Origin Of The Word ‘Co-Working’

Business Innovations

12 December 2017

Origin Of The Word ‘Co-Working’

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Oxford defines the word ‘co-working’ as, “The use of an office or other working environments by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas and knowledge.”

To elaborate, co-working spaces encourage dynamic organisation and freelancers from different fields to work under the same roof, enabling an exchange of exciting ideas. This creates a vibrant workplace that exposes the workforce to new experiences, widens their horizons and offers greater networking opportunities.

History and Origin

How it all started with ‘Hackerspaces’

In 1995, when 17 computer-enthusiasts started a group called ‘C-Base’ in Berlin, it marked the introduction of shared workspaces. The idea behind it was to provide a common meeting ground, called a ‘hackerspace’, that offered technical facilities to people passionate about computers. It gave them the opportunity to build a community of like-minded people. Though it was different from co-working, it laid the foundation stone for collaborative workspaces.

DeKoven’s interpretation of the word

Bernard DeKoven, an American fun theorist and game designer, is credited for having coined the word ‘co-working’ in 1999, though its meaning was different from what it is today. DeKoven interpreted the term as ‘working together as equals.’ He channeled his efforts towards breaking down the rigid hierarchal boundaries at workplaces to introduce a healthy work culture.

In the same year, DeKoven established 42 West 24 – a spacious commercial loft with desks and offices for rent in the New York City, offering an array of flexible memberships for organisations and individuals. However, 42 West 24 missed out on two most identifiable elements of ‘co-working’ i.e.  community events and networking.

The rise of the ‘entrepreneurial centre’

It was when the idea of work from home became too boring for two Australian entrepreneurs that they decided to create a space for like-minded individuals to collaborate and brainstorm ideas. An ineffective factory was converted to a workspace for freelancers, start-ups, PR consultants, architects and the like and named ‘Schraubenfabrik’. Later, it was renamed as ‘entrepreneurial centre’.

 Evolution of the modern concept of the word

Brad Neuberg, officially considered as the father of the co-working movement, launched the ‘9 to 5 group’ in San Francisco in the year 2005 to provide freelancers with the convenience of workplace facilities.

The enthusiasm that this group garnered led to co-working spaces mushrooming not only in San Francisco but spreading rapidly to other continents like Europe and Asia within a short span of time. No wonder, co-working spaces have doubled each year since its inception in 2005.
Current day scenario

Co-working featured as one of the leading search terms on Google, witnessing a six-fold increase in search, as compared to other words and phrases. Being recognised by the search giant in 2007 spoke volumes about its popularity. An official page on Wikipedia confirmed the buzz around the word.

Forbes’ prediction about the number of co-working spaces reaching 1.2 million by 2017 indicates its significance among entrepreneurs and working community.

Conclusion

Witnessing the exponential growth worldwide since the last decade makes it evident that the trend will not slow down anytime soon. The work-life balance that co-working spaces offer seamlessly translates to increased work productivity, making it score over traditional workplaces.

The Future to be Driven by Connectivity and Not Just Data

Business How To’s

27 July 2021

The Future to be Driven by Connectivity and Not Just Data

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The world is witnessing a swift upsurge in technological advancement as it treads toward the future. This advancement has engendered a substantial shift of masses to online services, automation, and IoT. The tech-dependent population produces an enormous amount of data, estimated – 2.5 billion Gigabytes while transferring, uploading, and working with various online Platforms. However, accumulating those large proportions of data has led to the realization. The realization that not only “Data” but connectivity is also the crucial aspect of the ideal future that we desire.

From the standpoint of the employee, a decentralized workspace model allows them to work from home while having access to a professional work environment near to home. It also provides a chance to work with close colleagues and engage in social contact with others.

The future of work might be “hybrid”

Enterprises are looking forward to the post-Covid era. For many, the ideal model incorporates both co-working and multiple offices.

Employees throughout the globe have adapted to the routines of enforced remote labor since Covid-19 upended our lives. As employers struggle to figure out the best path ahead for their employees, it is evident that many employees don’t want to put the genie back in the bottle.

Companies are now managed in a variety of methods. Employees have been granted permission to work remotely until at least 2021 in certain cases. Others have summoned employees back to work on various timetables and in staggered groupings. Others leave it fully up to individual employees to choose where they want to work.

However, companies all over the globe are beginning to consider several office spaces in the long run, including alternative methods to manage work communication and hours, as well as a physical presence.

