Category Archives: Community

Acing the game with 5 extraordinary coworking spaces in Bangalore, we strive at spreading our roots across the country. Strategizing our awesome ideas to make your area of work stand apart from the rest, we are on the path to be established as India’s largest agile workspace player. Trending on every social media channel via #CoWorkingBengaluru, our coworking spaces offers everything best no matter the team size. Check out our blog to learn more about Smartworks and how growing with us would be one of the wisest decisions of your work life. 

CoWorking Bengaluru - Bengaluru, we’re ready for you!

Bengaluru, we’re ready for you!

Our previous blog announced the opening of our flagship workspace in the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore. Featuring a myriad of facilities, this centre is located in Global Technology Park (GTP) and is spread over 3 lakh sq. ft, making it our largest workspace for CoWorking Bengaluru. With our latest expansion, we continue on our path to becoming India’s largest agile workspace player.

The D-day was packed with a lot of fun-filled and engaging activities for the members. Furthermore, the event offered online contests across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the trending thread of #CoWorkingBengaluru and #BiggerAndBetter. The magnitude of the event not only saw participants from across the country but also got #CoWorkingBengaluru trending on Twitter.

CoWorking Bengaluru - smartworks members
The star of the launch was our pride and joy, AI-based assistant and India’s first-ever ‘she’ robot- Mitri. Mitri is a robot with superior social skills. Mitri apes human actions such as constantly blinking her eyes and turning her head to analyze the people around her. When she greets you at the entrance, you register your details with her – a process where she will ask you questions and will register your name, age, workspace and other details. Mitri has the ability to recognize you and retain that recognition.

CoWorking Bengaluru - smartworks star robot
Our ‘star’ robot, understands the technicalities of a workspace and is designed to be a front desk and HR robot in our CoWorking Bengaluru. Mitri is the modern-day reincarnation of a superwoman who senses if employees are having a bad day and interact with them to cheer them up!

A combination of modern aesthetics and state of the art technology ensures productivity for your business at the highest possible level. Book your tour today!

Smartworks Centres In Mumbai

Two steps up in Mumbai

Sitting by the calming waters on Marine drive or indulging in some celebrity spotting at the Pali Hill Cafe, Mumbai is the city of dreams, success, and stardom. The natives are always on-the-go, looking for the next best thing in town. Mumbai is not just a thriving business hub but also home to a million starry-eyed aspirants hoping to make it big! This grandeur and hunger to succeed made us open not one but two coworking centres in Mumbai, the burgeoning city!

Both our centres are found in prime locations making accessibility easy in a city known for its exasperating traffic. The first is in the Fleet House, Andheri East and the second in Indiabulls Finance Centre, Dadar West.

Smartworks Centre in Fleet House, Mumbai

Smartworks Andheri is the preferred location for corporates who want the best of cost and class. Metro connectivity feels like a dream as this centre is seamlessly connected from West Andheri to Ghatkopar. On top of that, the proximity to the airport is a mere  3 – 5 km. It’s not just close to residential areas like Goregaon, Malad, Borivali, Powai, Vikhroli but also to the malls & hotels like Holiday Inn, Westin, Infiniti Mall, Inorbit Mall, and Oberoi mall.

In terms of connectivity, the Indiabulls Finance Centre is no less! Located only half a kilometer away from the railway station, it’s sure to solve all your travel woes. Moreover, it’s at a stone’s throw from top-rated hotels and malls like Shangri-La and Phoenix respectively.


These premium quality, high-end commercial centers’ strategic locations and features like biophilic architecture and creative collaborated zones make them the ideal business hubs. Furthermore, these expansive centres boast of high-end cafes and multi-cuisine restaurants in their compound. Whether it’s taking a much-needed coffee break or a quick pop-in to the nearby mall, these centres have it all.

We’re glad to be a part of this bustling city and are certain that our coworking centres in Mumbai will become an indispensable part of it. Come and experience the true essence of coworking and productivity at our centre!

Smartworks takes Bengaluru!

