'There Ïs Uberisation Of Real Estate'

26 December 2017

'There Ïs Uberisation Of Real Estate'

  • Business World

Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis is quite optimistic about the future of coworking spaces

There has been a shift towards creating beautiful, well-designed and functional spaces that encourage collaboration and create a sense of community. And so Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis has endeavoured to create a network of collaborative co-working spaces, launched new and innovative products and further enhanced the existing technology platform in the past one year.

With a recent funding of $20 million from Sequoia India, the scale of the business of AWFIS is expected to increase to 20,000 seats by March 2018 from its current 12,000 operational.

“The funding has enabled us to step-up our presence across the major cities – Chennai which will be operational in January 2018, Chandigarh, Kochi, among others,” says Ramani who apart from his own proprietary centres, also has a unique, asset light ‘managed aggregation’ model-partnering with space owners.

“There is uberisation of real estate and hence we are hopeful to grow in tier 2 cities as well. While 85% of these spaces are in Tier 1 cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, the remaining 15% are based in Tier 2 cities. It is about enabling a good working experience for the present generation professionals by taking care of all the important aspects to serve a customer – Engagement, Enablement and Experience,” feels Ramani.

With expansion plans to start spaces in Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Kochi and Indore in the next six months, Ramani feels that there is growth beyond the metros today. “Many planned smart cities fall under tier 2 and tier 3 locations with better availability of resources, connectivity, so business momentum is bound to grow for the industry,” he says.

Today about 50% of the AWFIS’ business comes from SMEs, 35% from startups and 15% from corporate. “While the SMEs are moving to Grade A spaces to tap bigger opportunities, we offer to create Indian solution for SMEs, startups as well as corporates by offering about 300 seats in one location to make it a community culture setup,” says Ramani.

So what does Ramani look upto in 2018? “There will be a paradigm shift in the way companies will operate in the future, and some of the best innovations will be an outcome of such true community collaboration. In an overcrowded space of 300 co-working spaces in the country, there is bound to have consolidation and a shift towards the new way of working. Productive and unconventional way of working will be an alternate as people will start demanding value added services within the spaces,” he concludes.


Click here to read online article: http://businessworld.in/article/-There-s-Uberisation-Of-Real-Estate-/26-12-2017-135725/

The 3 Drivers Of Work In Future - Technology, Mobility & Community

26 June 2019

The 3 Drivers Of Work In Future - Technology, Mobility & Community

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Everything related to a workspace has been disrupted by various experiments – from closed cabins to cubicles to an open floor with everyone working together

Walk in at 9 with a crisp tie and a briefcase. Sit at your desk while your fingers dance at the keyboard. Bury your head with designated tasks and then leave for the day. This was a typical day at work in the 1980s defined by fixed working hours, hierarchy, silos, and fragmentation.

With the advent of technology and constantly evolving management practices, the traditional Indian offices have evolved too. Everything related to a workspace has been disrupted by various experiments – from closed cabins to cubicles to an open floor with everyone working together. In a modern workspace, colleagues become friends, companies become sample audience for pilot studies and an office becomes a plug and play environment. Great minds think alike but multiple minds think differently, and this forms the genesis of disruptive ideas.

In today’s day and age, employees value their work-life balance more than ever. According to a CBRE study, 70 percent of millennials would make various trade-offs to secure a better workplace that allows for more harmony between work & life. And the same is being achieved by collaborative workspaces. These are set up keeping in mind the individual’s needs and interests which in turn increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the employee.

Technology that serves people
Technological advancements have further enabled the workforce to achieve their full potential. Leveraging IoT and by integrating it with AI, workplaces can be transformed into smarter, dynamic and interactive offices. Automating the entry & exit; improving security; controlling energy consumption & utilization, and enabling cashless payments allows professionals to work in an accelerated environment. In the 1980s, it was hard to believe how personal computers would transform our lives. Similarly, today it is difficult to envision what AI will mean to us over the coming decades. The IoT’s growth, in turn, drives an exponential rise in the volumes of data gathered, providing meaningful insights for future strategies. Individuals within organisation are more connected than ever. Cloud computing, web conferences, instant messaging and e-diaries have enabled better communication around the world and within the organisation. The ability of devices to interact with individuals provide for a personally curated workspace that inspires productivity. Hence, by facilitating the nexus of communications, IoT will define the future of work.

