conducive as a workplace with noisy atmosphere. And working at home is not an option anymore because of the many distractions it has. Yet, they couldn’t afford to rent an office space. The Coworking Space offered this solution.

Standard Services of Coworking Space typically include:

    • Dedicated Receptionist.
    • Administrative Support.
    • Telecom service.
    • IT infrastructure and High-speed internet connectivity.
    • 100% power back-up & maintenance.
    • Mail & Package handling.

Facilities typically include:

  • Open lounge space for work.
  • Open desk space – Reserved or unreserved.
  • Reserved Cabins
  • Conference Rooms
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Heating, Air-conditioning and other utilities
  • Furniture
  • Full-time security
  • Video Conferencing
  • Insurance
  • Locker rooms
  • Phone booths
  • Additional services.
  • Event space.
  • Community Forums (Members).
  • Etc.

Advantages and Benefits of Working from Coworking Space

  • It can help your Business to GROW faster
  • Can Expand your Personal & Professional networks
  • Will help you find new Clients or talented Team member.
  • Be more productive in the Professional ambience.
  • No distractions from family members.
  • No temptations from the fridge and TV.
  • Be more motivated to work by surrounding yourself of hardworking professionals like you.
  • You will be more motivated & creative in professional atmosphere.
  • Share with soundboards that will improve your projects
  • Better work life balance
  • Get a professional working routine with your own schedule
  • Eliminate isolation
  • Increase in self confidence
  • Be healthier
  • Better Internet connection
  • Flexible plans as per your budget.
  • Reduce your commute – depending on location & accessibility.
  • Complement your work from home.
  • Cost efficient.
  • No utility or maintenance bills.
  • No dealing with service providers and repairs.
  • Pay for what you use – Reduced Property maintenance costs.
  • Sectoral Insights & Support – many Coworking Space providers offer assistance and support, provides the required informations.

Disadvantages of working from Coworking Space

If there’s many advantages of Coworking Spaces, there’s few disadvantages of working from coworking space as well, and they include;

  • Feel better working from Home – Maybe Coworking space is not for you, and you don’t like interacting with strangers.
  • Noisy – Just like any other office, normally most Coworking spaces are bit noisy or some members are loud by nature.
  • Distractions – Yes, if you have a long list of known members, it could be really distractive sometime. If you want to work on serious project, you need to Reserve a cabin or meeting room to work.
  • Privacy and confidentiality – Sometime it’s really difficult to protect your privacy, especially the Common Wifi network which is shared by all members from same line.
  • You have to commute – Yes, if the Coworking space is far away from your residence, you have to drive-all the way.
  • It is more Expensive (per sq.ft.) – if you have requirement for larger space, it is more expensive compared to Commercial Leased Space.  

These are the few disadvantages of working from Coworking Space, however, these can be minimized by finding the right solution and taking the plan suitable to your needs.

Can Coworking Space be an ALTERNATIVE to

Expensive Commercial Office Lease?

YES and NO - Why?

  1. Large Corporate Operations – Large Corporate’s requires larger office area for their operations, Coworking is much more expensive in-terms of large space needs, however, for a fast launch and smaller space Requirement, they can and are using Coworking space as an alternative to start Operation till their team size reach to large numbers.

2. SME’s & Freelancer’s – who need small space, have small budget but need all facilities with professional Working ambience and Prestigious address,  coworking is ideal for them.

3. Technology – Technology can change and reduce the use of Physical office space in coming years, however, it is a distant assumption, but the use of Physical space is decreasing due to cost factors and most Corporate’s are looking for an alternative.

4. Decrease in demand for Commercial Space – every Retailers across the globe is looking for Ways to reduce Property Lease Rental Expenses, the same way every Corporate is looking @ways to Reduce Office Lease Cost. Formats like Wal-mart will sustain due to their real Estate cost advantage (they are the smartest Retailers in the world, have very clear real estate cost factor defined before signing on the dotted-line).

 5. Our Assumption – by 2035, the MARKET RATIO between Coworking space and Commercial Leased space will be 50:50 and use of large Commercial space will Shrink in the future due to extensive use of innovative Technology in the work-place. There’s no-doubt that Coworking Space operators are changing the Commercial Real Estate Landscape and they are here to stay for long time and can be the True Solution to expensive Commercial Real estate Leases. Due to availability of Coworking spaces, anyone can dream of becoming an Entrepreneur today, starting a venture with minimal startup cost even with just a laptop, Internet connection and an idea or plan.

In our next post, we will discuss more on Coworking Space Trends, Key players and lot more, for more updates on latest posts, subscribe to our newsletter, if you have any opinions or better solution, lets discuss on our comment box, till than Happy Reading!!

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