Innovation and to think out of the box is what that defines the very existence of Startups and undoubtedly, the inclination of the young minds towards it, tells a lot about the popularity that this ecosystem is experiencing. Not only the concept is interesting but also the solutions to the problems they face by them are quite different. Though they do face the problem of financing still it is quite successful and manageable as far as statistics speak.
According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, the startups in India saw a 108 percent growth in total funding from USD 2 billion in 2017 to USD 4.2 billion in 2018. This clearly suggests that funding is being covered. And when we speak about the location, which interestingly takes away the major chunk of funding, is affecting the budget to a large extent. But what’s the solution to resolve it?
“Break the walls to help breakthrough your business”. This is the idea behind the establishment of co-working spaces all around the globe. Co-working is a term used to describe several workers from different companies sharing office space, allowing cost savings and convenience through the use of common infrastructures such as equipment, utilities, and receptionist and custodial services.
Co-working, as we experience today, was preceded by European hackerspaces in the 1990s, where programmers would exchange skills and best practices. Today it’s not the same picture, the idea of co-working has changed completely. Brad Neuberg is credited with starting the coworking movement in San Francisco in 2005 with the idea to combine the independence of freelancing with the structure and the community of office space.
There was a time when most of the startups had to be set up in homes. This was because not all of them had enough capital to spend on finding a place to set up. But there is an absence of human element at home thus working at home doesn’t always give maximum efficiency and also it’s difficult to separate time in personal and professional life as were are no fixed working hours. When it was observed that homes couldn’t be used anymore, individual workers started going to public spaces like coffee shops to work. Being surrounded by people also freshened up their minds and helped them focus more on their work. This could have been a permanent solution for individual workers to go in public places to work but in recent times it has been observed that there is a lot of noise in such places thus having a negative effect on their thinking capacity and not letting them focus on their task. This led to having Co-working spaces and has brought a revolutionary change in the field of startups mainly. For the small startups, there is an option to book an office only for a few hours every day may be in shifts. For example, a very basic office comprising of just a desk and a desktop could be used in the day by someone like a property dealer where he can easily work and in the night, it could be used by a person who has to conduct meetings with an international client. Thus, the same office can also be used by many people at different times thus reducing the cost even more.
The workspace is where people spend the majority of the waking hours, they want more for it. Co-working spaces can provide more than just a place to work. Apart from the professional environment provided, the network that can be built in a co-working space helps the members grow together. The members of the same line can consult from other members when stuck in some work-related problem whereas they also get to meet people from different lines and build relations with them which can help them to analyze their work with a different perspective. Many employees had started feeling isolated and that they had lost any human interaction but after shifting to co-working spaces, they feel comparatively less burdened with work.
The future of co-working will soon move to a higher level, as Japan is going to set up booth-sized offices. People can easily find a quiet place to work and these booths will be situated at train stations and airports. An enclosure of 13 square feet, the soundproof Telecube will have a seat, desk and power outlets. Mitsubishi Estate Co. together with office furniture maker Oksmura Corp., video-conferencing software vendor V-Cube Inc., and Telecube Inc. plan to install 1000 of the boxes by 2023.
Between 2006 and 2015, the number of co-working spaces and available seats has roughly doubled each year. Co-working space is a great option for the people who travel a lot as wherever they go, they can find a place with a professional environment like proper printing facilities, proper lighting, good furniture, and Wi-Fi services. They don’t find comfortable to work in hotels as they might not get the right furnishings to conduct meetings. There is also a facility of roaming co-working spaces where the major companies who have many branches can help members get an office wherever they go. There is an option to book just a single desk or a small office and even an option to book to conduct a meeting inviting many people.
Even the established companies when expanding might go for co-working spaces as they get a place with pre-existing furniture and fittings so they only have to pay a rental amount and not have to purchase and build the place themselves. They also don’t have to worry about the maintenance of the place as the owner of the place take care of it themselves. Also, there is always an option to rent more or less space with the changing situation in businesses. So they don’t have to worry much as only a single rent amount is to be paid by them. Some companies even keep some desks in co-working spaces always booked and give the employees an option to go and work there to change the environment. So, co-working spaces have really proved their worth in such a short span of time and till now, it has been evolving. But the only thing one has to notice is the growth in this domain and the significant role it will play in the startup world.