The future of multiple offices is all about flex

Multiple offices benefits –

  1. Assisted intelligence, which is now widely accessible, enhances what individuals and organizations are currently accomplishing. A basic example is the GPS navigation system, which provides vehicles with instructions and reacts to changing road conditions.
  2. People and organizations can now use augmented intelligence to perform things they could not accomplish before. Car ride-sharing services, for example, could not function without a mix of programs that coordinate the service.
  3. Autonomous intelligence, which is currently being developed, builds computers that operate independently. Self-driving automobiles, when they become widely used, will be an example of this.
  4. Some optimists believe AI will enable people to spend more time engaged in higher-level thinking, creativity, and decision-making as robots assist humanity in processing, analyzing, and evaluating the massive amounts of data that make up today’s world.

Insight into Exigency of Connectivity

The true potential of data is unleashed by adding layers of speed and capacity and orchestrating greater connectivity. Greater connectivity has multi-fold implications. It implies connecting a greater number of devices, more kinds of devices, revolutionizing industrial use cases, enabling cloud-native data platforms, greater automation in the ecosystem, driving business processes through intelligent networks, and attaining exponential scale across different industries. This is the power of data that is waiting to be explored in the future, riding on the promise of better networks.

Hence, it becomes inevitable to invest the resources for escalation of connectivity that will be instrumental in achieving the needed business growth. Below, we have discussed the vital aspects of connectivity that corroborate it following better prospects.

Employee benefit

As part of an employment relationship, indirect forms of remuneration (also known as fringe benefits) are offered to workers. Employers must do more than give a “fair day’s pay” if they want to recruit top-quality workers in today’s environment. Workers also seek a benefits package that provides decent compensation. There are several advantages in place, and workers have become used to them.

Connectivity – Relevance in Future

The prominent companies will yearn for reliable and prevalent connectivity to efficiently deliver their services. These companies with advancement in the future have to ensure their extended reach towards larger masses. So, there arises a requirement of an extensive network to sell their products. Besides, to cope with the high investments because of state of the art equipment and technology incorporated. Hence, connectivity will play a vital role in escalating the reach to critical masses. Let’s shed light on some significant factors to ensure better connectivity in upcoming years.

Crucial Considerations by Telcos

Telcos, in general, need an infrastructure that will enable a very sustainable business model. This model needs to be made up of durable, manageable, affordable, and also reliable equipment. They must meet the demands of the people without succumbing to technological obsolescence. The unpredictable whims of the global economy must also be met with due diligence.

Connected Future – Internet of Things (IoT)

The future is demanding connectivity with the onset progression in tech devices. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, Personal computers are not the only devices that will require fortified connectivity in the coming days. Other household devices like doors, toys, robots, washing machines, fans, ACs are all getting smart with the time that can be connected with other smart devices. And with the ultimate connectivity with the internet, perfect sync can be achieved. These interconnections of things through efficient networking forms the term “Internet of Things (IoT)”. For this reason, a proper connectivity plan has to be executed to improve the working of all the devices.

The range of available smart devices is enormous, and their reach will increase with every passing day. More and more people will gain access to the devices which will further propagate the demand for connectivity. The majority of people own smartphones that can facilitate the Internet of Things (IoT). Several stakeholders seek connectivity solutions, including radio, chipset makers, and AI automation hardware.

 

Improvement of faster cycle

While operators enjoy the benefits of IIoT, others do, too. While production and process engineers gain from this as well, quality engineers, as well as other frontline engineers on the shop floor, also benefit. Shop floor engineers must manually gather, combine, and evaluate the data from sensors, all without the help of IoT. When using IoT equipped shop floors, companies can automate data collecting, allowing them to spend more time perfecting operations.

 

Automation Industry and seamless technology

Considering the automation industries where chemical and mechanical processes are regulated AI integrated machines. These are employed with advanced software creating an interconnected network coveting the improved connectivity options. With the entire revolutionized network of machines in the industries and factories, the automation industry will need to notch up its game. Connectivity will become a vital aspect to cope with the challenges of better future data handling with optimized and well-organized systems.

With unlimited design options, seamless technology allows for several different stitches to be added to a garment. For example, side-by-side jerseys and mesh knit knitting may be used. Other techniques such as rib and jacquard knits may also be used. You won’t be able to achieve this with any other knitting method.

