The Future of Co-working: Trends, Triggers and More
Conventional 9-to-5 work days and workplaces are on their way out. While traditional organisations are increasingly adopting flexi-hours and work-from-home concepts, newer ideas such as co-workers and nomad workers are sounding the death knell for the conventional work day.
Unprecedented growth in co-working spaces
Since 2005, when the concept of co-working first had its humble origins, the concept is seeing unprecedented traction and impressive growth. According to Deskmag, there will be 10,000 new workspaces added to the existing pool by the end of 2016. More than 80% of co-working space owners around the world expect higher revenues and growth in the number of members. This, when the concept is just catching on in India and the rest of Asia!
The outlook is gung ho in India too. In a study done by Regus in 100 countries, including India, 74% of those interviewed in India said that they find co-working spaces inspirational. They appreciate the sharing of skills and experiences that co-working makes possible. This is inspiring news for the industry!
What’s triggering the growth in co-working?
One of the triggers fuelling the growth of co-working spaces is the fact that it makes strong financial sense. This is particularly true for start-ups and micro-enterprises still in the process of finetuning their revenue streams.
The diversity in a co-working space is inspirational, with creative talent, designers, developers and entrepreneurs all working together. Moreover, it is very easy to network and connect with experts who can mentor and nurture start-ups as and when required, in a real, physical sense or in the connected virtual world.
Satisfaction levels are also higher with co-working, and the benefits of the concept are huge. These vary from feeling healthier to being more productive at co-working spaces.
Another trigger is the increasing number of youngsters who have worked and grown up in global enterprises. Their familiarity with the ecosystem and the growth in the Internet economy is fuelling the growth of a number of startups. This growth is not confined to MNC hubs such as Gurgaon, Pune and Bangalore alone. Technology has empowered young co-workers in smaller cities too.
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The shape of things to come
Even with the market maturing in some Western markets, the prognosis for co-working is great. Members will attract more members as co-working spaces evolve into one combined and common ‘work space, coffee shop, entertainment centre and home’ experience. Those with better funding will offer members services such as health clubs, co-worker’s theatres, dry cleaning, ATMs, and even pigeon-hole rooms inspired by the Japanese, for a night or day’s stay, given the 24×7 work style preferences of many young members.
An integrated approach will help increase the financial viability of co-working space providers. The pressure on landlords pushes up desk rents every year, slowing down the market. A pay-per-use model could help, giving co-working space owners more revenue streams to depend upon apart from desk rents. Services such as food, communications and night stays can be charged for.
Another area that will evolve is the vital bloodline of financing to fuel the growth of co-working spaces. Models like the Canadian models of crowd sourcing funding to purchase buildings will emerge. With more success stories in the co-working space, private funding is bound to come in. With more money flowing in, current irritants and complaints such as poor internet connections, noise levels and lack of privacy will be history. The future will truly be here!
What do you think the future of co-working looks like? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.