The number of co-working spaces has increased considerably in India and abroad in the recent years. What apparently started as an experiment has, with time, attracted many start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for its cost-effective facility. Even big companies are slowly embracing this unique concept. The concept of a usual workplace has undergone a complete transformation. Compared to traditional offices, the co-working spaces provide a comfortable working environment, besides taking care of other factors like flexibility and cost effectiveness.
In a conversation with the Entrepreneur India, Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis, shared his views about this year's upcoming trend towards opting for co-working spaces. The facility is working wonders for start-ups, which are looking forward to scale up their business and are ready to function from a co-working space.
Concept Of Workplace Will Change
“The notion of work itself will change and so will people’s way of perceiving desk related work. Wearable tools and technology will ensure that you really don’t need to be physically connected to a laptop. Instead, you could use your Google Glass to do your work in advance and be a little ahead of time. I can wear this tool of advanced technology and get my work done,” he said.
“Earlier, I had to arrange for a desk and chair in tandem with the concept of working that tells you need a desktop. Now, with laptop you have the freedom to work for hours in a relaxed posture as it's wireless. Before 2000, it was all about the hierarchy. From 2000 to 2010 the conception of collaboration started gaining acceptance. So team work and collaboration came into play,” he highlighted.
Choice Will Become Important
Today, an employee is at the center of attention and a workplace should be designed the way employees want it to be, Ramani said. “This is precisely the reason why giant companies like Facebook and Google have desks in their offices, but also have bean bags for their staff members to laze around. The work will change to become employee-driven. So workplaces will be designed keeping in mind employees’ comforts. The office atmosphere should be adaptable so that if I want to sit on a sofa and work, I should be able to do that,” he opined.
Create a Network of Spaces
Ramani said, “A network of spaces has to be created. If my business is in the South- Ex area, I need to have a co-working centre in South –Ex. Multiple centers should be built across the city. The network effect will be important because people will not like to waste time commuting,” he added.
Co-working Category Will Not Have Few Big Players Within Its Ambit
“When we started two years ago, there were four co-working spaces, today there are 115 in the country. The fact is that even if a landlord gives you free space, you have to pay for the lights and furniture. Ultimately, I feel that only a few big boys will not come under this category as it happens in every case. Business centers will slowly merge with co-working spaces. It’s not that companies will stop setting up headquarters. If I have to build headquarters in Gurgaon for 3,000 people it will come up, but in future companies will stop building small offices, in addition to the headquarters,” he added.