The outbreak of the pandemic has definitely turned our lives on its head. February and March of 2020 also saw one of the most dramatic stock market crashes in all history, raising the warning bells for the horrific nosedive the global economy was to take. While we have managed to pull ourselves up from the quicksand that the Indian economy had become in the former half of 2020, it will probably take years to shake off the aftermath. Cutting costs seems to be the order of the day.
The pandemic and the economic crisis, together, have revolutionized the way we work. Did you ever imagine that you’d be sitting at home with your laptop checking in to work, instead of gulping down your morning coffee and hurrying to your office battling the rush hour traffic? Well, it took us an entire pandemic to quit the traditional way of working and embrace the idea of a flexible workspace — a futuristic and economical move that is definitely a step forward in the right direction.
The ‘work from home’ culture has proven to be immensely successful, and a bunch of companies are advocating it’s continuation beyond the pandemic. Many establishments, especially small scale businesses and startups, are planning to give up office spaces to save office rent.
Does Office Space Matter?
Conventional Office vs. Modern Office: Your environment impacts you, shapes you, and defines you. Workspaces are no different! The workspace and office setup has come a long way. The quintessential “office” from 30 years back and the ones today are poles apart in terms of style, design and technology. The conventional office had rigidly constructed cubicles with an emphasis on individual productivity. There was negligible room for interactions in the workspace, churning out a robotic workforce.
The 2000s marked the inception of the ‘modern office’ and the rise of startup culture which encouraged coworking spaces, sustainability and creativity. Millennials rejected strict corporate hierarchy. They demanded decentralization, teamwork and a more interactive workspace. Today, employees are no longer confined within the four walls of the office. Fluidity in the workspace helps in better communication, socialization and collaborations, thus, resulting in enhanced productivity and saving office rent.
All You Need to Know About Co-Working Spaces
To answer whether you should give up on your office space, we need to first understand what co-working spaces are. Co-working spaces are usually open-planned environments with shared amenities and designated private areas. Being more informally designed, it caters to the lifestyle conditions of employees by providing them with coffee shops, yoga studios, bars, and even theatres!
This tangible shift from a traditional workspace to an edgy co-working environment is becoming more trendy because of the following benefits:
- Say goodbye to your boring office or home office: Flexible co-working spaces break the monotony of conventional isolating office spaces. It is a shared space thus perfect for collaborations with other freelancers. These spaces also provide advanced equipment and amenities like monitors, projectors, and whiteboards, for use within the community. Flexispaces induces the need for adaptability and increases exposure to new innovative ideas and thinking.
- Money is not a factor anymore: The rising demand for flexible workspaces is greatly due to reduced overhead costs for corporations. Shared conference rooms and lounges are a perfect solution to save office rent and cut down costs.
- Growth and development: A company’s image depends on how fast it grows and acquires new development opportunities. ‘The more you share, the more you learn’ – the main motive of shared space is coexistence and co-development. Swift communication and engagement with other collaborators leads to higher productivity. Unlike conventional offices, flexible workspaces make the most of their space to reduce confusion and cramming.
- Build better relationships: When solopreneurs, professionals and employees gather at a particular place and participate in an interactive session, it helps them meet new people and expand their network. What could be better than working with like-minded people and growing together?
Does A Dedicated Space Save Office Rent?
A co-working space gives you the freedom and flexibility in your workspace, while also providing more opportunities for networking. Away from the humdrum of congested working hubs, flex spaces provide you with a more exciting environment to work in. It is where ‘WORK MEETS LEISURE’.
For instance, you can work for as long as you like, grab a quick bite and have a conversation with like-minded individuals for a breather, and when tired, you can make use of the napping corner of your workspace (yes, these actually exist)! The best thing about a shared workspace is that you can save office rent.
Apart from typically being a more diverse workspace, co-working spaces also have access to numerous funding options and in-house expertise. Most importantly, you don’t have to commit to unnecessary leases in the long run.
