The co-working revolution has swept across the global business environment and announced itself as the future of work. While 2017 witnessed the absorption of more than 1.5 million sq ft by co-working spaces, CBRE group, the world's largest commercial real-estate services and investment firm, reported that the estimated space acquisition by 2020 is 10 million sq ft. With start-ups looking to cut down on operational costs and professionals opting to work out of places of convenience, the co-working space offers a win-win situation for everybody.
However, there is another salient yet integral aspect which makes co-working spaces so popular among modern professionals. It is the sense of community generated by working with professionals of various organisations under one roof. A typical co-working space always presents a lively picture -- conversations, games, networking opportunities, performative or group discussion sessions and a camaraderie that is unmissable.
While interactions with colleagues from the same organisation often evoke apprehensions, co-working spaces offer employees an opportunity to interact with fellow professionals from different organisations under the same roof. Minus the apprehension or an environment of formality, the discussions are enriching and include a free exchange of ideas without any hidden intentions.
It also breeds healthy competition. Under a single roof, the achievements of a colleague in the same department but at a different organisation do not remain unknown. Hence, employees are spurred to achieve similar feats as they are impacted powerfully due to the immediacy of the other's performance. It also helps to build the skill sets of interns and those starting out on their professional journeys as they get to interact with veterans from interdisciplinary professions. The wisdom imparted in impromptu meetings near the coffee machine often prove to be extremely useful in boosting one's career.
Additionally, co-working spaces help professionals build their social circle by identifying like-minded individuals in other organisations and interacting with them post work hours. Modern professionals spent more than 8-10 hours a day working with the same set of individuals and communications over the weekend often do not materialise into long-term relationships. In such a scenario, co-working spaces allow modern professionals to interact with a number of individuals on a daily basis and identify like-minded individuals. Based on their love for various activities such as trekking, love for movies or cooking, many professionals end up making groups comprising individuals from different organisations who develop strong friendships.
Most importantly, co-working spaces provide the necessary collaborative environment for businesses and individuals to grow together, feeding off each other's strength.
Exchange of ideas, resources, experience and opportunities are always essential for the business ecosphere to grow to its optimum and Indian businesses lacked such a scope working in conventional, cluttered workspaces all this while. Co-working spaces, with their quirky designs, modern aesthetics, huge workspaces and a freewheeling culture of conversations over coffee, monopoly and Playstations, have made work fun, highly productive and emotionally strengthening, all the while realising that building a community is the key to get the most out an individual and the workforce at large.
(Pranay Gupta is Co-founder of 91springboard. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)