‘Co-working will need to be redesigned’

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Hyderabad: With many Indian employees working from home due to the lockdown, operators of co-working spaces, which offer shared office spaces have seen an almost 50 per cent dip in footfalls, according to Space Matrix, a design consultancy firm. To weather this uncertain storm, co-working operators are under pressure to reevaluate their operations and come up with new business models, office design, sanitation practices, and flexible solutions for their members as quickly as possible.

According to Manas Mehrotra, chairman, 315Work Avenue, many businesses will now provide more flexibility to their employees than ever before. This will push up the demand for co-working spaces. “As long as hygiene practices and health precautions are enforced, co-working spaces may prove useful.” Once the isolation measures are reduced, flexible working will emerge stronger than ever. Startups, SMEs and giant players might also prefer co-working spaces, said Mehrotra.

Also, more IT/ITeS companies and other corporates are now warming up to shift a significant chunk of work, be it coding or non-client-facing back-office functions, out of offices and into their employees’ homes. According to Ashutosh Limaye, director and head, Consulting, Anarock Property Consultants, there are at least three major benefits of work from home. Companies can save a lot of revenue on office space occupancy. Secondly, WFH can be a productivity enhancer as employees save on time which they would ordinarily spend on daily commutes.

Thirdly, and as a derivative of the second benefit, it can significantly boost employee’s wellbeing.

The average monthly rentals in Grade A office spaces in Gachibowli, Madhapur, Manikonda, Kondapur are between Rs 4,750–7,650/desk/month for co-working spaces and between Rs 6,000–9,000/desk/month for conventional commercial Grade A offices. Non-Grade A office spaces are lower by at least 15-20%. In Pocharan, Uppal and other places the prices are between Rs 3,600–6000/desk/month for co-working spaces and between Rs 3,500–7,000/desk/month for conventional commercial Grade A offices. Non-Grade A office spaces here are lower by at least 25-35%, the official said.

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