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The dawn of temporary workspaces

In August last year, Gaurav Sethi, Aniruddha Gharat and I  combined over 30 years of experience to provide solutions for on-demand workspaces through our online marketplace called mymatchbox. There is a paradigm shift in the way people work, and mymatchbox is here to address this shift. Here's why I think Temporary Workspaces are here to stay.

Consider the following instances.

A global retail major, having a significant share of its operations in Bangalore, has a peculiar yet recurring problem. Nearly a hundred of its employees, working from home, need to meet and interact periodically. Their current office does not have excess capacities to accommodate such requests thereby putting the Project Manager, in charge of this assignment, in a predicament repeatedly.

A Recruitment and Placement Firm has stringent budgets for a particular client which prohibits the use of Hotels as venues to conduct interviews. They need alternate venues that can prove to be cost-effective yet professionally managed.

A freelancer needs to divide his time equally between his important clients across multiple locations in Bangalore. He needs the option of working out of multiple locations whenever the need arises.

All of the above instances have one common factor; their space needs are not permanent in nature. The increase in such requirements has contributed to the rise of Temporary Workspaces, erstwhile known as Serviced Offices. Other synonyms include pay-as-you-go workspaces, instant workspaces, and on-demand workspaces. Until recently, Temporary Workspaces were confined to one category i.e Business Centers. With the exponential increase in Start-ups and Freelancers, providers of such workspaces have grown, and along with it, another category called Co-working spaces has emerged. The important question that arises is whether Temporary Offices are here to stay, or are they a passing fad.

Here are the 7 reasons why Temporary Workspaces are here to stay.

Plug-in and get to work: Cash is king! There is no doubt about that. In today’s dynamic and volatile business environment, Temporary Workspaces make a compelling case for companies looking to get to work immediately. The perils of running a day-to-day office are completely nullified at these workspaces. In many cases, companies struggle to accommodate additional employees within their existing spaces. Temporary Workspaces plug this gap by offering temporary respite until a more strategic long-term solution presents itself to the Company. Providers such as Regus, Vatika, The Executive Center are well-equipped to assist companies for such requirements.

Cash is King: This is especially true for start-ups. Effective utilization of precious capital is of paramount importance. Temporary Workspaces offer fully functional offices which remove capital expenditure and hefty deposits from the equation completely. For a freelancer requiring space to work periodically, Temporary Workspaces are an ideal option.

Pay-As-You-Go: Need a desk just for day? No problem! Need a meeting room for a weekend? Done! Temporary Workspaces are the latest category to adapt to the changing times and allowing users to book spaces purely on a need basis. Temporary Workspace Operators such as Cowrks even has weekly and fortnightly passes which are available off the shelf.

More than a Café: We all love Cafés. They are trendy, vibrant, and quirky at times and perceived as ‘cool’ places to work out of. However, they aren’t the most reliable in terms of services offered. Temporary Workspaces, instead, are designed to keep their users productive by offering not just the basics such as Wi-Fi, Tea/Coffee, but also Printing and Stationery, Concierge services, Meeting rooms, and charging stations. That’s much more than a café, no?

Location Advantage: Temporary Workspaces are located strategically across Business districts as well as close to popular neighborhoods thereby providing users the ease of accessing good quality office spaces at reasonable prices. A healthy mix of National level operators such as Regus, The Executive Center, Vatika, Awfis, and city-specific operators such as Evoma, Incubex, Commune Co-works, and ensures users have a wide range of options to select from depending on their budget and requirements.

Paradigm shift in Work styles: The way people work has changed significantly. Traffic woes hamper productivity and increasing commuting times create imbalances in the lives of working professionals. With Temporary Workspaces sprouting across multiple locations within a city, a lot of people increasingly prefer to work closer to their homes in order to restore/maintain their work-life balance.

Collaborative in nature: Whilst Co-working spaces promote the culture of collaboration, Business Centers, too, have long been attuned to the idea of having their clients collaborate with each other. Community Managers or Center Managers of larger co-working spaces play a big role in ensuring active interaction between occupants is promoted on a regular basis.

In conclusion, Temporary Workspaces will continue to grow keeping in mind their tremendous utility value. For those who are still skeptical, here’s an interesting fact. Until exactly a year ago, Koramangala in Bengaluru/Bangalore had a mere 400 seats classified as temporary offices. Today, as this article is being penned, that number has ballooned to over 2000. What’s even more interesting is that occupancy levels are in the high 80s in terms of percentages. Surely, that is a sign of things to come.

The author of this article is Mr. Jaideep Gandhi, Co-founder of mymatchbox (a platform that aggregates temporary work spaces – their robust technology allows users to book Meeting Rooms, Hot Desks, Training rooms, and Board Rooms in real-time for less as one hour to more as a month)

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Stories by Jaideep Gandhi