As to begin with many firms, particularly IT firms making a decision that work from home will continue even after Covid; the one question everyone has in mind is if this is going to impact co-work business negatively?
Several reasons why coworking will not only survive but thrive!
- Human beings are socially active and need to interact – Interaction due to work from home has got limited to phones and online meetings. Not the same thing as being able to have a cup of tea face to face with colleagues in the office.
- Privacy and security concerns – The companies are still figuring out how to address the security issues and privacy concerns of their clients. It is only up to a limit that one can address this while working from home.
- Home is Home – Working from home has blurred the line between work and home causing more stress and tension to the individual. Work from home fatigue has started to kick in, post the initial euphoria of work from home.
- Adapting to the new Norm – It’s going to take a while before families get able to adjust to the new norm of everyone being at home. Kids are not going to school which in itself is an area of concern. Studies are still awaited on how this has impacted kids.
It’s like one is getting too much of the family. Social tension in the family has also gone up possibly due to unavoidable interaction which earlier was limited to pre and post working hours. Evident from cases of domestic violence going up. Some reports claim domestic violence issues to have gone up by 300%. Depression, anxiety, and loneliness are on the rise.
- Health concerns – Companies had been working on providing a better and better work environment to their employees, ergonomic furniture, breakout areas, gyms in the office, etc. However, all this is not possible at home. This has also given rise to a new segment in co-work of providing office furniture and set-up for work from home.
- Costs & Expenses – During Lockdown WFH (Work from home) has been exciting to the employee as well as to the employer. To the employee as he/she are able to manage their time staying at home, save from the long commuting hours, etc., and to the employer as cost savings. However, companies now are waking up to the fact that they will have to incur certain expenses to enable employees to work from home. For example, better internet connectivity, better technologies for communicating, organizing the workday, reporting, etc. The employee suddenly realizes that the Air conditioning expense is going up as both husband and wife are working from home. During Work from Office (WFO) Air con or heating was used only before and after working hours.
- Some jobs are skill-based and do not need team interaction. These kinds of jobs will probably stay at home or remotely handled.
- Millennials have shown a tendency towards remote working. Some of them are likely to remotely work. However, many of them have also shown an interest in working out of co-working places.
- Due to uncertain business conditions companies are likely to continue to cut costs and look at co-working offices as an alternative for office space.
- Swing office requirements will continue – Particularly during an expansion into new territories or offices needed during a renovation of office space.
- Companies continue to avoid investing in infrastructure and the Covid situation is going to further prevent them from making heavy investments. Good for Coworking and Flexi office spaces.
- The Indian start-up ecosystem continues to grow rapidly. Offices will be on the rise.
- India is a good destination for international companies. With improved policies, infrastructure, and various state governments wooing international companies their presence is likely to grow in India. All good for the co-work and Flexi space industry.
- Funding of companies has remained strong, pushing demand for office space. Funding in 2017 was 13 B USD, 2019, 12.7 B USD, and is estimated at 12 B USD in 2020.