Co-working Spaces Will Evolve in 2020
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
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There has been a paradigm shift in how people work and how they perceive their future workspaces. Co-working spaces are constantly evolving their business models and setting contemporary trends to establish themselves as a cost-effective solution to enterprises, and meet employees’ demands and aspirations.
According to a CBRE survey, as the demand for co-working spaces multiply, there would be a significant growth in the area occupied by co-working space providers, which will rise from 5.4 million sq. ft in 2018 to about 7-9 million sq. ft by 2020.
Co-working spaces are continually evolving to deploy the latest solutions to revolutionize the overall experience of customers, some of the emerging co-working trends for 2020 will be:
Consolidation and Synergy
As the co-working sector continues to enjoy phenomenal growth, one of the ascending trends in co-working brands would be a consolidation of their portfolios. Over the years, as the co-working sector gets more organized, one can foresee large multi-city players merging with smaller unorganized ones as part of a synergistic and consolidating exercise. As large global investors and prominent real estate players have been indicating their interest in the co-working sector, numerous mergers and stake purchases can be foreseen in the upcoming year. One can expect to see new funding avenues, which will likely boost the confidence, improve the financial viability and secure the future profitability of flexible workplace operators in the country.
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Service and Experience Standardization
Experience is the single biggest differentiator that makes or breaks a brand. One of the critical imperatives for flexible workspace providers is to create an unparalleled experience for its members through state-of-the-art amenities and services across multiple cities; that too, a standard experience. By providing a standardized working environment, co-working spaces are providing ample expansion opportunities to their members, allowing them to expand their geographical footprint and ensure happiness and engagement.
Smart Connected Buildings
The world is at a cusp of tech disruption with artificial intelligence and machine learning becoming the most sought after aspects of technology. Real estate as a sector has been fast enough to adapt to these. Large enterprises today look at technologically advanced, collaborative and productive spaces to avoid the hassle of running an office space. Using Internet-of-Things for asset management, spatial analytics, mobile apps and visitor management systems, virtual reality for future office spaces are just a few technological interventions that co-working players have started to adopt. These interventions will enhance monitoring and reporting capability and offer an excellent world-class wireless experience to its members, and also reduce the building management costs.
Quality of clients over quantity
One of the most significant advantages of shared workspaces is ample networking and collaboration opportunities that allow the flow of newer ideas, new connects communication beyond work, and collaboration. Shared workspace providers are becoming exceedingly cautious about the kind of members that they get on-board. Some co-working spaces are putting their members through a vetting screening process to understand if they are a perfect fit for that office space, this enables them to retain their members and drive their events centered around their professional interests. Members, on the other hand, benefit from the community experience offered by co-working spaces and benefit from the collaboration opportunities.
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Profit plays a crucial role in any business—while companies can focus on market opportunities, but generating profit is equally essential. The primary focus of co-working space providers would towards strengthening their business model and becoming profitable to attract investors. Most of the agile office space providers would strive to maintain an aggressive pricing strategy and churn rate to become profitable.
A clean, green and sustainable workspace is not only good for co-workers but the environment as well. Waste reduction strategies, in terms of energy and waste, will translate into cost savings and will be a significant step towards contributing to the broader ecosystem also. Solar energy, elimination of single-use plastic, improved indoor air quality with plants and motion sensors on lighting are some of the initiatives making way into shared workspaces for future sustainability.
Co-working spaces are emerging as an unmatched alternative as they provide the exceptional working experience, with seamless technology integration and extensive corporate grooming sessions to ensure that the workforce is engaged and rejuvenated.