Co-working to revive fast

Co-working spaces are not only the most cost-effective, but also offer flexibility in terms of the time period of rental agreements.

Hyderabad: Commercial real estate has been the reliable mainstay of the Indian real estate sector, remaining vibrant even while residential property remained in the doldrums. Now, the coronavirus has thrown a serious challenge into this real estate segment, at least for the next two quarters. Co-working space, too, is expected to witness mixed times.

Ashutosh Limaye, director and head – Consulting, Anarock Property Consultants, said, “To the backdrop of present-day compulsions, more and more companies are discovering the viability of employees working from home (WFH) as an alternative to occupying costly office spaces. Many IT/ITeS companies and other corporates are now warming up to the notion of shifting a significant chunk of work, be it coding or non-client-facing back-office functions, out of offices and into their employees’ homes.”

WFH is obviously not a catch-all the solution as many business verticals and functions still require employees to work in an office setting. A large chunk of work needs constant monitoring and professional infrastructure which only an office setting can provide. In the Covid scenario, co-working is likely to see subdued demand over the next few quarters but will also see the fastest revival. When the pandemic pressures eventually ease out, many businesses will look to restart in these flexible workspaces.

“Co-working spaces are not only the most cost-effective, but also offer flexibility in terms of the time period of rental agreements. Co-working spaces can be rented on a monthly, day-to-day and even hourly basis,” notes Limaye.

As a part of the changing trends, Awfis, India’s home-grown co-working space provider, has launched ‘Awfis@Home’, further diversifying its work product portfolio. In the current forced lockdown where working from home is more of a necessity than an option, individuals and organisations need to be quick to adapt to the challenges of a new style of working. Awfis@Home is an integrated platform that provides the flexibility to efficiently work from the comfort of one’s home while replicating the setting of a productive office work environment.

Anurag Parepally, founder, CLOwork, said, “We had been into co-working space for the last six years operating in Hyderabad with two centres having a cumulative capacity of 300 seats. We will be adding another 500 seats by the end of 2020. We had been primarily catering to startups, freelancers and SMEs. In addition to space, we have helped occupants with mentoring and funding linkages. We are hoping to expand our footprint from 15,000 sq ft (with two facilities in HITEC City) to over 35,000 sq ft by end of the year.”

He added, “Covid-19 has brought in certain uncertainty. Last three months, there was no fresh activity. We anticipate it will take 2-3 months to reach some normalcy. SMEs and enterprises may start looking for space in the coming months.”

Sreekanth Putsala, founder, Cospacehub, said, “We started our operations last August with one centre in Hyderabad with 3,500 sq ft space in HITEC City. Most of our clients are startups. Though fresh enquiries dried out since the lockdown, we are anticipating enquiries to pick up from July onwards.”

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