The ever growing number of start-ups in the country is fuelled by the investments, the success stories, and the rush that has come to be associated with it. Starting up is a tough task, and the basic requirement of hard work and professionalism isn’t easily achievable when working out of makeshift office in your living room, or a cafe. But when there is a problem, there is a solution. After all, necessity is the mother of invention. Combining all the factors in a start-up, a small business, or a freelancer, there was one way out - sharing a work space.
Co-working spaces were the solution everyone was looking for, and their number has been increasing almost simultaneously with the start-ups. The idea is simple - to provide infrastructure and administration support to a bunch of different teams in one space. These could be in the form of small cabins or open desks. This facility gives small businesses a chance to set up an office atmosphere without worrying about the massive overheads associated with buying or renting offices – no deposits, no bills, and no maintenance!
The concept has been improved upon since its inception, and now there is a stable standard followed almost everywhere. Apart from start-ups, freelancers too use co-working spaces. It is this demand of an organised, professional environment which has led to the existence of multiple chains of co-working spaces across the country. The likes of Coworkin, The Work Square, 91Springboard, Regus, etc are paving the way for many others.
One of the other major reasons for the success and growth of co-working spaces in the country, apart from fulfilling a basic need, is the fact that they have become a haven for networking. Different kinds of people, working on so many different ideas in the same space has led to communication and thus, exchange of resources, more business, and camaraderie. In many cases, more experienced people have mentored the newbies and the newbies have introduced their older counterparts to the more new-age tricks of the trade. Freelancers, especially, benefit a lot from working in such spaces, at least once in a while, because start-ups often prefer hiring freelancers over permanent employees, and co-working spaces are home to a large number of start-ups.
Communication is key for networking, and this is facilitated by many aspects. Most co-working spaces have an unwind session on Fridays. Some unwind over beer and conversation, some chats and chaat, and a few others like 91Springboard have small events where everyone participates. Bombay Connect in Mumbai is designed in such a way that you sit face to face with another person, making communication imperative. This is done to ensure that a nice, friendly vibe is always in the air.
As a new, small team, being offered a spick and span working space with all the necessary infrastructure, high speed WiFi, and a bunch of other people almost in the same boat as you, is not less than a blessing. Especially if you consider how affordable the co-working spaces in India are, it is indeed a blessing. The average monthly rent is approximately Rs. 4500-7000 across the country.
The fact that there are so many factors supplementing the rise of start-ups, and supporting freelance culture, is a huge morale booster in itself. The success of the co-working spaces and its incessant rise since its inception is a testament to that.
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