Five features of future workspaces - Technology set to redefine the idioms of work and life

14 July 2017

Five features of future workspaces - Technology set to redefine the idioms of work and life

  • The Hindu

Five features of future workspaces

Technology seems set to redefine the idioms of work and life

  • The Hindu, 12 Jul 2017, Amit Ramani

Technology is going to transform not only businesses, but also the individual’s working environment, in ways that have not been envisioned before. No matter how much information we have to be able predict it, the future will have a bit of haziness to it. However, through this haziness, five features of the future office are already clearly visible.

Smaller work desks

As a result of rapid technological changes, the work-desk has shrunk from 8’x8’ to an average size of 5’x2’.

With this, the per-person density has now dropped to 100 sq.ft from 200 sq.ft in the 1990s. In the next few years, this density is expected to drop down further to 60 sq.ft per person, as the need to provide every employee with a dedicated desk will get replaced by activity based settings. The major enablers of this change are: reduction in the number and size of devices, millennial’s focus on open informal work settings and the need on the part of businesses to reduce their real estate spends.

Shared economy spaces

With telecommuting, remote working and freelancing on the rise, dedicated office resources will remain idle for a major part of their lifetime as employees get work done outside the office at convenient locations such as cafés, lobbies, airport terminals and home. Industry leaders and planners across the globe have realised that reducing travel time and ensuring work-life balance are at the centre of talent retention and increased productivity. As a result, organisations will develop workspace solutions that integrate offices with shared economy spaces including co-working spaces, hotel business centres, and work from home/near home option. The gains from such a move are two-fold: Besides reducing the real estate portfolio footprint by 50%, this will contribute to greater employee satisfaction.

More transport options

Transportation options will revolutionise travel. The plethora of options will include driverless cars, drones and even rockets, besides an increasing range of regular transport options, which include trains, taxis and personalised transport. All these options will coexist and allow consumers to pick the mode based on distance, thrill and cost.

Vertical, horizontal and lateral means of transport will cross-connect into cities, buildings and workspaces. This revolution in the transportation sector will be built on the foundations of an extremely efficient and eco-friendly methods to get users from Point A to B. The designs will be in harmony with individual requirements and the natural environment to promote sustainable living.

Well-being solutions

Buildings and Workspaces will be designed keeping the individual at the heart of all solutions. Workspaces will have multiple options that encourage individuals to sit, stand and be mobile during the work day. This will be achieved by providing walkable work desks (treadmill workstations), pedal collaborative solutions (pedal tables) and posture and massage seats. Furniture will be designed as devices that promote health and well-being. Big data and analytics will ensure mass customisation as well as individual-driven well-being solutions.

Flexible spaces

The final frontier for the transformation is allowing fixed assets to be transformed instantly based on user needs. Currently, all assets that provide work, life and play solutions are idle 25% to 50% of the time. Current estimates show that cities are responsible for 60% to 80% of total energy use worldwide. While individuals work, their homes remain empty; when the same individuals retire to their homes, their workspace remains idle. It will not be long before we witness spaces that could act as workspace during the day, change to entertainment zones by evening and sleep zones by night ensuring 100% utilisation of the asset with zero dormant periods during the 24-hour cycle.

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Betting big on workspaces

18 March 2023

Betting big on workspaces

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Flex space providers promise premium and uniform services to companies across multiple locations as business models evolve post-pandemic

The pandemic disrupted the dynamics of the workplace at a global level. Most places have now adapted to the new norm and are slowly shifting to flex spaces. As per latest reports, the office realty market has witnessed a robust growth trajectory as the gross leasing volume (GLV) across India’s key cities have reached 55 million sq.ft. as of September end and is expected to touch nearly 68 million sq.ft. With this high demand trajectory, flex spaces have accounted for 20% market share of the total office leasing reaching 12 million sq.ft. by the end of 2022.

Companies are now actively changing their workspace strategy to accommodate shifting workforce preferences. Businesses of all sizes are looking for real estate that is adaptable to their needs while minimising investment risks and are betting big on agile workspaces. The demand for flex spaces has skyrocketed as business models evolved with the adoption of hybrid work modules, thus making flex work providers their one-stop solution.

Quick service real estate (QSRE) is the new era of the world where facilities are at the tip of your fingers. Earlier, for companies to even think of setting up an entire new workspace on a just-in-time basis was an unimaginable task. Keeping in mind the various aspects, organisations would require a minimum of six to 12 months to set up an all-encompassing workspace, at a new location. Teething issues such as dealing with multiple stakeholders — space owner, design and build firms, statutory authorities, and FM agencies — made life too complex for fast-growing organisations.

This is where these new-age, agile, flex workspaces come into the picture to solve the need for quick and hassle-free offices that provide Grade A services. In the large spectrum of flex spaces, coworking could be fitted in easily thereby making it possible for even one person to work for just a day. Coworking is a flexible workspace that is not limited to freelancers and startups. It only reduces occupancy costs and fosters collaboration.

