| |September 20189nected location will not only boost employee engage-ment, but also attract the right talent. Thus, co-work-ing helps companies to cater to different generations by providing an alternate work setting. Other than this, they are proving to be cost-efficient for companies by as much as 15-25 percent by cutting-down their rental costs, fixed capital investments and property mainte-nance. Thus, co-working spaces are proving to be the NextGen workspaces.The Number Game!Without a doubt, there has been an increasing supply of co-working spaces in India in 2018, but are these enough to cater to the burgeoning younger population.Let's Look at the Numbers FirstStats reveal that India is all set to be the world's young-est population by 2020 with the average age being 29 years and nearly 65 percent of the total population (ap-prox. 1.39 billion projected) will fall under the working age bracket. To cater to this younger lot and their de-mand for new-age workspaces, there will be a dire need for more co-working spaces in India. On the supply side, there are more than 200 players operating the cur-rent stock of nearly 390 such workspaces (both branded & non-branded) across the country. But, this number is likely to increase two to three folds over the next one to two years due to rising demand from startups, freelanc-ers, SMEs and also large companies. This apart, with office rents rising across India, the total space occupied by co-working spaces is likely to witness at least a 30-40 percent annual increase. And, the cities that will offer the best opportunity for its in-crease include Bengaluru, NCR and Mumbai, followed by Hyderabad & Chennai.Both Big &Small Businesses to Boost Co-Working SpacesBreaking all conventional norms, even the big daddies of the corporate world are now scouting for more flex-ible and cost-effective workspaces so as to cater to the growing need of their new workforce. They prefer small teams on specific projects to work in a collaborative cul-ture or those eyeing smaller towns favour satellite offic-es that are cost-effective and more viable.Besides these, SMEs and startups are also boosting demand for co-working spaces. India, today, is witness-ing a proliferation of startups. NASSCOM estimates show that India will have more than 10,500 startups by the end of 2020 and will remain third only to U.S. & UK. In fact, India is the world's youngest startup nation with >70 percent founders less than 35 years of age. This younger generation is likely to keep the prospects of co-working spaces bright in the future.Challenges GaloreBy creating a supportive environment for collabora-tion and innovative thinking companies may improve performance, but co-working can also expose an or-ganisation to several risks. For companies dealing with high volumes of confidential data, sharing space with external organisations can be potentially challenging. Cyber security is today a major strategic challenge for organisations and efficient co-working spaces will need to help mitigate these concerns. Moreover, from loss of privacy for their employees to imbibing this new work culture for only a selected few, companies are seen to grappling with multiple challenges. Road AheadThus, despite all the teething issues that these co-work-ing spaces are facing, these `cool' offices will be the global new norm. However, co-working spaces will also need to invent, innovate and re-strategize their business models in order to create a win-win situation for all. For instance, they will need to move away from the current lease-based structure to probably ownership model de-veloped in partnership with the landowner, developer or even the space-provider. This will offer more flexibil-ity in developing a property according to the business needs, which will reduce costs for clients, enhance flex-ibility and thereafter become India's preferred default work ecosystem. OWNERSHIP MODEL WILL OFFER MORE FLEXIBILITY IN DEVELOPING A PROPERTY ACCORDING TO THE BUSINESS NEEDS, WHICH WILL REDUCE COSTS FOR CLIENTS, ENHANCE FLEXIBILITY AND THEREAFTER BECOME INDIA'S PREFERRED DEFAULT WORK ECOSYSTEM
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