Redefining Business Spaces

13 October 2016

Redefining Business Spaces

  • Business Standard

Technology integration is the next big thing for co-working firms  

While informal office sharing has always existed, the emergence of co-working spaces has become the mainstay for start-ups, entrepreneurs, consultants and freelancers seeking flexible, budget-friendly and professional work solutions. The onset of co-working businesses globally was a step towards breaking longstanding barriers in commercial real estate replacing lengthy leases and security deposits by enabling just in-time use of space. Coworking players then took this to a new level by offering attractive value added services, attractive membership schemes, preferential access to member services, partnerships with other start-ups and mentoring facilities, among others. Now technology integration is emerging as the next big thing for co-working firms looking at creating a niche.

First, the creation and designing of co-working spaces itself has enormous technology integration potential with designers visualising them in 3-D formats from the very start. This helps them to create integrated systems with Building Information Modeling (BIM) that allows making visuals, construction documents and cost estimates in days rather than months. With new-age BIM systems the whole process enables creation of flexible spaces quickly and built in a pop-up format for just-in-time use.

App-based co-working services are still to catch up in India. They can enable users to browse, book and consume the space in an “Uber”-like format and efficiently manage it. Technology integration is also possible through mobile/web-based platforms that provide guided discovery to identify and opt for locations, services, timings and amenities allowing members to choose workspaces that best suit their needs. Through smartphone this cutting-edge technology can allow them an immersive virtual tour of the space, while picking the best seat/section. New-age technology is also making it possible to move around furniture and redo the spaces before occupying them.

Secondly, a mobile app-based community feature provides the opportunity for users to engage with other individuals or companies. As the providers and consumers of these services are located in a collective ecosystem it provides a trusted closed loop network of coworkers that can benefit from allowing members to interact, share knowledge, collaborate and engage incremental results.

Co-working space firms also allow users to analyse building access patterns, internet and printing usage, furniture usage, collaboration zone interactions and items bought through access cards, CCTV and point of sale. Access to big data can allow corporate and start-up owners to map and analyse user trends that can be beneficial in working towards solutions that enhance productivity. Co-working centres can also leverage technology by operationalising the centres to optimise expenses, manage quality and grow revenues.

Finally, the co-working movement has the opportunity to research and suggest improvements to “ways of working”, making users highly productive and delivering higher returns for all stakeholders. With technology, the communities (freelancers, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, small and medium enterprises and start-ups) that form the core target audience for co-working businesses can facilitate crowdsourcing of ideas and deliver results that could change the idea of organisations, employees and the way work gets done.

The co-working movement is the start of a revolution which, if integrated with innovative technology, will result in redefinition of office space consumption. India is witnessing a revolution in the start-up and entrepreneurial culture. The anytime, anywhere network of spaces is here to stay and technology-enabled co-working spaces will provide the right platform to the Indian workforce.

This Awfis coverage appeared in Business Standard on October 13, 2016 under the title ‘Redefining Business Spaces’. You can read the story at http://www.business-standard.com/article/management/redefining-business-spaces-116101200859_1.html
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Return to office highest in telecom, consulting sectors; IT lags: Survey

04 August 2022

Return to office highest in telecom, consulting sectors; IT lags: Survey

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Majority of employees in telecom and consulting sectors have returned to office with significant fall in Covid-19 cases but the IT sector is lagging, according to a survey by Colliers and Awfis

Majority of employees in telecom and consulting sectors have returned to office with significant fall in COVID-19 cases but the  is lagging, according to a survey by Colliers and Awfis.

Property consultant Colliers India and co-working operator Awfis’ joint report explores the status of return to work across different sectors.

“As the third wave of COVID-19 started waning in February, the return-to-office gained momentum. As a result, by June 2022 about 34 per cent of the companies saw about 75-100 per cent of the employees back in office (includes hybrid work),” the report said.

About 41 per cent of occupiers stated that only up to 25 per cent of their employees have returned to office.

The survey showed that telecom and consulting sectors saw the highest (75-100 per cent) rate of return to office while IT and new technology companies saw the lowest (0-25 per cent) rate of return to office.

“The survey has made it clear that a distributed workspace strategy is the way to go for occupiers in this new era of experiential workplaces, as occupiers emerge from the after-effects of the pandemic. Flex spaces, in particular, are leading this growth, as occupiers from varied sectors are housing teams in flex centres across cities,” Colliers India CEO Ramesh Nair said.

Flexible workspace operators leased about 3.5 million square feet of office space in January-June this year across the top six cities, almost three-fourths of the flexible space leasing in entire 2021, he added.

The survey was conducted during May-June among occupiers to understand their strategies regarding distributed workplace. The respondents were from different sectors such as IT/ITeS, BFSI, engineering and manufacturing and others.

Total 150 responses were received from C-Suite executives spanning Founders, CEOs, COOs and CHROs of various companies. The company size of the respondents varied, starting from a range of 1-500 employees to companies having over 10,000 employees.

As per the survey, about 74 per cent of the occupiers are likely to adopt distributed workspace while 53 per cent of occupiers prefer working from home plus office as their preferred workplace portfolio strategy.

About 49 per cent of the occupiers are likely to adopt flex centres to enable distributed workspace, followed by setting up their own offices in metro and non-metro cities.

The consultant sees opportunities for flex spaces not only in metro cities but also in non-metro cities. “In fact, in non-metro cities, total flex spaces are likely to grow more than two-fold to 5.5 million square feet by the end of 2022,” Nair said.

Amit Ramani, Founder and CEO, Awfis said the findings of the survey are a testament to the success of the distributed work model and subsequently of flex spaces in catering to the ever-evolved workspace needs of India Inc.

“Going forward, 77 per cent occupiers will include flex spaces as part of their workplace strategy. We expect exceptional demand in the future, driven largely by large corporates for de-densification of existing traditional offices,” he added.

According to the Colliers India data, the gross leasing of office rose to 32.9 million square feet in 2021 from 30.1 million square feet in the previous year. During 2019, the numbers stood at 44.8 million square feet across six cities — Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.

In the first six months of this year, the office leasing has risen to 27.5 million square feet from 10.3 million square feet in the year-ago period. The share of leasing by flexible workspace operators stood at 13 per cent.

This story appeared in the 4 August, 2022 issue of Business Standard and was originally published at: Return to office highest in telecom, consulting sectors; IT lags: Survey

Amit Ramani live on Zee Business discussion panel on Startup India movement

25 August 2021

Amit Ramani live on Zee Business discussion panel on Startup India movement

  • Posted by awfis

Amit Ramani (Founder & CEO- Awfis Space Solutions Pvt Ltd) on Live Panel Discussion on Startup India on 16th Jan, 2016 on Zee Business

Amit Ramani Live on DD News discussion panel on Startup India movement

25 August 2021

Amit Ramani Live on DD News discussion panel on Startup India movement

  • Posted by awfis

Amit Ramani (Founder & CEO- Awfis Space Solutions Pvt Ltd) on Live Panel Discussion on Startup India on 16th Jan, 2016 on DD News