The last few years have witnessed a massive change in the workplace preferences of the Indian workforce. There has been a revolutionary shift from traditional offices to shared workspaces, making India the second largest market for co-working spaces, after China.
In the first quarter of 2019 itself, co-working had taken up about 2.9 million square feet commercial realty—a 70% increase on a Q-O-Q basis and a 277% increase on a Y-O-Y basis. The top three cities were NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru. (Source: CBRE).
Co-working is now being recognized as a major portion of the CRE leasing activity, giving tough competition to conventional offices.
Driving this growth is the rise in demand from metros along with Tier 2 and 3 cities. Over 13 million people will work out of co-working spaces by 2020, with tier 2 and 3 leading this change. This demand for co-working spaces was expected to grow at 40% – 50% this year, higher than Asia Pacific’s rate of 35.7% (Source: JLL).
With the economic growth in the top seven cities beginning to saturate, tier 2 and 3 cities have come into reckoning as the growth engines of the future. This is being led by a rise in disposable income, resulting in enormous opportunities for companies looking out for new markets to tap into (Source: Cushman & Wakefield).
Adding to the demand are the SMEs and corporates, who are moving towards co-working spaces for setting up their HQs, satellite offices, back offices, etc. Thus, given the strong demand and momentum that co-working spaces have gathered, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the best is yet to come and that we have only just touched the tip of the iceberg.
With the ever-growing competition, and in order to stay relevant for their clients, co-working players are continuously reinventing and adapting best practices. Thus, there is an immense focus on integrating technology at the heart of all offerings to capture the market share of the millennial workforce that breathes technology.
The advent of autonomous workspaces
Today, digital disruption is all-pervasive. Digital innovation is transforming economies and re-imagining the way businesses are conducted globally. The speed at which technology is evolving today reminds us of the industrial revolution in the 1900s. Every industry is experiencing the positive implications of it including real estate.
If embraced wisely, technology can serve as a catalyst to accelerate businesses, design user-centric workspaces and heighten productivity. Walkable treadmill workstations, pedal tables, virtual assistant-integrated desks and smart sensing technologies will provide untethered flexibility at work. Voice-activated systems and wearable technology such as wearable glasses, embedded chips, and wrist devices connected with work desks will make ‘working on the go’ more productive.
By integrating IoT with AI, co-working spaces can be transformed into smarter, dynamic and interactive offices. Automating the entry and exit, improving security, controlling energy consumption and utilization, and enabling cashless payments allow professionals to work in an accelerated environment. The volumes of data gathered are offering insights for future strategies. Cloud computing, web conferences, instant messaging, and e-diaries have enabled better communication around the world and within organizations. The ability of devices to interact with individuals provides a personalized workspace to inspire productivity.
This is an authored article by Mr. Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO, Awfis. This was originally published at: http://brandleadership.hindustantimes.com/brand_masters/amit-ramani/the-workplaces-of-the-future/?fbclid=IwAR1jk3QkvKC0FzXMJx9sRUIjagBMvpwiBkw0XRa0STggCAVTJCsT1UWeZsw