The number of co-working spaces has increased considerably in India and abroad in the recent years. What apparently started as a trend has, with time, attracted many start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for its cost-effective facility. Even big companies are slowly embracing this unique concept. The entire concept of a usual workplace has undergone a complete transformation. Compared to traditional offices, the co-working spaces provide a comfortable working environment, besides taking care of other factors like flexibility and cost effectiveness.
In a conversation with the Entrepreneur India, Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis, shared his view about the upcoming trend this year towards opting for co-working spaces. The facility is working wonders for start-ups, which are looking forward to scale up their business and are ready to share a co-working space.
Concept Of Workplace Will Change
“The notion of work itself will change and so will people’s way of perceiving work related to desk. Wearable tools and technology will ensure that you really don’t need to be connected to laptop physically. Instead, you could use your Google Glass to do your work in advance and be a little ahead of time. I can wear this tool of advanced technology and get my work done,” he said.
“Earlier, I arranged for a desk and chair in tandem with the notion of work that tells you need a desktop. Now with the laptop you have the freedom to work for hours in a relaxed posture and also its wireless. Before 2000, it was all about the hierarchy. From 2000 to 2010 it was about the collaboration. So team work and collaboration came into play,” he highlighted.
Choice Will Become Important
Today, the employee is at the center of attention and a workplace should be designed the way employees want it to be, Ramani said. “This is precisely the reason why giant companies like Facebook and Google have a desk in their offices, but have also kept bean bags to laze around. The work will change to become employee-driven. So the employees’ comforts will define the workplace. The office atmosphere should be adaptable so that if I want to sit on a sofa and work, I should be able to do that,” he opined.
Create a Network of Spaces
The idea that the city requires three to four large co-working centers and 2,000 seats in three locations across the city will not work anymore, Ramani said. “A network of spaces has to be created. If my business is in the South- Ex area, I need to have a co-working centre in South –Ex. Multiple centers should be built across the city. The network effect will be important because people will not like to waste time commuting,” he added.
Co-working Category Will Have Few Big Players Left
“When we started two years ago, there were four co-working spaces, today there are 115 in the country. The fact is even if a landlord gives you free space, you have to pay for the lights and furniture. Ultimately, I feel that only a few big boys will not come under this category as it happens in every case. Business centers will slowly merge with the co-working spaces. It’s not that companies will stop making headquarters. If I have to build headquarters in Gurgaon for 3,000 people it will come up, but in future companies will stop setting small offices, in addition to large headquarters,” he added.
(This Awfis coverage appeared on Entrepreneur India on April 12, 2017. You can read the original story here.)