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Large corporates now turning to co-working spaces

While the general perception is that the cost of a seat at a co-working space exceeds the cost of renting an office space, the numbers tell a different story.

Moneycontrol Contributor @moneycontrolcom

Mukul Pasricha

Co-working has become a fairly common term for freelancers, business owners and startups. The story began in 2005 and the entire industry has dramatically evolved ever since.

It was then that San Francisco-based software engineer Brad Neuberg started what is perhaps the first co-working centre inside a local wellness center.  By 2012, there were over 2,000 co-working spaces in the world. As of 2019, there are approximately 19,000 co-working spaces worldwide offering 1.7 million seats.


People irrespective of their background appreciate the flexibility of working out of a collaborative workspace and making the most out of the amenities offered. The word co-working conjures up images of freelancers, startups and small businesses working out of the space. But this is far from the truth. In recent times, even big corporations are availing the benefits of co-working spaces.

Large organisations who are looking at expanding into new markets and bigger teams are turning to co-working spaces. These firms take up temporary spaces at co-working hubs.

While the general perception is that the cost of a seat at a co-working space exceeds the cost of renting an office space, the numbers tell a different story. A traditional lease can extend anything between three to five years.

Unlike a traditional lease, co-working spaces offer more flexibility as very often companies are not sure about how much space they may require in the future. Instead of having to rent an office space, buy furniture, utilities, office equipment and provide coffee and snacks, corporates can just pay a monthly fee to co-working operators and save on these costs.

Also, with teams constantly expanding and contracting, for larger companies, co-working spaces work out better since they do not have to rent a large office space for all their existing or future employees. They can take up seats as per their requirement during a particular season.

Membership agreements too can range anywhere between 30 days to a year. This allows corporates the flexibility to scale up or down depending on the amount of space required.

Tech giants such as Microsoft and IBM are going the co-working route so that they can connect and collaborate with innovate tech start-ups. Some of the world's best known tech companies like Uber, Spotify and Instagram began their journey working out of co-working spaces.

Another reason why big corporates are looking at co-working spaces is employee motivation. Working along with a host of other employees from companies across sectors helps enhance employee motivation and productivity.

Networking and collaboration is synonymous with co-working. Social activities and networking events help large corporates scout for new talent too.

This emerging asset class is growing by the minute. By offering state-of-the-art infrastructure, flexible leases and lower deposits and several amenities, the sector is only set to grow, making it a preferred choice not only for start-ups and small business, but also for larger enterprises.

(The author is founder and CEO of Spring House Coworking)

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First Published on Oct 9, 2019 06:40 pm
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