Flex space providers offer distributed workspaces that are guaranteed to provide premium and uniform services to companies across multiple locations. These just-in-time space providers have enabled businesses to efficiently accommodate not just the new world requirements but also provide the employees with appropriate workspace requirements, as a matter of fact, quickly. To better understand, let’s dive deep into the concept of QSREs.

Complete package

As we see the world changing and business models evolving into a fast-paced ecosystem, it is safe to say that flex spaces are the future of the real estate industry. With seamless services, along with the ability to provide office space, meeting rooms etc., on demand, coworking spaces are providing their occupiers with the complete package. Even if a company is based out of Mumbai or Delhi, it can operate out of Indore or Jaipur with just a click of a button. Flex space providers have made the process of being able to book a Grade A workspace in a matter of few minutes, the new advanced reality.

This has led companies to rely on flex spaces as it caters to their needs of reduced capital expenditures, testing new models of working in a changing environment, and entering new markets as talent migrates.

With companies across all industries and departments continuing to grow, providing diverse workspace across geographies to cater to the distributed workforce is the need of the hour. A distributed workforce is dispersed over a wide area enabling seamless remote work. Flex space arrangements are helping these corporates to be able to support an increasingly mobile workforce and bolster organisational agility with quick solutions.

Company convenience

The solutions and services offered by coworking spaces — where workers from different backgrounds come together to share expertise and explore new ideas thereby increasing the chances of like-minded people engaging in business development — will enhance the convenience of accessibility, and the ability to work from near home for employees and to procure talents across regions. In addition, flexible workplaces are becoming the norm as it allows companies to reduce commute time for their employees and offer them great freedom and convenience, thus leading to higher retention rates.

Consistency of service

Companies across industries are staunch believers of consistency along with the consistency of premium quality outputs. This concept was brought into reality by Quick Service Restaurants like McDonald’s, Subway, Starbucks and Burger King among others.

By offering pre-made food that requires only last-minute preparation, QSRs have tapped on speed, price and convenience. Following their footsteps, the flex space industry has brought that aura into the world of real estate giving companies consistent premium quality of services. With these standardised offerings across all centres and diverse geographies, the shared workspace industry has established itself as the most conducive model for most organisations.

Large network

The flex space industry offers a multitude of benefits, one of them being the vast network of workspaces. The industry is flourishing, and most leading flex players are expanding their footprints all over the country. Shared workspaces are redefining the modern workspace with their presence across metros and a host of tier II cities. With this, companies can ensure their employees can focus on driving their business forward by working from any of the flex space centres across major micro markets. Allowing employees the choice and accessibility of a five-minute driving radius to their closest centre, therefore, leveraging work near home.

In tier II cities, flex spaces are likely to grow more than two-fold to 5.5 million sq.ft. by the end of 2022 as per the Colliers-Awfis joint report.

With QSRE models paving the way forward, organisations have found an ally in which the industry fits their requirements. It has enabled employees and enterprises to be part of a collaborative, innovative, and responsive space incorporating the occupier’s ever-changing preferences. With India’s workforce on the rise, flex workspaces in the coming years are expected to have even higher growth prospects with increased demand and new trends.

This story appeared in the 28 October, 2022 issue of The Hindu and was originally published at: Betting big on workspaces

Co-working space provider Awfis opens its seventh centre in Chennai

10 June 2022

Co-working space provider Awfis opens its seventh centre in Chennai

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Awfis Space Solutions Pvt Ltd, a co-working space provider, has launched its seventh centre in Chennai at Prestige Metropolitan on the busy Anna Salai.

Spread across 45,000 sq. ft., this space will have over 650 seats. This particular co-working space is part of Awfis’ premium workspace offering called Awfis Gold which aims at tapping the premium segment by offering unique workplace experience.

“We entered the Chennai market two years ago with around 1,000 plus seats. And currently we have around 6,000 plus seats,” Amit Ramani, Founder and CEO, Awfis, said during an interaction with The Hindu. “For the seventh centre, we are in advanced stages of discussion with clients from IT/ITeS, e-commerce, supply chain and health and wellness sectors,” he added.

The live centres in Chennai in micromarkets of Nungambakkam, T. Nagar, Chetpet, Guindy and OMR are operating at over 90% occupancy. Awfis has plans to open four more centres in the Chennai market by the end of 2022.

Mr. Ramani said that places like OMR, Guindy and Nungambakkam have the potential for more co-working spaces and they were studying the lay of the land. He said that Coimbatore was a lucrative market and his teams wee zeroing on locations there too.

Awfis’ clientele in Chennai boasts a mix of fast-paced start-ups, SMEs and MNCs. Some of the prominent brands that have taken up space with Awfis in Chennai include Sony Pictures, Suzuki, Lenovo, Practo, WayCool, NTT and Safari. At the national level, it has 131 centres with 75,500 seats across 14 cities and intends to establish a network of 200 centres by the end of 2022.

This story appeared in the 10 June, 2022 issue of Quick Info and was originally published at: Co-working space provider Awfis opens its seventh centre in Chennai, The Hindu

Co-working space provider Awfis opens its seventh centre in Chennai

08 June 2022

Co-working space provider Awfis opens its seventh centre in Chennai

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial