How corporates are now letting employees work near their homes

12 April 2017

How corporates are now letting employees work near their homes

  • Economic Times

As urban commutes are getting longer, large companies are seeing sense in making their employees work from a co-working space near their homes.

Co-working spaces are not just habitats for startups but also fast becoming workplaces for large, established companies. “Work near home” is the new mantra for established companies who are picking up space in co-working spaces.

As urban commutes are getting longer, large companies are seeing sense in making their employees work from a co-working space near their homes. Co-working spaces like CoWrks, InstaOffice, 91springboard, Awfis finds that upto 40-50% of the spaces is occupied by SMEs and corporates these days.

“When you enter a corporate office, you will easily find more than 50% of the space is vacant and the remaining is either under or over utilized. Also, the teams in corporates are gradually getting smaller and more collaborative which is one of the reasons why co-working spaces are becoming preferable,” says Vikas Lakhani, Co-Founder of co-working space startup InstaOffice.

Companies like GE, Dr Reddy, Accenture, Digital Ocean, FICCI, ReNew power, Paypal are opting for such services, say co-working companies. Apart from these, foreign companies who are looking to foray and set up a base in the Indian market are also renting out these spaces.

Amit Ramani, founder of Awfis, says, “Our branch locations render a flexibility to the employees and allows them to work near their homes which saves a lot of time and adds productivity.” He further adds that well-designed spaces along with all the amenities like conference rooms, dedicated desks, posh locations at reasonable costs also help them to minimise their operating expense.

On the other hand, Accenture rented out a dedicated space in Awfis’ Bengaluru centre to seat its Redcore team for around 6 months until they were moved to Accenture’s premises. The IT company had acquired the Australian security company Redcore last year. Accenture declined to further comment on it.

Along with corporates and SMEs, freelancers are also largely working out of these spaces. Networking primarily is a major benefit for them and as corporates as well as SMEs and startups tend to outsource which brings immediate opportunities for the freelancers. Moreover, even late-stage startups like CarDekho, Paytm, OLX, MakeMyTrip continues to work from these spaces as they find it cost-effective and engagement, collaboration, access to venture capitalists help in adding value.

(This is an excerpt from the story published by The Economic Times on April 11, 2017. You can read the full story here. )

Standing Desks are the New Productivity & Fitness Mantra

04 December 2018

Standing Desks are the New Productivity & Fitness Mantra

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Monday meetings were a bother for HR professional Runu Mehta. Her team of 16 would sit for two hours and discuss what they did over the weekend. Deciding to do something different, she took away the chairs from the meeting room.

“I made these meetings standing-only and found that the meeting time reduced to 30 minutes!” said Mehta, now head of learning and development at music label Shemaroo.

Standing meetings and standing desks have become popular over the past few years, not just because they increase productivity, but especially because of the perceived health benefits. “Sitting is associated with the risk of hip, knee and neck pain as muscles in those areas are in a locked position,” said Dr Balvinder Rana, additional director at the Fortis Bone and Joint Institute in Gurgaon.

Gunasekaran Jayaraman, CEO of ergonomical furniture startup Purpleark, said 20% of his retail customers get standing desks because their doctors suggested it.

“Using a standing desk has helped me focus better and I’m also sleeping better,” said Ayush, a software engineer at an ecommerce company who stands and works for 4-5 hours a day.

A year-long study by Loughborough University and University of Leicester found that people using standing desks reported less anxiety than those who used regular desks. The researchers surveyed 146 officials in the UK’s National Health Services, 77 of whom were given sit-stand desks while the control group of 69 employees had regular desks.

In India, one of the major drivers of this trend is international exposure.

“An executive goes abroad and he sees offices there using standing desks and so he comes back and wants one,” said Jayaraman. He said that sales have gone up almost fourfold month-on-month for the past six months.

In India, multinational companies are driving the trend, according to Jayaraman and office furniture company Steelcase.
Microsoft procured these desks for all its offices in the country after studying how employees used workspaces and what they needed to become more productive, said Marianne Rathje, director of real estate and facilities (Asia Pacific) at the company.

“The idea is to increase collaboration, creativity and productivity and make employees feel like part of a more relaxed, creative enterprise,” said Rathje.

The company’s employees had an orientation programme to introduce them to the benefits of standing workstations. “These are extensively used and employees love the flexibility to use their spaces the way they need to,” she said.

IT Company Infosys has acquired these desks on an experimental basis, said HR head Richard Lobo. Companies that don’t want to disrupt their workplaces can “convert” their regular desks to sit-stand desks. Some companies place a few standing desks on each floor so that employees can occasionally work there.

The popularity of these desks outs ide the corporate environment is still in its nascent stages, although the trend seems to be picking up.

Co-working space Awfis has 50 such desks out of the 25,000 or so it has in total. Awfis CEO Amit Rarnani, who uses a standing desk, procured them after his customers asked for them. This year, he introduced standing-only meeting spaces in his office in Powai. “They’re very popular, especially with the young generation, as meetings are much quicker,” he said.

According to Rarnani. Standing meetings will become the order of the day in four or five years as mobiles replace laptops, making sitting in one place unnecessary.

Still, there is such a thing as too much standing.

“Standing for more than 5-6 hours a day can lead to blood pooling in your legs. This can cause swelling, ankle pain and varicose veins,” said Dr Rana.

That’s why engineer Sumit Chuttani uses a standing desk at his workplace only once in two weeks. “It’s good to stand and work, but only for a few hours. Not the whole day,” he said.

For those with sedentary jobs, the best strategy is to alternate between sitting and standing and doing back-strengthening exercises.

This article was published in The Economic Times on 4th December 2018

Awfis Space raises $20 million more

26 July 2018

Awfis Space raises $20 million more

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Awfis Space Solutions, India’s largest home-grown co-working space provider, has raised $20 million in series C funding from its existing investors global venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, The Three Sisters: Institutional Office (TTS:IO) led by Radha Kapoor and Temasek Group company InnoVen Capital.

Prior to this, the company had raised $31 million through two rounds from TTS:IO and founder Amit Ramani.

In its maiden exposure to the company, the California-based Sequoia Capital had invested $20 million in the company last year.

In the latest round, the investors have valued the company at over ?900 crore. The recent investment will fund the company’s next growth phase.

Awfis has now scaled up to 25,000 seats across 55 centres compared to 5,800 desks across 20 centres in July last year. “The goal is to reach 40,000 seats across 90 centres from current 25,000 desks over the next one year. Deeper penetration into existing markets and expansion in new cities with focus on tier-II locations will be our priority,” Amit Ramani, founder of Awfis, told ET.

According to Ramani, they will follow a managed-aggregation model approach to ensure better capital efficiency.
Awfis is a joint venture between Ramani, the founder and managing director of real estate design consulting firm Nelson India, and TTS:IO, a family-run investment firm managed by Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor’s daughters. Awfis had opened its first facility with 70 seats in Delhi in 2015.

To read the published article visit the below link:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/awfis-space-raises-20-million-more/articleshow/65130726.cms

Co-Working Spaces Go Extra Mile to Guide Women Enterpreneurs

13 March 2018

Co-Working Spaces Go Extra Mile to Guide Women Enterpreneurs

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The Economic Times - March 13, 2018, Page No 14