by Kushal Bhargava, Co- founder, MyBranch
Co-working has gained momentum in the past couple of years and it wouldn’t be erroneous to say the culture is now a part of mainstream. As more and more companies in metropolitans as well as small cities are venturing into it the major question arises - How to find the right co-working space and the prerequisites to be taken in account?.
The major shared office space providers vouch that the first thing most clients look for is a fully-laced space containing infrastructure, including the work desks and conference set-up, robust business grade internet and CCTV surveillance. The extended requirement also depends on the city in question, for example in metropolitans, the clients pay attention on the location, most of them seek for offices that are in prime areas with connectivity, in addition to this they also want dedicated refreshment and recreation spots inside the office premises.
The brands having presence across the country look for co-working space providers that have options across the country, that way it becomes easier and more convenient for them to operate and enter into business when they expand to new locations through a single provider having PAN India presence.
Post pandemic, a lot of additional factors have also come into play like the clients are now looking for more open and spacious working spaces where social distancing can be exercised at the time of need. Moreover, they also ensure all hygiene standards, most of them want to take up spaces that offer and carry out in-house sanitation activity and regular fumigation in accordance to the Covid-19 guidelines.
Along with metropolitans, the clients in tier II and III cities also make sure all hygiene standards are met, especially after the pandemic. However, the requirement differs in terms of space; it has been observed that most clients in tier II and III cities require a limited number of seats for a short tenure.
Numbers obtained from one of the major office space solution providers, MyBranch, suggest that there are remote towns in Gujarat or Karnataka where several clients have taken just 3-4 seats. So, in smaller cities the demand is high but mostly the requirement is small-scaled. This is the reason why there are several options for shared offices in small cities but at the same time the office spaces are not quite sizeable.
More than often the clients look for multicity expansion, at a time they book spaces in several cities, including tier II and III cities, so they cut short the hassle of going through the leasing formalities several times. So, they look for space providers that have co-working space options in several cities and not just metropolitans.
It has also been noted that the clients prefer compliant properties and look for places that are in compliance with various norms of property acts. For example, the Standard for fire safety in commercial buildings or the elevator safety norms or the fire exit precautions, clients ensure if the co-working space is fully compliant because these lay a direct impact on employees and their day-to-day safety so clients enquire about these before taking up any shared-office space.
Another crucial aspect is the liberty to carry on promotional activities in the rental spaces, mostly clients look for shared offices where they are provided with branding space and opportunity to put up banners, standees or hoardings in their designated spot. However, this is also mostly limited to the clients in bigger cities where they are taking up several seats and setting up a bigger office. The clients also demand for separate meeting rooms, so in most co-working centres the providers make sure they offer on-demand meeting/conference rooms.
Several co-working space providers also offer ancillary services like hiring or auditing. This means that with office space, the clients also get the necessary support in performing the primary activities and internal operations.
Trend suggests that these are the major points that the clients keep in mind at the time of leasing out shared offices. However, as the trend is still growing the requirements and offerings are evolving so that shared working can become more sustainable and opted for.