Co-working spaces are shared office spaces for rent between individuals or a group of individuals. They act as affordable working spaces for different people: entrepreneurs, freelancers, small or medium-sized startups, and even large scale corporate with over a thousand employees, who are looking for flexible office leasing options. This has led to various businesses adapting to the co-working space concept.
Evolution in this industry has occurred in the form of expansion of such facilities and also in the innovation of the core values of a co-working space. Rather than just being a different type of office space that provides you with different types of office requirements, many co-working spaces have started to cater to civic needs such as education, gyms, swimming pools, creating demographic specific workplaces, providing insurances to freelancers, and much more.
The atmosphere inside a co-working environment is totally different from that of corporate cubicles. The energy and vibes of the people occupying the space are amazing to witness. You will find young freelancers, talented individuals, and groups in various businesses talking about work, while some sit at their private desks, completely engrossed in work sipping away at their tea or coffee. The office culture of co-working spaces is very flexible, allowing people to better harmonise with one another and enhance teamwork by negating some barriers to communication that are often present in rigid corporate structures.
The most common users of these spaces include freelancers and start-ups, and a recent trend has begun where larger organisations are seeing the benefits of shared office space and opting to use them rather than buying complete offices.
Why Choose Co-Working Spaces?
Before you hop on the co-working space train, you should understand why people are shifting towards it. Co-working is a work approach that is based on mutual trust. All the participants involved tend to share similar core values. This creates a palpable synergy between individuals and groups who work alongside each other. One of the problems that co-working spaces help to solve is that of being isolated, which many freelancers, work-at-home professionals, and independent contractors face while working on their own. Co-working in India has major growth potential with rising number of startup communities. Co-working in major cities such as Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, and Delhi among many more already has major competition in this industry. There is sure to be a positive rise for coworking spaces in the future.
Major Benefits Provided by Co-Working Spaces
- Basic office amenities such as chairs, desk, internet connections, washrooms, air conditioning, etc
- Private meeting rooms.
- Kitchens with coffee and tea machines.
- Separate area for eating such as a cafeteria.
- They enable a sense of community due to the flexible and open environment.
- Cost effective
- No fixed work timings. You can work as and when you want as long as the facility is open.
- Modern and futuristic design of the workspace provides a lot of positive energy and vibes.
- Research has shown that co-working spaces promote feelings of contributing to more meaningful work, having a sense of job control, and building a sense of community.
Types of Co-Working Spaces
Co-working spaces can be private, community-based, shared, and of various other types. Each type of co-working brand and co-working players offer day pass, hot desk, dedicated desks, meeting rooms, events area, open desks, and cabins with multiple benefits. It can be tough for you to take a clear decision while selecting from the variety of co-working spaces available out there. To make this process easier for you, we have curated a list of the variety of offices to choose from, along with their benefits. This will surely allow you to select the right type of co-working space for your business or work :
1. Conventional Co-Working Space
These are the most common types of co-working spaces which target freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small start-ups. All the basic necessities required to enhance productivity among employees are available, such as high-speed internet connections, tea/coffee, air conditioning, general office supplies, private meeting rooms, etc. Common activities in these spaces which occur throughout the week involve team-building exercises and collaborative events.
2. Specialised Co-Working Spaces
These type of co-working spaces get their name from specialising in serving niche customer needs in specific locations. To achieve this, specialised co-working spaces accommodate similar or overlapping corporate sectors. These spaces act as ideal environments for workers with a holistic approach letting them gain a continuous flow of new and useful outlook towards work. Corporate clients might have different types of office needs, requiring bigger workstation areas, specific R&D zones, better meeting room facilities, dedicated events, and tools to communicate with other co-workers for business/support. Common occasions that occur in such spaces include fundraiser events, providing entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their ideas and transform them into reality.
For this section – They cater to specialized & niche customer needs in specific locations. Few corporates need bigger workstations area, specific R&D zones, better meeting room facilities, dedicated events, tools to communicate with other coworkers for business/support.
3. Fancy Co-Working Space
As the name suggests, this kind of space is built and designed around the modern necessities of working professionals. The ambience is equipped with modern fancy furniture, food courts, recreational hubs, and much more. It is perfectly suited to a sophisticated office spaces’ motto, which is, “Work hard, play harder.” These spaces tend to attract freelancers, youngsters, architect companies and marketing/branding companies. The aim of such a co-working space is to enhance productivity and scalability by providing an aesthetic interior that appeals to this section of professionals the most.
The main audiences for such spaces are freelancers, youngsters, architect companies, marketing/branding companies.
In such workspaces interiors, looks take prominence over productivity & scalability.
4. Corporate Co-Working Spaces
These are used by corporate organizations who are looking for different sized cabins, different office layouts, and dedicated office spaces with an open environment for their workers without the fancy distractions. Such co-working spaces offer better flexibility for corporate companies to expand and contract in multiple locations, helping them fulfil all their legal and financial requirements. Here, the focus is placed on customer productivity by providing the best possible offerings and services.
Add – they offer corporates to grow within their spaces with the availability of different sized cabins, different office layouts & dedicated office spaces. They offer better flexibility for corporate companies to expand & contract in multiple locations meeting all their legal & financial requirements.
The main focus here is on customer productivity by providing the best possible offerings & services.
5. Open Co-Working Space
What best defines an open co-working space is the completely open area where you can clearly see the vibrant environment. You can avail part-time desks, private desks, and/or team cabins. Some downsides to such a space involve the lack of silent zones and limited privacy. The core values of such a place involve accessibility, community, openness, and sustainability.
As the workspace is completely open you can clearly see the vibrancy of the space. Some constraints are limited privacy & lack of silent zones.
6. Bartering Coworking Spaces
To ‘barter’ means to exchange goods or services with other goods or services without the use of money. This concept being integrated with co-working spaces is quite the innovation that has occurred recently. Basically, a person can pay with their skill or service to the co-working space rather than with money. A great example of this is when a writer pays the co-working company with two blog articles a month in exchange for availing the co-working space. No money is involved in this scenario, but there is a clear exchange of value between the two entities. This is a fantastic concept for the growth of the writer, enhancing his/her skill, and at the same time, provides the co-working space with credibility and free promotion.
7. Incubator/Accelerator cum Coworking space
Incubators/ Accelerators provide assistance which helps stimulate and grow your business. Focus is placed on providing mentorship, advice, and resources to help startups succeed. These are usually time specific run programs whereas, co-working spaces are run by a qualified team with managers. The consolidation of co-working spaces with incubators/accelerators is a match made in heaven. You get to experience the benefits of a co-working space with that of an incubator.
8. Cafe/Hotels/Informal Coworking Spaces
The name just says it all, doesn’t it? But you might wonder why working spaces might exist in places to relax such as cafes and hotels. Well, the answer to that is quite simple. The ever-increasing rate of freelance workers has increased the demand for such spaces. Individuals who seek a cheap yet comfortable environment tend to work in cafes and hotels. Dedicated working space in cafes and hotels is a great plus point for many individuals who travel and work at the same time.
Now that you have information about the various different advantages and types of co-working spaces that are available out there, it will be easier for you to take an informed decision in the future.