Embrace coworking spaces for better business growth
The government has announced a Rs 20 lakh crore special package to boost Indian economy with special emphasis on self-reliance, indicating a slow and steady exit from the lockdown.
However, going back to office, the same way we did in the world before Covid-19, would take much longer. With more and more organizations adopting remote working strategy and workforce adapting to work-from-home environment, people as of now can spare themselves that hassle of commuting to office daily.
This emerging scenario does and will continue to hurt some sectors, one of them being co-working spaces, in coming days.
Considering the impact of lockdown so far, some may argue that this industry would continue to see a big downturn. But it is not the end of the road. In fact, the changing business requirements and increasing demand for remote working may augur well for the co-working spaces.
Changing dynamics for co-working spaces
The number of co-working spaces had been growing steadily across the world over the past few years and there was a total of 19,000 coworking spaces worldwide in 2019 and was expected to reach a whopping 26,000 by 2025. In India, there were a total of about 850 as in 2019, and the number was expected to double or even treble by 2021.
Though the Covid-19 inflicted lockdown has put brakes on this rapid growth, there is a silver-lining at the end of the tunnel. The covid-19 pandemic and the prolonged lockdown have made both employers and employees realise some great benefits of remote work, which has potentially changed the dynamics of workplace usage forever. As things stand today, we may have to get used to living and working in a world without much freedom of movements.
Though at slower pace, the growth will continue in the co-working spaces, which do serve the needs of remote workers. People who do not have conducive atmosphere and infrastructure, such as good internet connections, power etc., would prefer to walk into a coworking spaces near home than travelling to far-away office.
How big enterprises can make direct use of co-working spaces:
Large corporations can make use of co-working spaces in an effective manner. Employees might not want to take that tiresome commute to office if they could work from a nearby co-working space. Time saved on commute can translate into more productive hours, and more quality time with family or friends, a win-win situation for both employers and employees.
Moreover, organizations can prune their massive infrastructure, furniture, office equipment; save on rents or lease amounts; and reduce maintenance costs. A study conducted by JLL suggests that using co-working spaces can result in 20-25% cost savings for an organization, as compared to leasing a traditional office space.
Under the prevailing economic slowdown, which is likely to continue till next mid next year or so, every organization, big or small, would need to cut down on costs, wherever possible, and coworking spaces provide them with the ideal opportunity to do so.
Tapping right talents as per requirements by embracing freelance and coworking culture:
Freelance culture is on the rise and more and more people are switching over to a freelance career from a regular full-time job. Coworking spaces were already popular among freelancers, as these places, apart from providing them with the needed infrastructure to work effectively, also provides them with opportunities to network with like-minded people and get more opportunities to work. Coworking spaces give a sense of community to freelancers and do not make them feel isolated, when working on own for long periods of time. As the lockdown is eased, we can expect the usage of coworking spaces by freelancers to resume steadily because of the importance of the mentioned benefits that the freelancing community enjoys from coworking spaces.
As enterprises often face business needs that are time-bound and require high expertise, freelancers provide them with an ideal cost-effective option, which results in a win-win situation. As enterprises look to recover from the dud period of last 2-3 months, and get back on their feet, embracing freelance culture can pay rich dividends.
Fast track to recovery of young start-ups and small businesses:
Young start-ups and small businesses are considered to be worst hit by the pandemic and lockdown situation. When many such businesses are in cash crunch, because of limited cash flow over the past few months, it becomes imperative for them to reduce expenses of any kind including workspace lease and rent. This reduction cannot come at the expense of needed infrastructure to remain productive, which is why small start-ups can turn to coworking spaces. Powerful IT infrastructure, proper workspace, community networking events are all needed for efficient operations and growth of start-ups. Coworking spaces provide all of these, with the important benefit being the flexible pricing and seat-capacitating options that come along. Certain coworking spaces provide start-ups with project management tools, internal communication tools, marketing tools at affordable costs. Thus, the facilities and flexibility of coworking spaces provide small start-ups with the perfect platform to get back on track soon, with efficient functioning and minimal expenditure.
Many large corporations are also becoming more and more open to collaborate with start-ups and use their energy and expertise to drive business growth. As business environment has become more volatile now, enterprises must look to maximize the value offered by collaboration with start-ups and drive business growth.
The last step of an organization towards effective usage of coworking spaces:
Now is a time when all enterprises are looking at all possible non-conventional ways to drive business growth. Employers look to accomplish one-time tasks with experts, in a cost-effective manner by working with freelancers. Enterprises also look to collaborate with young start-ups to contribute to their business growths, while looking to save expenses as well. And so, invariably organizations will be pulled in towards coworking spaces by their need for being cost-effective while achieving faster growth. So, it is essential to provide a secure remote access to the corporate resources, to enable a safe working environment in coworking spaces. Ensuring regulatory compliance, need for identity and access management, preventing cyber threats in the form of malware, polymorphic malware, ransomware, data loss are the reasons why remote access should be highly secure. Once secure remote access to corporate resources is provisioned, organizations need not worry about cyber security issues that coworking spaces may pose.