It all started in 1999, when “flexible desking” was introduced by a US-based software company. Gradually, the US and Europe markets started to attract several start-ups. A decade before, the shared spaces doubled its count and investment. The large corporate’s began to explore similar models and improve the working lifestyle. The evolution of co-working spaces reached more than 16 thousand with new businesses accounting for approx 65% of new shared-working setups. Co-working real estate models are witnessing major demand and gaining popularity due to an increase in start-ups and Small to Medium Enterprises (SME). Currently, more than 4 million people are utilizing the shared ecosystem and helping each other grow.
This radical transformation is due to the flexibility in terms of cost, infrastructure, services, and support. Parallel to these creative designs, fresh and joyful environment and ply and play features are attracting even the established entrepreneurs. Especially, the real estate market has seen a recent shift in the investment in managed workspaces. Builders are adapting to the need of the end-user and developing projects like Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Industrial Parks, Commercial Hubs, Theme Parks and exclusive co-working spaces. A new segment is added into the real estate market which is “workspace as a service”.
The shared workspaces in the real estate are used by corporate end-users, individuals and start-ups. These spaces demand shared ownership, ideas, resources and knowledge among the fellow neighbors. Such a space provides an individual with fully-functional and furnished infrastructure with advantages like flexibility, convenience, and the option to smoothly scale up or down in a cost-effective way. The best part of the shared workspace is that it brings together communities, departments, domains, skill sets and to collaborate and design solutions that could benefit all. This, in turn, reshapes the corporate work culture into an inclusive landscape – an environment that promotes social engagement, which is flexible, and activity-based culture.
The self-owned offices or conventional real estate business models involved large investment commitments for every modern feature they wished for. Today, due to shared economy the co-working spaces offer shared amenities as well. Common food courts, gaming zones, lobbies, reception, security, day-care facilities and etc are changing the working lifestyle of office spaces. Co-workspaces are inclusive of all modern technology, space allocation, and the feasibility of availing and relocating the space at short notice. Most of the start-ups fall apart due to the initial fear of investing in the infrastructure, documentation, technology and other services required to start a business. A shared workspace provides the ability to plug and play which means to give convenience to the organizations to scale up or down their business.
The co-working real estate business models are the future of the workplace. The demand is growing exponentially across all levels of companies include large and medium companies. It is not limited to any industry and is being explored innovatively by modern architects and organizations. The collaborative workspaces are building significant momentum in the Indian real estate industry with the fastest growth rate. This has also shown a positive impact on an investor’s interest in funding start-ups.