Coworking spaces- A BOON

“A theory is that if you love your workspace, you’ll love your work a little more” as said by Cynthia Rowley. Yes we all definitely agree with this statement and that’s why we see so many innovations in the workspace interiors and office architecture. Don’t we all dream to work in a Google or YouTube headquarter office just because of how amazingly designed and user friendly place it is with slides and sleeper units for comfort also they have a kids nursery for them to keep their children nearby when they get busy in work?

Coworking (without a hyphen) is a way of work that generally involves a physical collaboration of working spaces being shared, often an office where the employees have the ability to collaborate together and work more closely. Tracing back it's origin by BRAD NEUBERY who started this movement single handedly in SAN FRANCISCO in 2005 and since then this movement has seen a tremendous rise all over the world providing you the complete liberty to work at your own comfort. Apart from comfort your workspace should also be a lively space where you can interact with your fellow colleagues in an interesting way. Thus the concept of coworking spaces came into being, where people from different professions can work in a single space. It proves to be an amalgamation of different fields where unlike any normal office the people working in it aren’t employed by the same person or do not work for the same organization. These places are all over the world now namely like We Work which is in many cities of our India or like Mindspace, Club workspace the leather market , or Second home in London.

It is like a community established between the workers and the space structure contributes in this. The history of these spaces shows them to increasing highly in number during 2006 – 2011… it began with the concept of 1995 began with the concept of ‘hackerspaces’ concept where they gave free wifi where people sat and worked as said by Mindspace to us.

SMARTWORKS is one of the known names when it comes to coworking spaces and has it’s wings across India, spaces primarily spread across cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Noida, Gurgaon and Kolkata. In Delhi is its headquarters and they’re  planning to expand to Chennai by December 2018 while it will also explore small two tier cities like Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore and Indore. Founded by Neetish Sarda in January 2015 in Kolkata they are situated in two locations, in Salt Lake which is around 450,000 sq ft where they not just give you space but also their support services. For example, if you need help with delivering documents or depositing a cheque, they have a gofer on call. They have an in-house receptionist, a cafeteria, fully equipped conference room, high speed internet, printing and support, gaming room with stellar infrastructure. They can tailor-make their packages based on individual needs for startup to designers and even sound recordings. They provide three different kind of workspaces which are- Smart Labs starting at ₹5000/month, Smart Cubes starting at ₹7000/month and Smart Ssuites starting at ₹9000/month. The co-founder Harsh Binani, also added that his aim is to make office less painful and more fun. They are located in Victoria Park, plot GN-37/2, 9th floor Sector 5, Salt Lake.

One need not follow the rat race or any code. There is no such need to prove oneself, as the people working are from different organisations and different backgrounds. These days coworking is being preferred over others as there is no or less commitment and does not come with a high cost. The primary focus of such spaces is on establishing a community. People preferring this opportunity to work in a coworking space are generally professionals who would otherwise work from home, independent contractor, independent scientists, travellers or freelancers. The benefits of such spaces are their flexibility and open environment where people work and interact which it kind of acts likes a social cum professional gathering space serving a dual purpose. “it also solves the problem of commuting for employees “ said Juggy Marwaha from We Work.

Moving to the profits, a coworking space earns either by renting desks or by renting out meeting rooms and event spaces (10% of their revenue is generated).

The contributors and users of these cowork spaces are from all sectors like IT, banking, financial services and insurance sectors all large companies are giving in to this concept where if they are situated in different countries they can hire people who sit in the co working space and connect with them. A lot of offices have opened in almost all metropolitan cities of India as well. We Work being a prominent one – we asked them about the environment and they gave us an insight of it.

Also the architecture and interiors of the place also reflects the atmosphere of the workspace some great examples to understand this is – A battery factory transformed into a huge cowork space full of vibrancy with interiors of themes inspired by Spanish painters owing to its location i.e. Madrid, another interesting cowork space observed in the city of Brooklyn is the CO WORKERS INDUSTRIAL BUILDING it encompasses almost 47000 workers in it, an ergonomically designed, industrial building aging by day transformed vibrantly by bright angular stairwells giving a source of zeal to work by adding color to the space. The original rawness and aging quality is shown off by the exposed joists and frames seen showing the structure but making the interiors bright and cozy along with artworks by New York based artists.

The concept of coworking spaces has flourished in our country as well, with more and more keen entrepreneurs arising this work environment is ideal. The pressure of entrepreneurship is well balanced by the kind of atmosphere in a coworking space making it work even well and the need for good designs here to engage in people is even better. A concept well inculcated in our modern world! Nevertheless this system is gaining popularity in China, India, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong and New York where dozens of coworking spaces have been set up to foster the rapidly growing start up community.  The Malaysian state of Penang has also witnessed an increase in coworking spaces. Aside from privately owned start ups, the Penang state government has embarked on a drive to convert colonial era buildings in the capital city of George Town into coworking spaces. It is becoming increasingly common between digital nomads in Asia.

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