Coworking space and evolution
Few years ago, co-working spaces were a new concept, providing shared desks for freelancers and entrepreneurs as single “mom and pop” shops. Today, these one-off plug and play office space locations have been mostly replaced with chain companies, providing real estate developers with a new way to lease traditional office space and to make connections with potential tenants.
Feeding off the tech start-up boom and the increased mobility it allowed workers, co-working spaces took off – attracting lonely home-office dwellers out of their pyjamas and sparing coffee shop-based freelancers an obligatory purchase of a cup of coffee in exchange for an all-day workstation.
“They’re people that want more stimulation than sitting at home and being very productive working in your pyjamas all day,” says representative of StartUpHuts, one of the most sought after coworking space in Bangalore. Today, companies such as Pipeline, WeWork, Grind and NextSpace have opened about 4,000 co-working spaces in most major U.S. cities and worldwide where desks and offices can be rented for a short or long-term.
While prices vary by city and company, located in central business districts in major cities, the spaces are designed to look cool and modern, providing areas to foster interaction. Amenities include conference rooms, high-speed internet, phone booths for privacy, free coffee and high-end artisanal tea. The companies continue attracting entrepreneurs, freelancers and start-ups.
Plug and play office space are growing as more chains enter the field, says experts. For example, StartUpHuts began few years ago and now has numerous open or soon-to-be open locations in Bangalore. A selling point of most co-working spaces is networking. Future “members” – a deliberate choice of wording – are attracted to the varied pool of businesses and possible beneficial connections to be made in a shared workspace community.
“They have a community manager, somebody who is the heart and soul of the place … that helps make connections between people in the workplace, organises social events, shared lunches, happy hours, seminars,” says experts. Numerous real estate giants contribute by saying Plug and play office space has attracted the potential to make connections, which may have contributed to their rise in popularity. “A lot of the one or two-person businesses that get their start in a shared workspace environment grow, and become larger long-term tenants in the same building. So if you’re a landlord, it’s a sensible leasing strategy to have a shared workspace among the tenant mix,” says top builders. “It’s a built-in source of new potential tenants.”