It’s been almost a decade since the concept of co-working spaces has been implemented in different cities across the world and about half that time since they were introduced to India. Over the last few years, coworking spaces have seen a boom in terms of the number of users through the years and the demand for them is only going to increase given the fact that SME’s or small-scale businesses are thriving in India.
But why are so many people opting for co-working spaces as opposed to office spaces for rent?
The first thing I thought was, maybe they are cheaper? But that’s not necessarily true. A decent co-working space in Mumbai starts from 5000 Rupees per person and if you are looking to co-work in a prime location, it can be anywhere above 15000 Rupees per person. So actually, they are more expensive if you are looking for office space for rent for more than seven to ten people. But keep the costing aside, what makes them so attractive to people? And why do people thrive in co-working spaces?
One study stated that the lack of hierarchy gives people a sense of freedom given the diversity that surrounds a co-worker. “Colleagues” in co-working spaces are from various different fields of business, there is a fair amount of collaboration and given that much of the collaboration happens between individuals an different companies there is an argument that internal politics is far less of an issue for firms at coworking spaces – people thrive when they feel secure. It means they are comfortable and when negativity in the work environment is kept to a minimum, if not non-existent, they can have a more positive approach to work.
Freedom to work around the clock is another reason people thrive in co-working spaces. It’s easier for people to make adjustments to their schedule whether it’s juggling between chores and meetings or scheduling a doctor’s appointment or a two-hour gym session in between of a working day. Late days, overtime, it’s all up to the user to decide which inevitably draws a more sincere effort from the users of co-working space. They get to decide whether they need peace and quiet or want to sit in the common work areas to be productive. This is especially important for small firms, those of just a few people, to get the energy of many working around you, not to mention the amenities & super cool looking office that would be very difficult for a small firm to afford.
Co-working spaces are sustainable. They conserve energy and provide for larger groups of people who in isolation would have consumed much more energy in every possible way. This only pushes individuals and firms to co-working spaces in Mumbai.
But it turns out that co-working spaces are loved by both, freelancers and multinational companies. That’s right, many companies are opting for co-working spaces for the different verticals that require control and flexibility in their workplace. To quote Harvard Business Review, “What matters the most for high levels of thriving is that people who co-work have substantial autonomy and can be themselves at work. Our advice to traditional companies who want to learn from coworking spaces is to give people space and support to be their authentic best selves.”
Being a part of the community is crucial to our mental well-being and no one wants to sit in an isolated space away from human interaction for long periods of time. When asked whether people would rather work in isolation or around more people, introverted or not, most people chose the former; simply because it is part of who we are as humans, seeking to be part of a community – we are social beings after all.