Co-working spaces can help startups and professionals save office space costs and eliminate the need to put an infrastructure in place

If you’ve got bitten by the startup bug and are finding the home dining table too small for your growing business, you need to expand out into some office space. The story remains the same for professionals who are on their own, people with small businesses and consultants. The right address is as much a calling card as is your product or service. But the good addresses cost a lot and money is needed to burn on other things like customer acquisition.

According to a report, Co-Working: The Office of the Future, by Knight Frank India, “Real estate expenses make up approximately 9-12% of overall operating costs (can differ from market to market) for an established corporate and could account for more in a startup.”

Where there is demand, trust supply to begin building up. According to a recent report, Who Moved your Workplace, by Cushman and Wakefield, a real estate consultant, “As of April 2018, flexible workplaces occupy more than 8.1 million square feet of space spanning across the top eight cities in the country.”

Co-working spaces are now being offered across India that can be rented out on an hourly, daily or monthly basis. To give you an idea, if you are an individual professional and need an office to meet your clients occasionally, you can take office space on rent on a daily basis, else If you are working on a project and need the office for an entire month, office spaces are available too for the same.

What are your options?

You have a variety of options to choose from such as flexible desks, fixed seats and private offices. You can reduce or increase the number of seats or space within the same location as per your need, depending on availability. Price and services differ based on the location and the service provider.

In the last few years, many international and domestic companies have forayed into the co-working space in India.

What are the benefits?

Cost: Cost saving is the biggest benefit. Apart from ensuring low or negligible cost of setting up an office, co-worker centers also help reduce recurring monthly cost.

According to the Cushman and Wakefield report mentioned earlier, “Costs incurred in a Tier-I co-working space in CBD (central business districts) and suburban locations is 20% lesser when compared to a Grade A 60 square feet traditional office.”

“There is a saving of 5-15% per seat in a co-working space compared to a standard lease,” according to the Knight Frank report mentioned earlier.

Common infrastructure: Apart from providing space to work, these offices come bundled with common support staff like housekeeping, canteen, reception and other infrastructure facilities which is difficult for an individual or small startup to arrange in a small office space.

This helps divide the costs too: you are not required to pay separately for each service, as the overall cost of common facilities and infrastructure is shared among all the occupants.

Flexibility: The other benefit that is driving the demand of such office spaces is flexibility and customisation that they offer. You could choose to work out of a cabin space, open space or even a meeting room. The price varies based on location, facilities and amenities.

Multiple offices: Apart from that, if you have clients, partners or employees in different cities, it may work for you to not have full-fledged offices at all locations. Many service providers offer co-working offices in multiple cities.

Demand for shared offices is not restricted to just metros or tier-1 cities. “The top 6 cities will require an estimated 5 million seats in co-working spaces, while, 8.5 million of the projected demand will be in tier-2 and 3 cities,” said the JLL report.


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