Co-working is a western style of work that involves a shared workplace, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike a typical office, co-working spaces are usually not employed by the same organization. However, with the rise in the prices of commercial property in recent times, the concept has gained a lot of momentum in the Indian real estate market too.
According to a recent survey by real estate firm, co-working firms leased 19 lakh sqft in January-June 2018 as compared with mere 6.4 lakh sqft in the first half of 2017. In 2017, co-working took 5% of the leased space in the country. “Co-working saw a great start in the country and is likely to play a strong role in shaping the future supply-demand dynamics by changing the way the serviced office industry works.” an official of the real estate firm said.
The survey said, “Many startups and other small companies prefer co-working spaces to conventional office spaces due to lower rentals. Hence, savings on operational costs and a more flexible work environment. A company can save as much as 30% on the operational cost alone.”
Also, co-working spaces lock-in period ranges from one to three years, on the other hand, the lock-in period for conventional office spaces is for five years, followed by another five years, or for three years, followed by two extensions for a similar period.
Co-working helps companies to save on other operational costs such as IT infrastructure, fitments, housekeeping, broadband connectivity etc.
Real estate services firm CBRE says, the global average utilization of assigned seats is 60%, excluding vacant seats, while the global average meeting room utilization is just 30%. They further said that in the next few years, with office rents continuing to move up across India, the total space leased by co-working operators in tier-1 and tier-2 cities could touch 6-10 m sqft by 2020.
Some of the leading players who offer co-working spaces are, Wework, CoWrks, International Workplace Group that operates Regus and Spaces and Awfis. According to renowned co-working company, so far, we have leased 1.1m sqft across different Indian cities and are further looking to add 1m sqft by March 2019.
Such growing opportunities, benefits and facilities have also led to mushrooming of co-working space providers in India.