 

A casual stroll in Cubbon park, an exciting evening at Koramangla, breakfast at Brahmins’ Coffee Bar or a shopping spree at Brigade road. Bengaluru is not just a melting pot of cultures but also the Silicon Valley of the country. Here, a number of successful startups were conceived and today, new ones are born every fortnight. So, tech-first city invariably became our choice for our newest coworking space.

With recently launched centres in Hyderabad and Mumbai, we’re all set to launch our biggest centre yet in Bengaluru. We’re thrilled to be back in the city to open our second centre at the Global Tech Park in the beautiful suburb of Bellandur.

Accessibility feels like a dream in a city known for its exasperating traffic. To soften this blow, we decided on a strategic location to ensure your corporate life is a joyride. Our flagship centre is easily accessible to all parts of the city via BMTC and close proximity to key residential hubs like Outer Ring Road, Bellandur et al. Keeping in mind the frequency of travel for work, the Baiyappanahalli metro station, and the KR Puram railway station are at a distance of 15 km and 10.5 km respectively.

The luxurious marble-finished double-height lobby and perfectly manicured lawn will greet you as soon as you step into the spacious compound.  It not only offers plenty of natural light but also superior indoor air quality. As you look around, biophilic architecture and open walkways will catch your eye. Furthermore, the enormous centre has enough space to house 5000 members.

The members enjoy benefits like multi-cuisine restaurants, planned crèche and gym facilities in the vicinity of their workspace. Not to forget, our offices have opened the doors to your furry friends as well (pet-friendly). Whether it’s taking a much-needed coffee break in the smart cafeteria or a quick pop-in to the nearby mall, this new centre has it all. In addition to malls, the centre is at a stone’s throw away from premier hotels like Royal Park Plaza, NOVOTEL, Aloft, IBIS, CITRUS and retail outlets like More HyperMart, Total Mall.

We’re excited to take a plunge into Bengaluru’s bustling tech scene through the reinvention of traditional office spaces. We’re certain that our coworking space will become an indispensable part of the city. Come and experience the true essence of coworking and productivity at our centre!

What managers can do to boost employee productivity

Chapter 4: What managers can do to boost employee productivity

Improving employees productivity is like an overdue file that keeps making its presence felt at the manager’s desk. No matter how hard they try, there is always a clause or a page that remains incomplete.

Managers across every domain face similar problems when it comes to increasing employees productivity. There are reports that say employee productivity has grown by .3% a year over five years, from 2011 to 2016. The slim growth reveals that something needs to be done right by the firms and of course managers to get better at employee productivity.

There are a lot of tricks in the book but rummaging through them can be pretty time consuming and at times futile. To make every manager’s life easier and make every firm prosper, here are four practical ways to live by if you want to be a better leader at work and inspire your employees every day at the office:

Incentives: ‘one’ for ‘all’, not ‘all’ for ‘one’

One of the best ways to encourage employees to be more efficient is actually to give them a reason to do so. Recognizing your people for a job done well will not only make them feel appreciated, but also encourage them to continue increasing their productivity.

But there’s a natural tendency for management to focus most heavily on senior-level economic incentives. While this is understandable, it’s best not to neglect substantive incentives for lower-level employees.  

While some may argue that it can be a costly affair, experts say that a carefully structured program with clearly defined revenue and/or earnings targets can work like a charm, both for an employee and manager.

Say it when you mean it and mean it when you say it OR Communicate Richly

Meaningful feedback is a foundational management skill that can have a significant impact on an employee’s productivity. Undeniably, feedback should not always be positive rather it should be encouraging. Managers and employees communicating effectively about the problems and improvements will create a holistic environment to work.

So, providing constructive feedback on a regular basis, be it encouragement for a job well done or advice on a presentation gone awry, will make a massive difference to the productivity of a firm.

Value. Support. Recognize. (VSR)

Three words that can’t be stressed enough. It’s essential that every manager understands and abides by these words in their tenure.

A manager’s support in times of need won’t be forgotten. In fact, it builds employee goodwill and loyalty. A situation where an employee is valued and recognised for their work can have a positive impact on them as compared to the contrary situation.

