Co-working is a services provision for a business model that includes individuals working individualistically or collaboratively in shared office space. Bernie DeKoven was the first to use the term ‘co-working’ in 1995. The provision of a work environment along with office equipment and amenities found in a typical office is generally given by the owner of the co-working space. The usual user of a co-working facility is generally self-employed, for instance, be a telecommuter or a freelance worker. Some businesses even use such the spaces to provide equipment, space, and services to their employees that they could not otherwise afford. Typical provisions of co-working facilities include shared workspaces, round the clock or 24/7 access, rental conference and/or boardrooms, Private branch exchange (PBX) systems, Shared kitchens, Wi-Fi, Communal printer/copier/fax, bathrooms, and lounges, etc.
There exist business models which adhere by co-working spaces. The first kind is of supportively managed spaces run like non-profit organizations. Organizations of this kind may charge affiliates just enough to support operations. The second model includes flat-rate memberships and fee structures which are based on access for a certain number of days per week, month or year or a single visit. Another model is of giving provisions “co-working visas” that provide free access to partnered facilities in different locations. Co-working is different from incubators, business accelerators, and executive suites because these spaces don’t fit into the co-working model because they often miss the collaborative, social and informal aspects of the process. In co-working spaces, the management practices are nearer to that of a cooperative by which it further includes focusing on community rather than profit.
There are several reasons why a co-working space is preferred. The very first reason is that it provides the work environment which generally self-employed people and freelancers do not get. Space provides with all the facilities and amenities required working (it can initially cost for a huge capital for startups, hence this way they save a lot of money. One gets all the office facilities like beverages, Internet, electricity, housekeeping, etc. while not worrying about any extra cost for renting up a place. This place also allows for Social Interaction; a co-working space is a compact place of active people from different professions, thus they are not bound like a regular workplace. Another special benefit is that flexible working hours are available at a co-working space which a regular workplace can’t provide. Thus a member gets to choose the right time which suits his needs. As written earlier, such a space provides its members with all the amenities which is required for working.
There have been several startups which have been supported by co-working spaces. Even if co-working spaces were initially not opted by some startups during their initial phase, they still look forward to work in it due to its endless benefits.
The co-founders of AdmitKard based in Noida, Rachit Agrawal and Piyush Bhartiya, have very positive outlooks for co-working spaces. According to them, such a space can be beneficial during the start of an organization and also while expanding it further as a place doesn’t become an issue. They believe not only a work environment but a proper talent pool is available in a co-working space. A lot can be learned from other members of different professions.
Kathy Gallo, the founder of Daily Cup, believes that a co-working space additionally helps in networking with other like-minded and driven individuals, providing motivation as the space provides a certain amount of structure, decreasing office politics there is much less competition or interpersonal rivalry along with the fact that people occupying the same coworking space may be potential clients.
The income model of Co-working startups is quite simple, either earning by charging according to a number of hours or desks used or through subscription fees. These rates depend on amenities being provided, advertisement and location of this office. A lot of companies or startups these days move every 18 or 24 months to a new space. Thus investing in proper real estate or taking long leases is not an economical option anymore.
There is a new trend visible of real estate adapting to the wishes of companies and trying to become a product on-demand. As per trends on co-working, people these days tend to opt for a space that has more than one location inside a city since they get a choice to work at any of the locations. Businessmen or Frequent travelers tend to choose for co-working spaces that generally have multi-city locations. An interested person should definitely be a part of some co-working passport programme which allows the cardholder or the affiliated card of being a part of that co-working organization to use a designated number of hours at any participating co-working space.
Some ongoing trends in co-working spaces include babysitting, making office space pet-friendly, bank tie-ups for a loan, a chartered accountant for your startup, business account etc. Previously co-working spaces were meant for solo entrepreneurs, freelancers or small businesses but these days even have known corporate companies are discovering co-working spaces for some of their employees.
In the USA, business giants like IBM, and AT&T have begun investing in such spaces to keep their engineers driven and up-to-date with the most recent innovations and industry trends. The Indian counterparts of such MNCs shall follow this trend in the near future as co-working as well.
Awfis was founded in 2015 and it presently has its base in Delhi, Bangalore, Noida, Kolkata Hyderabad, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Pune. It offers a shared space for a price range of Rs 5,000-15,000 per seat. Apart from the basic amenities, it provides a program known as ‘Start A Startup’ program (SAS). It includes funding support, MVP development, pitching sessions, certification options, business model evaluation, and opportunities for networking.
It is spread across Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Noida and Pune. Aside from the regular features, the organization offers regular workshops, seminars and events meant for enhancement and supplementation are habitually conducted. Membership is available on a monthly basis, thus during cash crush, one need not worry about security deposits.
It is situated in Mumbai. Space sharing for a single day would cost INR 499 and a monthly subscription is INR 6500. India’s first official Quora meet up and many other important workshops were held here.
4. Mumbai Coworking-
Based out of Andheri-Lokhandwala, this co-working space is one of the coolest coworking spaces in Mumbai. Prices for open space start at INR 5000 per month while dedicated spaces start at INR 7000 per month. A one-day pass can also be taken.
5. Work Loft
This is one of the best co-working spaces in Mumbai ideal for startups, freelancers and small business. It has all the amenities that include conference room access, printers and scanners, high-speed internet access, gaming zone and much more. Prices start at - Day pass for INR 500 per day, weekly pass starting at INR 2000 per month and monthly desk passes starting at INR 3000 per month.