Mobility: The secret weapon to flexible workplace
Another important facet of the future of workspaces – ‘Mobility’ is revolutionising the way we work. Work is not only limited to designate tasks for the day, but it is also to go above and beyond what is expected. For the same reason, people are working on the go too. To keep up with the changing nature of work, the new breed of workspaces provides convenient options to work from multiple locations seamlessly. Millennials who contribute 3/4th of an organisation’s workforce require the ‘right’ environment or they choose their ‘own’ environment i.e a coffee shop or library. According to an article in Time magazine, polls show that millennials “want flexible work schedules and more ‘me time’ on the job.” Keeping in mind the needs of today’s generation, shared workspaces provide a bouquet of mobility solutions like virtual offices, national pass, etc. for today’s on the move workforce to thrive. Shared workspaces fitted with activity-based settings allow for greater collaboration and alternate meeting/working points other than one’s work desk. In fact, collaboration areas & meeting lounges allow for stimulated informal interactions that cater to the much-wanted ‘work-life’ balance.

Since work timings are not rigid anymore, individuals are perpetually working. People highly value comfortable, inviting workspaces with flexible working arrangements and built-in communities. The flexibility of time and space has become of utmost importance. For workers across levels and industries, flexible work options provide more freedom to accomplish a variety of tasks. Organisations not only want to retain talent but also want to make sure they are being productive. Flexible workspace culture is promoting a lifestyle, not just a place to do business.

Co-workers as Communities
As the corporate world adapts to technology and design trends, it is crucial to keep in mind employee needs. Many people, especially the Gen-Z employees, benefit from a space that encourages the growth of a community. People share opinions and formulate opinions basis their continuous interactions with other colleagues – encouraging a highly open environment. A community at the workplace promotes an open culture which is beyond hierarchies. A co-working culture solidifies bonds amongst employees and breaks traditional stereotypes of formality and protocol. A sense of belonging in the workplace is not only about self-entitlement but also a huge motivational factor for the employees. And as rightly said by Henry Ford, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

It will be extremely intriguing to witness the next big trends in the Indian office space. However, it is safe to say that the future of work will see more of co-working and less of traditional workspaces & traditional work methodologies.

Gen Z Driving Workspace Revolution

13 May 2019

Gen Z Driving Workspace Revolution

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

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.

Visit the below link to read the published article:


Designing For Engagement – The Play Of Colour, Space And Ergonomics At Work

31 March 2018

Designing For Engagement – The Play Of Colour, Space And Ergonomics At Work

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The design of workspaces play a pivotal role in influencing interaction amongst co-workers

Shared workspaces as a growing alternative to traditional offices, makes engagement of its community members a much greater and exciting challenge. Unlike regular offices where the common thread is one culture, the shared workspaces have multiple companies and cultures that coexist. Without a common thread binding these varied organizations with size ranging from one to hundreds of employees, design plays a key role in aligning the future workplace to cater to the requirements of a diverse set of audience and ensuring engagement and enhanced productivity.

The design of workspaces play a pivotal role in influencing interaction amongst co-workers. Design is a visual form of communication that through subtle cues creates opportunities for engagement, influences people’s behaviour and by aesthetic appealmake the users attracted to the space, to spend additional time.

A good workplace design has a strong influence on how employees think and behave. If the office space is unable to support the workstyle of users, the success and business outcomes of the organisation can become an uphill battle.

