Thanks to two factors, rapid advancements in communication technology, and the Covid-19 pandemic, companies have come to realize that traditional office spaces no longer hold value. Even many large private companies today are opting for co-working spaces. It allows them to get employees from geographically disintegrated places to work together under one roof from a remote location.
There was tremendous demand for co-working spaces in 2021 from corporates. According to Cushman & Wakefield, co-working operators broaden their portfolio and leased about 21% more office space across the top 8 cities in India.
The leasing across 8 top cities, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, and Ahmadabad, grew to 4.91 million square feet in 2021 from 4.05 square feet in 2020. In other words, co-working spaces grew from 8.1% in 2020 to 9.4% in 2021.
Preserve These Factors In Mind
Here are some essential factors that you need to preserve in mind when considering a co-working space for your company.
A co-working space should ideally be located in a convenient location that is people-friendly and easily accessible from all parts of the city, by any means of transportation. This will also allow your company to meet with clients and partners comfortably.
A convenient location in a prime area of the city will also indicate to partners and clients that your company is stable. It will create a good first impression and build proper levels of trust.
2. Amenities & Facilities
State-of-the-art facilities that are essential for fulfilling daily company work assignments are a must. Such facilities include conference rooms, reception counter, video conferencing facility, printers/scanners/ fax machine, telephone systems, etc. All should ideally be located in spacious settings that leave enough room for employees and visitors to move about and interact.
Strong, robust, and round-the-clock Wi-Fi service is a must for a company. It should not just be confined to employees’ workspace, but should also cover conference rooms, common areas like a lounge, and even the kitchen where at times, employees can hold meetings or even work.
Apart from facilities, the co-working space should also offer top-class amenities. Such amenities must include a spacious parking lot, lunchroom, visitors lounge, and such likes.
Quality facilities and amenities will make the co-working space a more productive and enjoyable space to work. Since they can be expensive at many places, you should opt for a co-working space that is economical for your budget while at the same time ensuring the needs that are required.
3. Quality Of Services
The quality of basic services must be of a high standard, on which there should be no compromise. They are critical for ensuring employee satisfaction and building the image of the company as an employee-friendly one that cares for employees’ welfare and well-being.
They also ensure proper maintenance of office resources, all-round cleanliness, and good hygiene quality at all levels.
4. Safety & Security
There should never be any compromise on safety and security. Employees’ safety and data cum resources security should be given prominence considering their importance to the company.
A good co-working space will make the employees feel safe, whether they are entering or leaving or moving about the space. Likewise, resources like company contracts, legal agreements, and other documentation; and data containing company and client information and such likes, will feel safe and well-secured in such a space.
For physical safety and round-the-clock security, the co-working space should have surveillance cameras, quality locking systems, etc. Similarly, documentation and data should have encrypted Wi-Fi, and minimal data access in place. During non-business hours, the whole office space should be accessible only to employees and certain clients/partners.
5. Working Environment
A congenial and relatively quiet working environment is a must. Such an environment will allow the employees to work more productively, facilitate better collaboration among employees, and above all, inspire employees to think creatively.
Co-working spaces also bring together people and companies from different backgrounds and industries, under one roof. Most of them hold regular activities like seminars or networking workshops. They offer the opportunity to link up with like-minded people and companies, cultivate a collaborative environment, and develop professional network contacts. Make sure, your choice of a co-working space provides for such a gathering in addition to a congenial work setting.
6. Zero Hidden Costs
The rental agreement to be entered into with the lessor should be transparent with no hidden costs. Everything that needs to be mentioned must be included in the agreement. This means charges for each particular service, inclusive or exclusive of taxes; and different costs in terms of rent and services.
For this, you need to do a proper cost-benefit analysis before leasing the co-working space. This will give you a clear picture of what it is to be included in the agreement and what costs are not liable for payment.
7. Legal Terms
Finally, the agreement entered into for renting a co-working space should include all terms and conditions agreed upon between the two parties, that is, lessor and lessee.
Such terms and conditions generally will relate to
- Renewal and termination of the contract;
- Mode of rental payment;
- Insurance policy;
- Security & Safety;
- Confidentiality; &
- Responsibilities binding upon both the parties.
In addition to the above, the terms and conditions should also clearly state the city for adjudication of disputes, if any that could arise between the lessee and lessor.
Most co-working spaces offer flexible and competitive payment plans, with trial periods. This will allow lessors’ to test the waters before making a decision.
Before making up your mind on selecting a co-working space and choosing a payment plan, ask searching questions that will give you all the inputs required. This way, you can select a co-working space that best fits the needs of the company at a reasonable budget.
Co-working spaces are in many ways changing the way companies do work. They help cut costs, are by and large reasonably priced, come with all needed essentials, and above all, create a sense of belonging among like-minded people.