That’s not saying that unwarranted praises will do the trick. Recognition at the right time (say for getting a client onboard) is often a more powerful motivator than money. Value your employees, support them during rough times and recognise their hard work and achievements.

Make yourself a priority

Yes, you read that right. The best investment you will ever make as a manager is in yourself. In fact, this is a move that will put the aforementioned points into action.  

Get enough sleep, use your time wisely and always surround yourself with people who share your values and push you to achieve. By doing things that will make you a better leader or a person will let you have more time to tend to the needs of your employees.

So, to say that increasing productivity of a firm is just in the hands of a few individuals is incorrect. It’s an amalgamation of effort by everyone who is a part of the firm.

To know more about increasing the productivity of your firm, check out the previous chapters and get an insight on how highly productive and engaged employees can change the course of a company’s success.

4 home productivity hacks by celebrities like Richard Branson

Chapter 3: 4 home productivity hacks by celebrities like Richard Branson

In our last productivity chapter, we elaborated on hacks that can make your productivity at work go from a dull zero to an exhilarating 100. While there is still an ample amount of advice available on the internet for work, very few focus on the homefront.

Most of us associate productivity with things we do at work and fail to understand that productivity at work is directly proportional to productivity at home. The way we start our day or actions that we take back home, augment our productivity and allow us to make most of our day.

Keeping this in mind, we did some hard work for you and dove into daily lives of successful people to understand what keeps them going. Here are four actionable takeaways that you can start immediately to make a difference in your daily life.

Have a morning ritual
How many of you snooze the alarm until you have no choice but to quickly shower, race out the door, and grab some (unhealthy) breakfast on the way to work? We see a lot of heads nodding.

A productive day undoubtedly starts with a productive morning. Having the first 30-60 minutes of your day to yourself is a highly effective yet most understated productivity hack. These first few minutes of the day not only give you a great head start but also allow you to invest in your body and mind.

In fact, a lot of millionaires of our generation have their own version of morning rituals. Where Richard Branson (Founder of the Virgin Group) swims around his island and play tennis before sitting down for a healthy breakfast, Jack Dorsey (Co-founder of Twitter & Square) wakes up at 5.30 to meditate, followed by a 6-mile jog, Indra Nooyi, on the other hand, wakes up as early as 4am and reaches office no later than 7am.

So the first step to being productive at home begins with finding your version of ‘morning time’ and sticking to it.

To-do list to the rescue
The way you structure your day can either hurt or help your productivity. When you know exactly what you need to do and get done, you can then hit the ground running the first thing when you start your day.

You save time without having to think or organise your day because you already know what to do. But unfortunately, most people get to office at the very last minute and then spend their time thinking what to do. And that’s where a ‘to-do list’ comes into the picture.

Just like a morning ritual, it is also a productivity hack that contributes to many people’s successes, including Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX) and Nathan Blecharczyk (billionaire, and co-founder of Airbnb). In fact, some successful people go an extra mile and give each day a job or theme. This means that they devote certain days of their work to different types of work. For example, on Mondays they would focus on meetings, Tuesdays for product development, Wednesdays for marketing and so-on.

Simply put, start your day with an agenda and a plan ahead because people who fail to plan for their day, eventually become a part of other people’s plan.

Accomplish something beyond work
A healthy work-life balance is not only about succeeding at work or earning a certain digit figure. It’s about having a sense of accomplishment, both at work and home. Make room for things that can fit into your overall vision for work and life.

It could be as simple as reading a book you’ve always wanted to, watching a long DIY video, being more involved in your kids football, dance or drama practices or doing something long-planned as learning a guitar or any new language.

All you have to do and decide is that ‘one thing’ that always takes a back seat and you will definitely see a change.

Make it home for dinner (Always!)
There is always more to be done, more that should be done, and more that can be done. But work shouldn’t stop you from spending time with your family, and most importantly yourself.

