Shared Office spaces or co-working spaces as they are branded now is the idea of bringing working individuals/teams from different companies all under the same roof. Although, I couldn't find where this idea originated, but the idea is evidently a success with companies of all sizes going for this alternative over having to rent out a traditional office space.
The costs for leasing your own office can be expensive when you want to lease a space in a prime location and that is exactly when co-working spaces come into picture. The interiors of some shared spaces look absolutely stunning in Namma Bengaluru, India which looks right out of the Hollywood film 'The Internship'.
You get to keep the expenses to a bear minimum without having to commit with a huge deposit (typically the amount is about 10 months rent in India without interest) but that being said, the shared work space in India is not cheap by any measure. The average cost for per dedicated desk per month is priced anywhere between 15,000 to 25,000 INR in Bengaluru prime locations depending on the location while the private cabins can easily cost over 100,000 INR per month for a 4 person cabin. Speaking of the deposit, most companies charge about 1.5 x Monthly rent and upto 3 months rent for some locations which is still a lot less than what you would pay for regular commercial space.
But, is it worth it? It can be, if flexibility is what you are after.
Perhaps the companies in the co-working space definitely upsell the idea of flexibility, networking and the all inclusive amenities that can help businesses save more money and to be more collaborative. But when I got to speak to a few entrepreneurs who have used or currently in one of the co-working spaces, most of them seemed satisfied with the services included although few pointed out that the networking/collaborative environment is not present in India. That may change with time.
Interestingly tenants were ready to pay more for less space because they found it satisfying to work from such an environment resulting better productivity. When you calculate the floor space per desk , you roughly get about 50sq. ft per desk which would be priced at about 20,000 INR.
Co-working is not cheaper than a traditional office in India but you are paying almost the same or a little more for the extra amenities which you may never use.
Over the last decade, there has been a shift with how people want to work from the option to work from home to coffee shops to shared office spaces and the future is heading towards the new work ecosystem of shared workspace whether you embrace it or not.
It makes sense, after all humans as a species at large are social beings.