One billion digital nomads by 2035. Pietr Levels, the founder of Nomadlist.com – a website that ranks cities around the world on nomad-friendliness – primarily attributes this big number to the rise of gig working and better connectivity owing to affordable air travel. With the traditional 9-to-5 work culture taking a backseat, flexible work hours, proliferation of freelancers and consultants, as well as the emergence of coworking spaces have come to define the new-age work environment.
Among the largest markets for coworking spaces in the Asia-Pacific region, India is no stranger to this growing trend. The coworking model is based on the idea of membership – one where professionals from diverse industries come together to work in a shared space. As a result, this aspect of socialization has a direct effect on the productivity of professionals, serving to inspire and motivate them to achieve more. In addition, a well-designed coworking environment is known to play a vital role in nurturing productivity and creativity. A better work-life balance, customized work environment and strong community ties are some of the major reasons why coworking is fast emerging as a productive choice.
Change in preferences
Coworking spaces allow an equal degree of flexibility and control – take for instance the workplace set up and timings. From private cubicles and dedicated desks to open office layouts, people can choose to work in a quiet setting or share tables for social interaction. Similarly, shared spaces usually remain accessible for longer hours than traditional offices. Professionals can choose to put in a longer day or take a longer break during the day to refresh the mind. From working out in the gym to playing a game of carrom, they can easily recharge batteries and return to their task feeling a lot more productive. A thriving work environment has been proven to enhance workplace satisfaction and allow a better work-life balance.
Regular up-keep and maintenance
Coworking spaces offer a smart workplace where all workspace considerations are fully taken care of by such companies themselves. The timely up-keep and maintenance of infrastructure and services, such as Internet connectivity, housekeeping, security and waste management, ensures people focus on their task and, by extension, also reserve sufficient time to spend with the family and friends. Hence it is no surprise that even large corporates are switching to coworking environments, as it cuts down operational costs by almost 20–25%.
In fact, Artificial Intelligence (AI) implementation and automation of services are two of the hottest trends in the coworking space. Be it booking a meeting room, generating bills or using intelligent technologies for understanding human speech patterns, these technology-enabled workspaces help in increasing efficiency and ensuring a pleasant work experience.
Increase in social interaction
With so many people from different industries converging in a shared space, it is easy to find ready access to people of varied expertise for collaboration on projects. For start-ups and gig workers, in particular, it becomes relatively easy to find prospective talent and clients because at the heart of these social interactions is the value of trust. Whether it is professional advice, inspiration for your next project or simply motivation to get through the day – you can find it all within the community in these shared spaces.
The social environment fosters collaborative learning between professionals who are differently skilled and this goes a long way in completing projects faster by using the relevant expertise as per requirement. Many coworking companies, such as ABL Workspaces, host workshops, seminars and other business events that not just offer opportunities for skill upgradation, but also facilitate networking. Community ties are strengthened when people come together, making professionals happier, and consequently improving creativity and productivity.
High employee motivation and productivity is something each company struggles with in some form. Coworking packs all the ingredients to help professionals in giving their best to the job at hand. In fact, there is a growing trend among corporate brands to send their employees to work in a coworking set up for stimulating creative ideas. Sessions with a mindfulness coach, yoga and meditation classes are being introduced by coworking spaces to drive employee motivation and innovation.
With a full range of services and top-of-the-line infrastructure and maintenance, coworking spaces are the answer to achieving an optimum level of work efficiency. As the industry continues to evolve, it is likely to witness disruptive trends in workplace innovation.