And making it home in time for dinner is a productivity hack that makes you realize that there will always be more to do at work, you just need to decide when to take a hard stop intentionally. Just remember that spending time with your family and taking time at night to rest and recharge is always a wise decision.

Bonus Tip
By now, we’re guessing that our tips are being put to action. So, try and keep things as simple as possible. If you are writing down your to-do list, focus on things you intend to finish in maximum 32 hours, starting a workout regime- start with 30 minutes a day, making room for things you always wanted to do- take baby steps and start with something simple. The idea is to find your inner peace, both at work and home.

A sneak peek into Smartworks incredible 2 years journey

A sneak peek into Smartworks incredible 2 years journey

They say time flies when you are having fun. We didn’t realize this until last month, when we flipped back through our pages, only to find that it has been two years since our founders, Neetish Sarda & Harsh Binani kickstarted Smartworks.

Smartworks was born as a vision of moving beyond mundane offerings of conventional business centers and co-working spaces. It was about creating office spaces that challenge workplace monotony. A place where people ‘want’ to go and not just ‘have to go’.

Our dream soon turned into a reality with our first office space in Times Square, Gurgaon in April 2016. Since then there has been no looking back! Currently at 1 million sq. ft., with a presence in 9 cities and 15 centers, and catering to 250+ clients across large enterprises, SMEs, start-ups, and freelancers, we are rapidly expanding.

Some of our clients include Amazon Web Services, Tata Communications, Microsoft, Bacardi, Incedo, DHL among others.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of many people who have had a role to play in this journey.

Here’s an infographic celebrating Smartwork’s significant milestones. The journey has just begun with many more milestones to achieve!

employee rights

5 rights every employee should know – But they don’t

In our last article, we shared some ‘in-office’ wisdom for employees standing at crossroads do’s & don’t’s in a professional setup. In this article, we would highlight some of the fundamental employee rights each employee is entitled to in India.

While individual companies have their own employee handbook, most of them miss educating their people about workplace rights.

In order to create and maintain a symbiotic relationship with a company’s biggest asset, its people, every employer must talk about these rights.

Below are a few-

1) Right to keep copies of documents you sign

How many of you remember that stack of papers you signed (without reading, of course) when you started your job?

Well, you may have agreed not to work for a competitor, not to communicate with clients and vendors of the company, or leave the company before completion of a year or two.

Whether you are leaving the company or plan to stick around for a while, get a copy of everything you sign. Having copies of these documents is your right.

It gives both parties a sense of security that both are fully aware of their obligations and have agreed to comply with the stated terms and conditions.

2) Right to complain or protest about work

Ever wonder why a plethora of strikes (READ Recent sanitation workers strike, DLF site strike et al.) in India aren’t stopped in one swoop?

Well, that’s because they are legally protected under The Factories Act, 1948.

The law says that every worker has the right to protest and object to working conditions. Does your company fail to provide decent working conditions to you and your colleagues? They may be breaking the law.

3) Equal pay for equal work

Also, a constitutional right, equal pay for equal work means every employer is liable to pay equal to men, women or even temporary staff performing same tasks or responsibilities.

Unfortunately, even after repeated focus on women empowerment and gender equality in public discourse, there’s still a considerable gap between men and women in pay scales.

For instance, a survey conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2017, point to the extreme levels of disparity in wages for women in India.

The study reflected that men earn more than their women counterparts for similar jobs. The gap in many cases was as staggering as 30 percent.

Nevertheless, as an employee, you must know that it’s your right under India’s “Equal Remuneration Act of 1976.”

4) Right against sexual harassment at workplace

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention) Act, 2013 mandates employers to protect their employees, especially women, at workplace against any incidence of sexual harassment.

In fact, as per the law, all incidents of sexual harassment – big or small – require employers or managers to respond quickly and appropriately.

So, next time if someone tries to cross the line, don’t hesitate from complaining because of his/her position in the company.

5) Gratuity

As you all might already know, Gratuity is a retirement benefit under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 paid to an employee at the time of retirement, termination, resignation or employee’s death.

