Impact of Co-working Spaces on Commercial Realty

Commercial Real Estate in India has seen a seismic shift off late. A lot of business model level disruptive innovations have changed how Commercial Real Estate is perceived by consumers and businesses.  Last decade has been quite a remarkable one as huge transitions have taken place in the working culture. India is the  youngest nation of startups where 72% of CEOs are below 35 years. The millennial work force has lapped up the concept of co-working spaces with both hands. The scenes at corporate offices have undergone wide scale changes in last few years. It is a common sight to see bean bags, gaming rooms, gym and employees working in ripped jeans and shorts. The trend has changed altogether and co working spaces are seen as a big pull by corporates to draw young working professionals. Development  of entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country have also given a huge fillip to conventional commercial realty. Researchers believe that a pool of different organizations working under one roof in a friendly and homely atmosphere increases productivity and also helps in establishing new connections and new sources of sales leads in the work space itself.

A Co-working space essentially tries to offer a perfect blend of ambiance of corporate office and ease of work from home. Co-working spaces are cost efficient and provide flexibility in working hours for employees. Co-working spaces are often dubbed as ‘home office’. It is also harped on that such work place environment roots out the stress from workers life and give them a relaxed routine of work that helps in maintaining a work-life balance. A study by Social Market Foundation says that happier employees are  12-20% more productive. Companies have taken a note from this study and have done away with  walls of their closed offices. Free wifi, colorful walls, casual clothing, and gaming consoles are common place ,some even have nap rooms and Jacuzzis in their spaces which attracts employees and also makes them work more diligently.

The future of Co-working spaces looks propitious as well, with reports saying that 500 centers of complete shared offices  will be established by 2020 in India. Potential market is gigantic in India as we have 12-16 million people working in startups,  as freelancers and work from home professionals, the so called GIG-Economy professionals. These figures will significantly create a huge demand push in rental offices segment. Space contracts of shared working spaces in Tier 1 and Tier 2 will reach 7-9 million sq. ft by 2020. Developers are also getting attracted towards shared workplaces because its easy to let co-working spaces and co-working spaces also enjoy premium price as far as rents are concerned. The space gives better occupancy rates and feasible leasing opportunity. After initial interests from startups, Big corporate companies have also jumped on the bandwagon of Co-working places. It is clearly evident that the concept of co-working spaces coupled with the use of latest technologies and smart offices are revolutionizing commercial realty. In India, co-working spaces are evolving at an enormous speed and it will be interesting to see how developers will  leverage this trend.

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