The millenial move towards coworking

The work culture has gone through a massive transformation in the recent past and so have the preferences of the millennial and Gen Z workforce. Today’s workforce is vibrant and flexible and coworking has given them the exact dose of their desire. It is the 'cool' factor that has made coworking space so hot and trendy at present. Gen Z is receptive to ‘the everything experience’ at the workplace. Realising this, a few businessmen have conceptualised community-centric engagements along with understanding the professional and personal needs of the workforce.

While recent reports indicate an extensive crowding in the coworking space over the last couple of years, the sector has taken up 13% of the total transacted office space last year. It would not be an easy task to offer ‘the everything experience’ by minor players.

Getting into the coworking business may seem easy, but a coworking space needs a thorough understanding of design, technology, community building and customer service — a sum of which provides ‘the everything experience’. Unable to be a capital-intensive and customer-centric business and dominated by retail and hospitality, several players in the coworking space have not been able to sustain themselves and have begun stepping out.

Only a handful of companies and their detailed services will be able to live up to their ethos and embrace consolidation in the coworking space and make them stand out in all ways. A few companies come with an array of benefits and are ready to offer ‘the everything experience’ under one roof. The life of the millennial workforce is defined by the era of the internet and the emergence of social media. For this super-connected generation, connectivity is a necessary component of the workplace. Agility and the ability to keep pace with the changing digital needs are what make workspaces comfortable for these digital geeks. 

Flexibility at the workplace, vibrant and cheerful designs, an energetic vibe that enhances creativity, and a platform for engagement and interchange of innovative ideas are some of the most important priorities of the millennial workforce. From IT to housekeeping, to the food and snack bar that's open all day, co-working covers it all. They also offer the flexibility of either designing one’s own working space or handpicking from a design as per the client's requirements. Maintaining health and safety systems at the workplace at par with international standards, and organising team-building sessions, entertainment activities — there's everything to enhance productivity for the employees.

Today’s workforce is moving towards reinventing their careers. Coworking acts as a button to revamp their career path. It provides the space to engage and interact with other community members and brings wider scope for growth. Intra and inter-team networking and collaboration are among the key features of shared working space. Conducting talks, training sessions and workshops and providing easy access to angel investors are some of the additional advantages they offer.

Gone are the days when corporates used to spend a lot of time and money to hire employees through conventional interviewing and training procedures. The new work culture has made corporates seek other ways of pooling talent, of which, coworking is one of the primary modes. This is because shared office spaces have become hotspots for emerging talent.

Coworking gives the millennial workforce the key to becoming socially responsible and meets its appetite for being a social contributor. These spaces open up new avenues for corporates to provide their employees with an opportunity to volunteer for a social cause. Gen Z does not prefer to restrict career opportunities to one place; instead, they prefer exploring jobs at different workplaces. This is where coworking comes with the flexibility of being leveraged at multiple locations.

Greener spaces have become popular; the global trend of green revolution and reduction in carbon footprint taking place at present. Such workspaces have a touch of greenery and nature which helps workers relax, de-stress and increase productivity. It has become essential to meet with the changing demands and coworking is constantly striving towards offering ‘the everything experience’, thereby providing leverage to commercial real estate space to a great extent. Not just start-ups, several top-notch corporates are switching over to coworking over traditional office layouts to bring the very best out of their employees.

(The writer is Chairman, 315Work Avenue)

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