As per the law, an organization with 10 or more employees is supposed to pay gratuity to workers who have worked for 12 months or more. It is the last drawn salary (sum of basic and dearness allowance) multiplied by the number of years of service.

In case the employer fails to provide gratuity, he/ she faces prison for a term not less than six months and not more than two years.

That’s all for today, folks! Keep following Smartworks for more exciting scoops about work and work life!

co-working space

The secret to effective networking in a co-working space

Every blog, article or any person who has experienced a co-working space talks about its countless benefits, one of them being- excellent networking. When people from different academic backgrounds and varied interests work together under the same roof, then there is bound to be some constructive communication. But, the question here is how to make these interactions effective and productive for your business. Here are four secrets that can transform the way you network in your co-working space.

Break the ice, start the conversation

A conversation which isn’t business-related is the best opportunity to connect. From a simple hello, a quick chat on a coffee run or a fun discussion at common events, coworking spaces provides a host of opportunities for you to network better. The focus should be on making connections and having a conversation, as compared to seeking for an opportune moment to pitch your business.

Share ideas, opinions and knowledge

Sharing information that can add value to someone else’s work or life will not only help a co-worker but also lead to future gains. Sharing does not involve giving away your trade secrets or your next business idea; it merely means imparting knowledge. A co-working space emanates of openness, innovation, and creativity. Using this to your advantage will put you on the receiving and giving the end of useful knowledge.

Let your passion speak for itself

When people say, ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’, they’re almost a hundred percent right. No amount of hard-selling can replace passion. If you’re passionate about what you do, it will automatically show in your work. Selling your product involves making your customers familiar with it and getting them to buy it. On the other hand, your passion sparks curiosity and helps you build relationships. In such a situation, your co-worker might not need your product. Once they see your passion and your friendly nature, they’ll feel a need to recommend you to others because they like you and want to be helpful.

Socialize, not just network

A great perk of a coworking space is the opportunity to attend various events. Shared cafeterias are also another added benefit. Such situations create a friendly environment, which becomes an ideal place to start building new connections. However, building connections shouldn’t be your only goal, rather socialising and getting to know your co-workers is equally essential to help your business grow. So, use events and cafeteria’s to your advantage and never hesitate to talk to other people. Places like these attract people who are open-minded and looking to build connections.

Women's Workplace Wishlist

Women’s Workplace Wishlist: Smartworks Edition

The more time we spend at our workplace, the more our desk, laptop, phone and a steaming hot beverage feel like family. In other words, our office becomes a ‘second home’ to us.

Now, if it’s a home, we’re bound to have some expectations, right?

While most offices are proactive when it comes to the needs of their female employees there is still some that lag behind.

Women are slowly overcoming years of prejudice to make an indelible impression on the corporate world, and attracting the right people to work for you is essential. Hiring and retaining trailblazing women employees is only possible if you make sure your company has what they’re looking for.

This doesn’t mean that women are seeking differential treatment. However, it is vital that organizations treat their female employees right, and take their perspective into account.

With this in mind, we have compiled a wishlist of #WhatWomenWant at their workplace.

