Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years, you’ve probably heard of coworking spaces. And if you awake millennials in Gurgaon or any metropolitan city in India, chances are you have worked at one as well. Gurgaon alone has seen massive growth in the coworking space segment.
In Gurgaon in 2017, 1.9 million sq ft was leased by coworking spaces; in 2018 it was 3.9 million sq ft; and in the first quarter of 2019 alone, 1.1 million sq ft area has been added to the already existing space.
So what exactly is working for coworking spaces in Gurgaon?
To understand trends in coworking spaces in Gurgaon, we must take a look back to where it all started.
Hackerspace – Dinosaur era co-work spaces
So is coworking a millennial concept? Both yes and no.
In 2002 Berlin, a company called C Base made WiFi networks available and promoted free public access to the internet. Thus was born the first hackerspace. Hackerspaces are usually the community-oriented physical location where people can meet and work. These spaces can be considered to be precursors to coworking spaces as we know them now.
The first official coworking space is not agreed upon. But the most widely accepted record of the first coworking space is in San Francisco by a programmer Brad Neuberg as a reaction to unsocial business centers and the unproductive work life at a home office. Organized as a non- profit co-op, space was hosted at Spiral Muse, a “home for well-being”. The association offered five to eight desks two days a week, free wifi, along with shared lunches, meditation breaks, massages, bike tours, and strict closing time of 5.45 pm.
From 2002 San Francisco to 2019 Gurgaon, coworking spaces has come a long way. Coworking spaces in Gurgaon now offer 24*7 operational hours, very fast internet, yoga, tech support, mentorship networks, and many more amenities. While there is no sweet formula for getting the ‘perfect’ space, operators of all shapes and sizes have enhanced their service offering to meet the demands of their market. Consequently, in the past few years, we’ve seen operators adopt hybrid workplace models catering to both start-ups and corporates and we’ve seen billions of dollars invested in the industry.
Normal not niche
With the start-up boom in India and the overwhelming populace of people under 35 years of age, coworking has become the new normal in that it has become the expected and preferred workplace of today’s workforce. This is evidenced in the fact that large companies and start-ups alike are increasingly seeking to enhance the workplace experience as a means to attract and retain talent, and that a significant percentage of workers who have the option to work from home or a coffee shop prefer to work from a coworking space. Coworking in Gurgaon is no longer a niche. It is the new normal.
Amit Raheja, CMD, Wealth Clinic, says, “Having ‘Uber Cool’ office is the dream of every company but the amount of time and money it requires is not everyone’s cup of tea. Here the co-working spaces come into the picture. Initially, in India, we had co-working spaces with only the start-ups in mind, but now well developed and luxury office spaces have also become a trend. A paradigm shift in the co-working industry is on the anvil as an era of flexible office spaces is here to stay. The industry is
expected to grow by 40-50 percent by the end of this year itself.”
Corporates opting for coworking
Some reports and analyses state there might be coworking options in the future catering to enterprises of specific industries and their requirements. The feasibility and profitability of such ventures remain to be seen but it’s definitely an avenue that will be explored sooner than later.
If you are a coworking cynic who thinks coworking makes sense only to start-ups because of its cost-effective and hassle-free nature, think again.
Says Ravi, COO at Plus Offices, Gurgaon, “ Most coworking spaces sell to brick and mortar which includes seat cabins and real estate structures to the prospective ventures that include startups/ enterprises. However, ideal coworking space has to provide a conducive productive and growth bound environment so that with a calibrated effort the venture can grow and be happy with their results, not only on a quarterly basis but also on a daily even hourly basis. Coworking traditionally saves time, energy and money vis organizations having a standalone workspace. At Plus
Offices, we are sector agnostic and are now catering to everyone from startups and SMEs to bigger enterprises as our objective is bi-partite which means we are catering to plug and play as well as customized workplace solutions for growing and large scale ventures.” Big players like IBM, Facebook, EY, Thomson Reuters, Star India, Rolls Royce India, Deutsche Bank, Louis Vuitton, etc have all opted for coworking spaces in Gurgaon and India in general. Why do you ask? Well, the idea behind coworking spaces is to –
Collaborate not to compete
A coworking space is a hub for emerging talent. For corporates to hire employees through the conventional interviewing and training procedure is neither cost-effective nor productive. In a shared workspace where talented freelancers, teams and tech nerds are brimming, access to energetic talent becomes a lot easier A coworking space acts as a hub for talent, resources, and excellence. All of this along with beautifully designed interiors is slowly giving coworking spaces an edge over traditional office spaces. Currently, 46 percent of India’s workforce is millennials looking for tech-smart offices. They embrace collaboration opportunities, giving a window to co-working players to expand.
Trends and growth in coworking
There are an estimated 35,000 coworking spaces in the world today. Take a look at some numbers and figures to understand how big this market is and where it’s headed.
- The global market value of flexible workspaces is estimated at an approximate $26 billion. There are approximately 35,000 coworking spaces which constitute roughly 521 million square feet of flexible space.
- Up until 2022, the number of coworking spaces is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6% in the U.S. and 13% elsewhere.
- The amount of coworking space leased and its share of total office space rose by almost half in only 18 months, from the end of 2016 through mid-2018.
- In 2018, the number of coworking spaces rose by 36% outside the US.
- Between 2014 and end of 2018, the number of flexible workspace locations expanded by +205% while the number of operators expanded by +138%.
- 40% of flexible workspace demand is forecast to come from large and corporate companies.
- 14% of employees at large companies use coworking spaces.
- The average coworking space requirement continues to increase year after year, with the average client taking 7 desks.
So don’t wait anymore. Take the plunge and join the club. Make your workplace a productive environment where your employees will WANT to come and work.
Explore your options with us at Plus Offices, one of the largest coworking spaces in Gurgaon. To know more write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +91-7303145522.