Global giants like Google, Yahoo and Facebook have redefined their office spaces with plush, vibrant and thoughtfully designed interiors, as a way of keeping employees engaged. As an example, Flipkart’s Bangalore office has a refreshing ambience and every corner is designed on different themes like literature, sport, science etc. All these things translate to say that a good workplace design has a strong influence on how employees think and behave.

A good design solution balances colour, space and ergonomics to set the right platform for the success of the users of the space.

Colour your way to influence perceptions

Color is a powerful tool when it comes to integrating mood in your design. New methods of working are driven by adding more color choices within the workplace. The moods we associate with different colors are influenced by certain concepts and emotions.

Red, commonly associated with blood and fire, symbolises warmth and energy.  It grabs the eye and in design it projects boldness and strength.

Yellow on the other hand communicates happiness and freshness. The color spreads positivity in a working environment and creates a fun-friendly atmosphere.

Green is the color of nature and in the philosophy of designing a workplace, it indicates a sustainable and healthy environment.

Aqua blue is one of the most adaptable colors. It represents peacefulness, trustworthiness and stability.

Shades like white, beige and light yellow are incorporated in design to provide a minimal aesthetic look; while darker shades like black, dark green, purple etc. are modern and adaptable to new age workforce. Colors and patterns should be chosen carefully to create a workplace that is energising, productive and relaxing on your mind.

Createa space where people want to come to work

A workspace that focuses on maximizing the number of people in a given square feet of space, ends up looking cluttered, where the users resist being in the space, leading to limited scope for engagement.

A chaotic space that is not focused on creating various activity zones with proper way-finding confuses people and makes them disoriented. A well-designed office space that provides the appropriate size for various functions, choice of areas to support different workstyles of its users and integrates functionality with aesthetics, creates an environment where users want to belong and engage with co-workers. In a well-designed workspace, employees areintuitively encouraged to spend more time in a welcoming environment that encourages collaboration and higher productivity.

The changing workstyles of the modern workforce need adoption by design professionals to provide floor playouts that cater to varying gender, demographics and generations that co-exist, by providing the choice of settings in a single workspace.  Creation of customizable spaces that are best suited for people to work in collaboration or individual zones,provides the users a choice based on their workstyle.

The purpose of design is to encourage collaboration amongst employees, emotionally bond with space for additional time spent and, ultimately create workplaces that embed creative cues for an inspiring and innovative environment to boost morale and enhance productivity.

Productive workspaces

The new generation workforce that forms a large part of the modern base for companies is focused on choice leading to different ways of working and workspaces that continue to support their workstyles. The demands are focused on increased level of engagement, homely spaces that are comfortable and informal,creating seamless transition between work and life and an ultimate choice of spaces that adapt to their needs.

Workspaces of the future will be adaptable, accessible and flexible by integrating multipurpose furniture systems, wearable devices, individual controlled lighting and air conditioning systems that will adapt to individual needs in real-time, positively influencing the health, wellbeing and productivity of employees.

The assimilation of digital elements like augmented and virtual reality will allow all surfaces to act as screen and input devices removing the separation of material and technology, leading to integrated surfaces reducing the footprint. Iris scan, face recognition and integrated fingerprint scanners will enhance the experience of the workspace users with spaces adapting to individuals needs on the go.

While technology will have a huge role in the workspace, the humanization and wellness at the core of the workspaces will be a key element to deliver superior environments that will enable employees to be healthy and productive.

The success of organisations is driven by happy and productive employees that can engage in behaviours, that enable collective positive outcomes. Human interaction, emerging technology, work patterns, optimized and healthy spaces may not be all that would be needed to design the future workspace, but with these items topping the design list, these would be imperative for organisations to succeed in the near future. Getting ahead and developing a well-designed workspace as a core part of the strategy for the business is a given that organisations need to implement to succeed in the future.

To read the online article click here: http://businessworld.in/article/Designing-For-Engagement-The-Play-Of-Colour-Space-And-Ergonomics-At-Work-/31-03-2018-145012/