A black and white television, a typewriter and closed-door cabins; the one thing these three have in common is that they’re all outdated. Young India is all about latest gadgets, coolest apps and an unconventional way of thinking. It is not just one’s lifestyle; the Indian economy is also facing a substantial change in its structure, owing to the spike in start-ups. This start-up generation has also influenced the new working environment of co-working spaces. With the rising cost of the commercial estate, co-working spaces such as WeWork, Awfis Space Solutions, The Playce, Mumbai Coworking, Bombay Connect, The Hive, etc, come as a breath of relief to the ones high on passion and expertise but low on business capital.
Branded co-working spaces have seen an impressive hike in 2017 with a 40%-50% increase in such facilities to reach a million square feet in India. These co-working spaces are expected to grow four-fold by 2020. The leasing model of co-working spaces allows a provider to rent out desks/conference rooms on an hourly basis. The low rates make it an easy option for startups trying to keep the operational costs low.
Not just branded co-working spaces, multiple restaurants have also now started renting out space to professionals during the day with redeemable offers and a nominal fee. Starbucks has been providing it for a while now but other brands are catching up and with better-renting options too. These restaurants and cafes are also focusing on providing a semblance of privacy and personal space. Founders Tashi Dorjee and Robert Walker launched TwoSpace in Australia late last year with one simple goal: to make use of already available empty spaces. For instance, in India, the ‘Social’ circuit in Mumbai has enabled the millennial crowd to work where they chill and work while they chill too.
Most of the Co-working spaces offer options of hot desk, dedicated desk or a team box for 5 to 50 people. The key lies in making a layout which is flexible and can be reconfigured based on the market demand. Also, what really attracts startups and young entrepreneurs to a space such as this is the ample networking opportunities that it presents. Hence, the design needs to incorporate multiple collaborative and huddle spaces which would help in bringing people together.
With branded co-working spaces catering to a wide range of businesses across industries, it is imperative that a deeper understanding is applied to designing them. The generation that is driven by innovation & invention and demands a working environment that represents just that.
My team and I have recently completed the latest Regus project & it was unique in its own way. With projects such as this, while the brief about the structure remains unchanged, there are multiple variables that no one can account for in advance. How a team reacts to these variables is what makes all the difference in the outcome. On this project, like most others, we were racing against time & it is only our disciplined approach that helped us deliver within time and beyond expectations.