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Here's What Co-Working in India Looked Like In 2019 According to a FlexiSpaces report, millennials and young professionals seem to be driving the growth of such spaces in India.

By Debroop Roy

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Flexispaces

Among the many different trends to have engulfed the start-up ecosystem in India and abroad, co-working has emerged as one of the biggest. For various reasons such as finding a great workspace in a remote area to getting great amenities for a fraction of what it would cost otherwise, the concept and implementation has found takers all across.

Despite the debacle surrounding co-working poster boy WeWork earlier this year, the general sentiment continues to remain positive. Real estate firm JLL last year said it estimated over 13 million people will operate out of co-working spaces by 2020.

According to a FlexiSpaces report, millennials and young professionals seem to be driving the growth of such spaces in India. Millennials book these spaces more than older professionals, the report said.

Related: 6 Things to Keep in Mind While Opening a Coworking Centre

FlexiSpaces is an on-demand marketplace for meeting rooms and shared workspaces. The findings of the report are based on demand, queries and bookings made on its platform between January and November.

Privacy Over Pricing

One of the interesting findings was the fact that people prefer privacy while working. Around 80 per cent of customers opt for private cabins over open desks.

"Customers don't feel comfortable in working from open desks in co-working spaces," the report said.

Meeting Spaces

Booking meeting spaces is on the rise at co-working places, according to the report.

Majority of meetings spaces that are booked have four-six seats and they are booked for an average of three-four hours.

The report said meeting rooms are mostly booked to conduct interviews and trainings.

Rise of Tier II

In recent times, smaller cities in India have been quick to embrace the new changes sweeping the metropolitan cities.

Even co-working is finding its feet in such cities now. The report said tier II markets will boost the overall space over the next two-three years.

Cities such as Indore, Patna, Bhopal and Kochi have seen the number of queries and bookings of meeting rooms and co-working desks increase significantly, said the report.

Varying Use Cases

Apart from the usual, people also seem to be booking such spaces for other uses, according to the report. For example, a teacher booking meeting rooms to conduct sessions away from regular classroom setups.

The report said this was gaining popularity among the likes of dance schools, guest lecturers and professional trainers.

"Small enterprises also conduct day-long board meetings and sessions at co-working spaces as they seldom reserve large settings or meetings rooms at their office space," it said.

Challenge

All is, however, not rainbows and sunshine for the operators. According to the report, 20 per cent of overall occupancy usually goes vacant.

Related: Why Companies Are Adopting the Space As a Service Business Model

The report suggests that operators need to make optimum use of new technologies in order to overcome such challenges.

Debroop Roy

Former Correspondent

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.
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