When we think of co-working, we usually associate them with startups and freelance culture. Startup companies are known for the ability to take risks- try out something new,and out of the box. Young minds with fresh ideas bring out the best for their target customers, making flexible workspaces perfect for their dynamic work process as well as limited budgets. Today, however, almost every business or company is up for broadening their horizons and experimenting.
Co-Working Spaces and Corporates
Co-working for corporates? Sounds like an oxymoron, right? Well, a few years ago it may have been an unthinkable concept. Corporates are infamous for their mundane 9 to 5 working hours with no room for relaxation- but to save office rent and boost productivity, co-working spaces are under consideration now. Thank god for flexible workspaces that make your worklife a lot less hectic!
These multi-use spaces focus more on evoking a feeling of unity while preserving individualism. Employees aren’t locked up in their cubicles for hours on end till they burn out. Shared workspaces offer wide networking opportunities, connecting clients and freelancers all over the country, and are a melting pot for talent which often goes unnoticed. Finally, the wellbeing of employees is being looked after, and the youth is not hesitant to be a part of the corporate world.
Co-Working Spaces and Small-Scale Businesses
Small-scale businesses usually start with limited funding. Ergo, costs and expenses are an important factor. Regular office spaces come with the looming threat of exorbitant real estate costs. Flexible workspaces are a perfect solution to save office rent in this scenario.
Co-working spaces make for overhead costs, but there is no need to commit to a lease. With the availability of in-house cafes, gyms, lounges, conference rooms, and other facilities, employees truly enjoy working without compromising on productivity. Co-working spaces often host networking events and workshops as well to pave the way for new collaborations opportunities.
Co-Working Spaces and Freelance Culture
Co-working spaces are a boon for freelancers, because they can work independently and yet feel like a part of the community. You can have access to all your professional requirements, yet save office rent. These are perfect for those who feel claustrophobic working out of their homes, and need some human contact. The networking aspect of co-working spaces helps freelancers build their brand and land new gigs as well.
Co-Working: A Global Movement
‘Work culture’ is a collectivist term for a company’s work ethics, values, and attitude. The reason why reputed global brands like Google have aspirational work culture is a healthy work environment which boosts employees’ confidence and morale. Psychological pressure can reduce the overall productivity of an organisation. It’s crazy how a balanced work environment can bring about drastic changes in the company’s success. Co-working spaces provide exactly this, while also allowing you to save office rent!
Here are a few reasons why co-working is a global movement now:
- Happiness: Work environment and the bond between employees is not credited for its due importance. A happy and driven work environment creates a unified, productive, and most importantly HAPPY workforce. There is a sense of belonging and mutual understanding. Co-working spaces support social interactions and allow employees to build strong relationships with colleagues. Research attributes the poor wellbeing of employees as one of the principal reasons behind a company’s stagnant growth. Flexible workspaces bridge the gap between an employer and employee resulting in a smooth flow of work.
- Reduced Stress: Constantly pushing employees to work day and night without any avenue for relaxation makes for a stressed workforce and stagnant organisation. Excessive stress among employees can lead to absenteeism, low energy, and low productivity. Co-working spaces provide theatres, rest areas, office trivia, escape rooms, book clubs, etc. for employees to relax.
- Networking and Collaboration: Flexible workspaces encourage a collaborative spirit, which emphasises building trust, loyalty, and respect amongst co-workers. Healthy social interaction can expand an employee’s creative outlet and push him to work efficiently. It allows for a positive, productive, and collaborative workspace.
Imagine being able to work and enjoy your favourite espresso at the same time! co-working spaces, work is no longer mechanical- the entire concept of an ‘office’ has been revolutionized. Who would have thought work could be fun as well? Companies like Instagram, Uber, WeWork, Spotify, and GoHive are examples of some of the most successful companies that have opted for co-working spaces and seen brilliant results. Opt for co-working spaces today to not only save office rent, but be your most productive and creative self!