Coworking spaces are disrupting India’s commercial real estate sector.
Gen Z is fast overtaking Indian offices and with their population set to reach 472 million in India in 2019 (Bloomberg analysis of UN data), workspaces are grappling with the need to stay relevant. Gen Z is a highly ambitious, connected and engaged generation; and equally if not more socially conscious as the millennials. With a bend towards the gig economy, organizations with traditional real estate in a cabin and knock culture, will need to evolve with the demands of this generation.
Being vibrant and flexible, coworking spaces attract Gen Z and enable them the collaborative environment they seek. In this sense, coworking spaces match the expectations of this generation, which is clearly reflected by the highly positive reception that the concept has received in India.
For this hyper-connected generation, connectivity is a must!
A generation born in the era of internet and seeped in the rise of social media, they expect workspaces to be the hub of connectivity. Agile offices with the ability to keep up with the times are home to these digital natives. Coworking spaces imbibe the ethos of connectivity and are equipped with the technological requirements.
Value flexibility and variety in workspaces
Fixated desks, boundaries in the workspace and monochromatic designs are a big deterrent for the morale of this new workforce. Instead, vibrant workspaces that provide avenues for creativity and have zones that inspire, are the offices they aspire to and value. Coworking spaces are constantly revamping themselves to shun the mundane and bring in variety.
Equally if not more, socially conscious as the millennials
Millennials moved the needle by making social responsibility a central factor in joining organizations. Gen Z carry the baton by valuing social contribution at a fundamental level. It mandates for corporates to provide avenues for employees to volunteer and also, have a CSR footprint that outlines their impact. At Awfis, we hosted a #CookForKerala session, where community members could help ease the crisis for the state in a significant manner. There are many other CSR led opportunities that are made available on a regular basis.
Focused on career growth and development
According to the HOK report titled ‘Forward: Workplaces Research and Trends’, with the bend towards a gig economy and immense opportunities at their disposal, Gen Z will have a minimum of four jobs in their lifetime. Their drive and ambition coupled with the desire for reinventing careers are the key to this phenomenon. With an avenue for community members to engage and do business within the community, coworking brings greater opportunities for career growth and development.
Propagators of and great believers in the power of collaboration
Contrary to popular belief, the social network friendly generation cherishes face-to-face interactions and networking. Ever driven to learn and grow, collaborating to mutually benefit is the fabric of their work style. Coworking, being woven from the same fabric of valuing collaboration and encouraging it is, therefore, attractive to them.
Want to keep the fun alive at work
As much as they are driven and focused on work, they tend to make more regular breaks at work. Workspace is an integral part of their social fabric and they want to make the hours count holistically. Coworking spaces have zones to rejuvenate and activities for physical and mental wellness.
Value a Culture of Entrepreneurship
Gen Z more than the previous generations is driven by entrepreneurial pursuits. Born in an era where the start-up revolution erupted and entrepreneurs are celebrated worldwide such as Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell and the like; gives an impetus to the desire to own an enterprise. Coworking is the kind of workspace that start-ups can invest in with their budget constraints and still work through Grade A offices.
With Gen Z set to disrupt workspaces, it is the need of the hour for traditional workspaces to reinvent themselves and shed the long-standing norms. With the new expectations and characteristics of Gen Z, workspaces will need to evolve much more than they were required to for millennials. Coworking spaces are spearheading this revolution and are the cornerstone for a harmonious blend between Gen Z’s expectations and workspaces.
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