The Future of Co-working Spaces: Innovative designs in technology to boost productivity

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The concept of co-working is becoming more well-known in India. With the economy growing big and small, entrepreneurs are looking to move away from the traditional office environment and cut expenses by moving to co-working and shared office spaces.

Co-working spaces provide all the amenities needed (sometimes) and create an atmosphere of belonging, typically lacking in traditional office spaces. The rise of co-working spaces is not something new that has come out of the pandemic. Still, it was already famous for freelancers, digital nomad entrepreneurs, startups, and many other businesses of all sizes.

Co-working spaces provide a myriad of advantages to their customers, including the ability to participate in an extensive ecosystem and have the flexibility of costs and time, as well as an excellent platform for building professional opportunities through networking.

Co-working is becoming one of the fastest-growing industries, thanks to the consequences of the pandemic and the rise of hybrid work, and beyond 2023, the industry is only expected to grow. As of June 2022, over 28000 co-working spaces exist around the world. In the US, there are over 6,200 alone. Whether it’s technology, design, or even reimagining how we view co-working spaces, there are many trends appearing on the horizon. In this article, we’ll share some trends that we expect to see in the world of co-working in 2023 and beyond.

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One of the latest developments in co-working is the changing nature of shared office spaces, which are evolving from simply being a space to being understood as a service. Co-working-as-a-Service (CaaS) means offering not only a space but a suite of other benefits that users have come to expect. Some of these benefits include 24-hour keycard access, mentorship building, and venture capital access, to name a few. Many of the following trends in this list build upon this innovation. For example, it’s no longer sufficient to simply provide a workspace for freelancers. Co-working spaces, the people who use them, and their utility have evolved, leading users and teams to now demand services in addition to a workspace.

From a broader perspective, technology has become an integral part of the modern workplace. Taking the benefit of doubt, I suggest that technology has become the driving force behind every successful business in the country as well as in the world. So, what are the areas where technology is playing a crucial role? The answer would be everywhere. From customer management software to virtual meetings to the key cards that allow individuals to access different segments of the workplace, technology is present at every nook and corner of today’s workplace. Increasing technological adoption is also expected to accelerate as a co-working trend. Technology enhances co-working spaces by making them much more powerful and efficient spaces.

While early co-working spaces required staffing and offered limited hours, access cards and NFC phone-enabled systems now allow 24-hour spaces to exist without staffing. Further, digital technologies enable space monitoring in case of any problems and can fully automate meeting room reservations. Utilizing automated invoicing services can also reduce staffing needs. This means that co-working spaces will become further streamlined as they adopt more technology, which is why tech adoption is at the forefront of every operator in 2023.

Over the years with the use of advanced and cutting-edge technologies, the co-working segment has witnessed a more organized and streamlined work environment. Personalizing the pricing, according to the needs of a client is a very innovative idea embraced by the co-working players. One can create small packages for different needs. This is a great way to reach out to more clients and brand your co-working space as a place of innovative solutions. One more interesting innovation is that nowadays a lot of co-working spaces are using virtual reality to enhance and simplify the working process.

Finally, nobody can comment on where technology will go in the coming years. But it is evident that it has become an integral part of our workplaces. The pandemic has further underlined its importance. Today, businesses, despite their size, have adopted technology on a larger scale. This adoption of technology has helped smaller firms compete with the sharks (mega firms) in their industry, allowing them to reach a much wider customer base.

Another upcoming trend in co-working spaces is their continued innovation. In San Francisco, office buildings are at about 40% of their pre-pandemic occupancy. This occupancy issue is occurring across the world, which means that there are abundant opportunities for coworking spaces to step in and transform these derelict office spaces. Besides seizing this opportunity to entice workers back to the office, co-working office spaces will remain some of the most innovative and well-designed architectural spaces. These innovations will blend open-space concepts, with private meeting suites and phone spaces while locating workers in the downtown core of cities.

Co-working space is in high demand as the remote workforce and academic learners look for the ideal spot to boost their productivity. Some individuals find it easier to get work done and find more motivation when using a shared space. This is often because of the atmosphere created by seeing other productive individuals and it may feel more professional than conducting work at home. Essentially, the workflow can be positively impacted by the right design. Here is a look at the way design can foster creativity and productivity in a co-working space. Individuals perform their best in environments that are unique to their individual needs. Some people require quieter and others like the hustle and bustle of an energetic office. It is a great idea to divide up co-working spaces with a combination of single and shared desks. Consider creating open but private alcoves where people can go to focus on days when they need to. Having “we” spaces can also provide people with areas to connect and ideate together.

Work does not get done in a bubble, drawing inspiration from the views and perspectives of others is better fostered in spaces where people can face each other or sit nearby. These conditions are more conducive to conversation design and play a role in the attractiveness and functionality of a coworking space. All these factors can either foster or hinder creative workflows. Consider incorporating varied architecture, design, plants, social spaces, and food services to cater to the needs of those looking for a productive space.

Co-working spaces are no longer casual office spaces provided in office buildings; instead, they are quickly growing to be the premier location for workers to congregate. In the post-pandemic landscape, co-working spaces are poised to become increasingly valuable as they continue to evolve, meeting the needs of hybrid teams and entrepreneurs on a global level.

(By Aman Gupta, Director, RPS Group. Views are personal)


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