With the rise of start-ups in India, came the issue of addressing a workplace set up which can assist in creating an ecosystem for the entrepreneurial drive to thrive. From 2005, globally, the rise of shared, community-based office space started to gain traction as professionals started moving into the gig economy. Closer to home a similar trend was visible with many cafes and restaurants offering free wifi services.
The start-up culture truly got a boost when co-working spaces started to emerge, allowing people from various diverse backgrounds to congregate at one point, every day and collaborating with each other to solve rising business and social challenges of the day. The growth of shared office spaces can be witnessed in the spike of co-working office leasing, which rose from a mere 8 percent in 2018 to 14 percent in 2019.
From small-scale enterprises and start-ups looking for cost-effective and flexible choices to work out from, co-working space has been gaining grounds in the large corporate segment as well, due to the positive energy and employee productivity such offices cater. A survey by a real estate firm showed that 40 to 45 percent of demand came from large firms, followed by the SME sector at 35 to 40 percent. Interestingly, start-ups demand came at just 15-25 percent.
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So the question that arises, why are large corporate increasingly choosing to work from a co-working space instead of the traditional structure?
There are 3 main points for this:
1. For Talent and Innovation
‘If you can’t beat them, join them’, is an adage many corporate are choosing to live by. MNCs such as Tech Mahindra, Airtel and many others are increasingly investing in start-ups which can address some of their core businesses which large organizations are unable to set up or would take time for them to do so. Co-working space offers easy access to talent and innovation. It keeps the large corporate closer to the action and ground realities for both disruptors in the industry and also strategic acquisitions.
Working out from a shared office space offers flexibility in terms of testing out a new location and operational hours. For instance, if a business needs to work on a special project that requires setting up a remote or satellite office, it is easy to choose a co-working space rather than committing to a lease for a fixed amount of time. Alternatively, if an enterprise finds a particular co-working office’s location suitable for their needs, it offers an opportunity for expansion as well.
Workplace flexibility also transmits to the company’s employees who can now have the option of working at a head office or operating from a more convenient location.
3. Easy Rental Cost
From saving operational costs to increasing their opportunity cost, when choosing the right co-working space, companies can save big when working from such offices. Reduced rent, furniture, utilities, internet, and other office facilities are easily available and taken care of. Many even offer agile office solutions that can truly reflect a company’s brand and work culture.
For large corporations, it makes sense to choose spaces that offer a vision of their office culture and ease of services. It is a win-win solution for both the coworking space operator and businesses looking for a cost-effective office space. Being able to network and tap into a rich talent pool to making acquisitions and collaborations, the flexibility of operations, reduced overheads are all part of creating an ecosystem of services.