  1. Job satisfaction
    If our day begins with a purpose, then it should end with the satisfaction of completing that mission. This becomes even more crucial when it comes to your job. Female employees feel it’s “critical” to find jobs that enable them to do what they do best.People who get a chance to use their abilities and knowledge are more likely to be satisfied and flourish at work. Businesses need to ensure that their staff, especially female employees, are placed in roles that harness the particular skillsets and capabilities of each individual. This approach helps foster a sense of purpose at work and keeps employees motivated.
  2. Work-life balance
    Whether an organization can offer an excellent work-life balance and personal well-being is another important consideration. The idea of work-life balance and well-being varies from one woman to another. Be it working mothers or women planning to start a family, an absence of a work-life balance can present a major problem. Women prefer working with employers who respect their ambition to rise to the top, without sacrificing every other aspect of their life. A company which encourages, supports and empowers women as ‘people’ rather than ‘workers’ is seen as a more favorable place to work.
  3. Equal pay
    Even after years of heated debates on the glaring disparity in incomes across the gender divide, there remains an unequal pay structure between men and women. According to a report published in ‘The Hindu’, men earned a median gross hourly salary of Rs. 288.68 per hour, while women received Rs. 207.85, or about 27% less than their male counterparts. The question here is: If women are working as much as men, and on the same field, then why the difference? While the answer is debatable, such a gap will only increase unless adequate action is taken to prevent it.
  4. Hygienic powder rooms
    Stepping into a dirty powder room is not just unsightly but highly unsanitary as well. Hygiene is a basic necessity and should be provided, irrespective of the place. That said, an unhygienic washroom can be expected in a public space, but certainly not in an upscale office space. A powder room with proper hygiene and amenities is a must-have.
  5. Transport Facilities
    Late nights or early mornings, work is work and can’t be stalled for anything. The question of safety is a pivotal concern, given the alarming rise in acts of sexual violence against women. To counter the threat, organizations not only need to beef up security but should also provide a trusted transport facility. A reliable pick up/drop service is also a great convenience for women employees who often have to juggle their work and home life. Such facilities not only make women feel safer but also allow them to concentrate on what matters: their work.
holi in office space

Types of co-workers post-Holi

How’s the thought of celebrating holi in office space? Exciting !! Scrumptious Gujiya, colourful Gulal, and the cool summer breeze can only mean one thing- Holi! A festival where looking your worst marks a day well-spent and a festival well-celebrated. Holi can unite a nation known for its stupendous diversity with the power of simplicity. A simple touch of colour followed by a sweet phrase- Bura Na Mano, Holi Hai- does the trick! While the festival is the epitome of fun, it’s the after-effects that are funnier. As you reminisce about yesterday’s celebrations and enjoy your long weekend, here is a list of your dear co-workers who you’ll definitely encounter on Monday morning-

1. The water advocate: This person informed the entire office about the hazards of water wastage, helped the HR send out emails, put up posters and sent WhatsApp forwards on office groups. The particular person- no matter what they claim- ended up playing with water and a bunch of other liquids (eggs, mud, the list is endless). Although they had the best intention at heart and an extremely valid point, in reality, it’s always hard to follow what you preach and expect that from others as well. Still, no harm in trying though?

2. The DIY granny: He/she arrives on Monday with clean, shining skin and a host of DIY(Do-It-Yourself) recipes to offer. They’re the King/Queen of DIY and will have the best advice to offer. From a hack passed on by their grandmother to a hack they discovered by experimenting- they know it all. Head to their seat if you’re still getting a mini heart-attack everytime you see the red coloured water while bathing!

3. The Holi horror victim: These tortured souls were scared before the festival and the after effects have left them petrified. They’re the ones who view the Holi ground/garden as a battlefield and you, as a soldier armed with the most deadly weapon known to mankind-colours. You can spot them as the people who hid in the bathroom or didn’t move from their desk while everyone played Holi at work. Don’t confuse them with the DIY grannies. They both might be spotless, but one would offer you advice about banishing colour from your skin and other about banishing Holi from your life!

4. The gujiya lover: The beautiful, golden dumpling filled with mouth-watering sweet Khoya is everyone’s Holi favourite. No one loves it more than ‘The ultimate gujiya lover’. If there is a gujiya within a ten-meter distance, they’ll find it and eat it. No gujiya box can hide from their sight.

5. The proud multi-coloured enthusiast: These people are hard to miss. Be it before or after the festival, no matter how much you try; you cannot avoid them. They’re the ones who are the most enthusiastic pre-Holi and spend the majority of their days leading up to the festival discussing the colours, location, plan-of-action and other things (which cannot be mentioned here) of their Holi party. Post-Holi they carry their colour stains like triumphant soldiers who have returned from the battlefield. Every stain is like a scar which is then followed by a story. They played Holi with any substance imaginable and have no shame in narrating their story to anyone who’s willing to hear it. They and the Holi horror victims will never understand each other, and we’ll always spot the former trying to narrate their stories forcefully to the latter.