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'Privacy Remains One of The Top Concerns In Co-working Spaces'

India’s co-working market is expected to grow by 50 percent to reach over 1 million square feet of leased areas with an investment of $ 400 million by the end of 2018

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Millennials are transforming the way companies work and the nature of the workplace. The  companies are also looking at offering creative working environments by adopting leisurely work ethic, banishing the borders between work and play.  

India’s co-working market is expected to grow by 50 percent to reach over 1 million square feet of leased areas with an investment of $ 400 million by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, the estimated potential market in India for co-working spaces is 15.5 million people.

Harsh Lambah, India Country Manager, IWG Spaces shares his views about the difference co-working spaces make to the productivity of the company, its affect on employees' health and the existing issues with such spaces.    

How to get the most out of a co-working space?

Co-working spaces are often associated with affordability, but in reality, they are being preferred for the atmosphere, facilities, location, and networking. They offer numerous opportunities for networking and help communities to focus on driving their businesses forward. Therefore, it is important to choose a space carefully that suits the personality and is suitable basis the needs of a business. 

Engaging with communities and expanding professional network for collaboration are important aspects at co-working and with increasing popularity, co-working spaces attract a wide range of professionals. Participating in events, social gatherings and workshops to share knowledge and build relationships with co-workers is the best way to get most out of such spaces. 

What are some of the issues that come up with co-working spaces?

The popularity of co-working spaces have also unmasked challenges companies and individuals face while working in such set-up. Few of the concerns are related to privacy of data and information, distractions and forced interactions at the workplace. Many co-working spaces schedule events for members to get to know each other better, but for those that don’t, it might be difficult to know when you’re interrupting someone’s workflow or overstepping boundaries. While looking for co-working space one should check the credentials and IT infrastructure before visual appeal and freebies of the space.

How useful or important can be co-working spaces for entrepreneurs?

Co-working space is ideal for start-up entrepreneurs looking for a professional workspace without the high upfront costs. Offering affordable rent, co-working spaces also provide necessary amenities such as a desk and chair, high-speed internet, printers, fax machines, and conference room. Co-working helps start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow their network by putting them near people who might have vastly different skill sets or solutions to problems. 

How does co-working space affect the local economy?

Businesses are exploring ways to embrace flexible and co-working phenomenon by partnering with workspace organizations that can allow them to work in multiple locations and different communities that are not their own. With companies expanding operations in tier II and III markets, co-working gives employees the freedom to choose, they are more likely to stay in town, which in turn benefits the local economy.

Although big organizations create more employment opportunities, small- to mid-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy. Most co-working desks in these cities are occupied by small businesses or start-ups that don’t want to invest in a fancy commercial space yet maintain the brand image. 

Why choose co-working spaces? What is driving the change from traditional office spaces to co-working?

The flexibility and convenience provided helps professionals to collaborate and expand which cannot be done at a traditional office set-up. In a flexible workspace built on collaboration, people are speaking to fellow workers not simply from within their own business, but more widely. This is a key benefit recognized by businesses and one of the main reasons why they are exploring flexible workspace strategies.

Does co-working help better health of employee?

Corporate offices are high-stress places that are just now catching on, that wellness of their employees doesn’t boil down to a paycheck but providing them work-life balance by giving them the flexibility to work from anywhere reducing their travel time. 

People who use co-working spaces see their work as meaningful. Because there is little direct competition or internal politics, co-workers don’t feel the need to put on a work persona to fit in. Working amidst people doing different kinds of work can also make one’s own work identity stronger.  

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coworking spaces privacy issue entrepreneurs startup