The total global manufacturing process has been revolutionized thanks to seamless technology, allowing cloth companies to better respond to current fashions since garments do not require to be cut and sewed. This new technology is designed to generate completed goods and eliminates the use of conventional manufacturing methods. Using this knitting method, you may save up to 40% on manufacturing expenses when compared to other techniques.

A seamless system does not experience any waistband or side seam problems, nor are they susceptible to damage because of the large percentage of artificial fibers before, like nylon.

 

Visibility of the product

At the manufacturing shop floor, the use of industrial IoT (or IIoT) allows engineers and management to have insight into the production process. As another example, manufacturers may use sensors, such as RFID and break beams, to monitor components as they travel through assemblies. Industrial IoT apps may provide supervisors and plant managers a real-time picture of their teams’ yield by connecting with the tools and equipment employees need to do their duties and with the machinery in use on the production floor. This kind of visibility is beneficial to manufacturers because it assists them in identifying bottlenecks, determining the source of issues, and increasing productivity.

 

Factors Facilitating Improved Connectivity

The accessible networking frameworks today deliver the performance that is not sufficient as many places are still not well-connected. The companies should dynamically optimize and control the available network resources through efficient software. As companies optimize the whole system, CIOs should examine the core functioning and help in further digital transformation.

Fortifying the network speeds

The fundamental aspect that is significant in catering to the connections all over the world is cellular connectivity provided by telecom firms and established companies. There is a fifth-generation network in the pipeline requiring considerable tweaks before its introduction for public consumption. It will turn out to be a whole new ball game in the industry with top-notch speeds for data transfer and consumption all over the online platforms. More and more players will come to light providing the services increasing the accessibility to remote areas where even getting the second-generation internet speeds is rewarding. The masses will readily engage and involve further snowballing the data consumers.

However, this surge in data can be complemented with effective connectivity, proving that the future to be – driven by connectivity and not just data.

 

Technological advancements

The improvements in technology over the last two decades have ushered in a tremendous transformation in the business sector, affecting all parts of our working lives. Technology has become a fundamental aspect of the contemporary business environment, from the way workers enter the workplace to the way they attend meetings or cooperate remotely. While these cutting-edge, sophisticated technologies provide limitless possibilities, their main goal is to maintain a smooth workflow and boost staff productivity and efficiency.

 

Opting for Precise Services

As with the realization, albeit slowly, many companies will emerge to facilitate superior connectivity throughout the entire online network. Companies should excel in providing access to their services and that too with ease. This aspect can be accomplished while amplifying their reach to a large number, and types of devices incorporating highly advanced UI and a newfangled set of functional capabilities. This further generates the requisite for data like never before. Hence, that is where effective services come to the rescue, providing community-driven insights, analytics, and expertise to specific companies to expedite growth and reinforce the aptness. These tend to escalate the participation and contributions of its clients, acting as a Catalyst providing reports, interviews, latest stories, case studies.

Hence, choosing the services that provide pertinent prescience to companies about the relevant. Thereby, these can act in advance and achieve the desired outcomes.

Final Thoughts

In brief, the entire concepts mentioned above alludes to the equitable influence of Data and Connectivity on the future operational needs of various platforms and companies. Hence, opting for apt and reliable services to alleviate their growing needs and help make informed decisions is the need of this hour. It will prove to be a Panacea for both elite and budding companies in the coming years.

Awfis Leadership Series - Future of Shared Real Estate Economy: U, V or L Shaped Recovery?

Business Innovations

20 August 2020

Awfis Leadership Series - Future of Shared Real Estate Economy: U, V or L Shaped Recovery?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Awfis Leadership Series – Future of Shared Real Estate Economy: U, V or L Shaped Recovery?

Awfis Leadership Series provides a platform to industry experts, thought leaders, and visionaries to discuss and dissect changes in the industry as well as understand shifting consumer demands that will shape how businesses evolve. They also formulate the best practices to keep up with emerging trends, helping businesses succeed.

The 6 August 2020 webinar comes at a crucial juncture when businesses are still reeling under the global pandemic and are looking for innovative measures to revive growth. Moderated by Mr. Amit Ramani – CEO and Founder of Awfis, the webinar’s esteemed panel includes eminent leaders shaping India’s real estate sector.

Mr. Anuj Puri – Chairman of Anarock

Mr. Rajesh Jaggi – V.C., Everstone Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Abhay Pandey – General Partner at A91 Partners

Dr. Nikhil Sikri – cofounder and CEO of Zolo

The panellists discuss the impact of COVID-19 on India’s shared real estate economy, the investment landscape in this sector, and devise a roadmap for the way ahead.

As Mr. Anuj Puri puts it, “This time it is going to be about empathy. Businesses able to show empathy to their vendors, clients, staff, and various stakeholders are going to see long-term sustainability.”

About the investment landscape, Mr. Abhay Pandey is hopeful. He says, “The 2010-2020 period was about China, and most people believe that the next 10 years belong to India. We will see a lot of capital come in.”

However, Mr. Rajesh Jaggi emphasizes the active role the government needs to play in improving the investment outlook. According to him, “From the government perspective, the policies are not consistent. Certainty is what we request the government to give. Across sectors, the government has to speed up reforms to attract much larger FDI. The FDI players do not know how to buy land, how to get permissions. There isn’t a level playing field. These are the things in real estate that the government should be focusing on, and I’m sure by the second quarter of 2021 we will see flows coming into our sector.”

Here is an overview of the key takeaways from this insightful conversation.

What will pave the way for the recovery of India’s shared real estate economy?

A joint effort between the government and entrepreneurs:
To reboot the economy, the government needs to provide the stimulus of resuming business normalcy. The shared real estate players also need to add health-related safety features and the flexibility that consumers are demanding in the pandemic.

Different recovery time frames:
Shared real estate has many components, and the time required for recovery will vary across such segments.

Shared office spaces:
The tenants include both large enterprises and small businesses. The small companies are eager to restart work. But the big companies are cautious about the risks they are willing to take. Thus, the recovery phase will vary across the tenant profiles and centres.

Co-living spaces:
Shared spaces where working professionals live, away from their hometowns, have better stability during the pandemic. Tenants who had gone back to their hometowns are returning. According to Mr. Pandey, one can expect a sharp 80-90% improvement in the coming months in a shared real estate economy.
The rest 10-20% recovery will take more time, probably until the second quarter of 2021.

Warehousing industry:
This sector has maintained its business operation even during the lockdown as the government declared it an essential service. In July, there has been 100% operation.
However, due to the monsoons, constructions are pending. Growth in this sector is expected to strike the rising curve by March 2021.

The good news:
All state governments are actively reaching out to manufacturing hubs across Asia to set up industries in their states. Tamil Nadu, for example, has formed an independent body to reach out to international companies. This approach is sure to boost the economy.

What are the key opportunities and challenges for the recovery of the shared real estate sector?

The changing mindset of customers:
Customer sentiments are changing with an increased focus on safety and well-being. Health safety norms must be implemented across properties to reassure consumers.

Health safety protocols:
Organized providers like Zolo have started implementing disinfection protocols to ensure safety measures, gaining occupancy.
However, unorganized providers may find it challenging to deploy such preventive protocols.

Tailor-made solutions:
People are becoming unenthusiastic about sharing private space. Providing personalized solutions is turning into a necessity.

The road ahead – Building sustainable business models

Empathy, the new critical metric:
While the role of technology and the flexibility of collaborative spaces are going to play crucial roles, empathy is definitely the most vital aspect in ensuring long-term business sustainability.

Evolution – the need of the hour:
From low-cost space providers, the shared real estate players need to evolve into solution providers. Understanding customer pain-points and providing solutions at affordable prices are the needs of the hour.

Digitization and innovation:
Shared real estate providers need to enable tenants to achieve proficiency by making sophisticated technology available at a low cost. For instance, improved teleconferencing facilities, inexpensive AWS services, etc. can be the selling propositions for shared offices.

Reducing debts:
COVID-19 revealed that cash is king. Businesses need to target cash positivity and reduced liabilities to achieve sustainability.

Investment outlook for India’s shared economy in 2021

Availability of capital:
There is surplus liquidity throughout the word. AndIndia is a large market base, a probable source of sustainable returns over time. This factor attracts investors, and market experts predict that India will draw significant advancements in the next 6-12 months, as pandemic-related uncertainties start to subside.

Importance of consistency:
Established businesses with a demonstrated track record of financial performance and operational consistency appeal to investors.

Need for reducing inconsistency:
The government has a significant role to play in boosting the fledgeling economy. Reforms are long overdue. The process of availing permissions is ambiguous. Such inconsistent government policies are a massive deterrent for large-scale FDI players. There is an acute need to modify these policies and provide investment-related clarity to attract foreign investors.

Conclusion

Most of the panel experts foresee an L-shaped recovery curve for India’s shared real estate economy. A sustainable business model that provides the right solutions for the consumers and reflects long-term efficiency in performance can look forward to an inflow of capital in 2021.

Watch the entire webinar here for in-depth analysis and further insights.

5 startups that are redefining rural India

Business Innovations

13 January 2020

5 startups that are redefining rural India

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

As we wait for Digital India to fully penetrate the rural parts of the country, there are startups that are empowering and facilitating the implementation of business opportunities for better quality of life across rural India. Technology is the key enabler, paving the way for enhanced productivity and growth prospects in the countryside. Here’s our pick of five startups that are redefining rural India:

NIRAMAI Health Analytix

A deep-tech startup based out of Bengaluru, Niramai addresses critical healthcare problems through automated solutions. An acronym for Non-Invasive Risk Assessment with Machine Intelligence, Niramai also means free from illness in Sanskrit. The company’s innovative software helps detect breast cancer at a much earlier stage than traditional methods or self-examination. The added benefits of the automated solution include cost-effectiveness, accuracy, portability and simplicity. What’s more, Niramai’s imaging method is radiation-free, non-touch, less painful, and works for women of all ages. It can be used as a cancer diagnosis test as part of preventive health check-ups, and also for large-scale screening in rural and semi-urban areas.

EezyNaukari

This Kanpur-based startup provides job seekers in rural India with work opportunities in the cities across the country. Since its inception in 2016, EezyNaukari has established its presence in over 500 villages in four states, handling the profiles of over 15,000 job seekers. As a tech-enabled platform, the objective is to revolutionise India’s recruitment process for the unorganised and entry-level jobs. The startup – founded by IIT-Guwahati alumnus Rahul Patel, along with Nipun Sareen, Hemant Verma and Mohit Sachan – scouts for skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled human resources in areas that traditionally don’t have access to equal career opportunities. After verifying personal details, work experience and skill assessment, the startup provides job aspirants with a digital platform to reach out to prospective employers.

Rural Odyssey

According to the World Bank, India houses the largest number of poor in the world: a staggering figure of 270 million people. Due to low-productivity agriculture in rural areas, employment growth is threatened accounting for nearly three-quarters of the poor population. In order to bridge the yawning rural-urban divide, Chandni Aggarwal and Kush Sharma started Rural Odyssey – a social enterprise that links avid travellers to authentic experiences at unconventional destinations. They hand-pick offbeat villages across India and promote their remarkable culture, music, crafts, art forms and much more. This not only helps generate revenue for the villagers, but also delivers authentic cultural experiences to curious travellers who want to explore the varied communities of rural India. Everything, from accommodation in the form of home stays to food, is planned and provided by the native community.

Maatritva

Started in 2016 as an internship project at the Digital Impact Square, a TCS Foundation innovation Centre in Nashik, Maatritva is a mobile platform that helps in the screening, identification and tracking of high-risk pregnant women to ensure that there is continuous care for both, the mother and the child. Given India’s maternal mortality and morbidity rates, the technology holds the promise of saving precious lives. One of the interesting features of the application is its QR code, which can be scanned to access all the information about each woman’s health and stage of pregnancy. The data helps to plot a graph to estimate the overall number of pregnant women in an area and their health status. Founded by a team comprising of Abhishek Verma, and Garima Dosar, the application is currently available in three languages i.e. Hindi, English and Marathi.

GoCoop

A Bengaluru based startup that connects weavers, artisans, cooperatives, and community-based enterprises with buyers, GoCoop was conceived as an online social marketplace by Siva Devireddy in 2005. It has been instrumental in helping handloom and handicraft cooperatives and artisans to market handmade, natural and sustainable products online to global consumers directly, thereby reducing cost, increasing efficiency, and transparency. The company’s mission is to create and support sustainable livelihoods for the nine-million-strong weaver and artisan community in India.  GoCoop is the winner of the first National Award for Handlooms Marketing (eCommerce) by Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

Conclusion

The digital revolution has the power to transform lives and drive new narratives of growth, especially in rural India. And startups are at the forefront, breaking barriers and venturing into hitherto unexplored business terrains. Thanks to better internet connectivity and online infrastructure, the gap between rural and urban India is getting bridged, leading to a positive impact on societies, economies and lifestyles. Because as Mahatma Gandhi put it so evocatively, “India lives in her villages”.