The contemporary world seems to be unlearning in all fronts, especially real-estate. The involuntary global work from home has pushed us to reimagine what workspace would be during the apparent new normal. While there are many debates over work from home and work from the office, the middle ground is already being struck.

To understand the current situation, we must first understand the rise of coworking & managed office space and how it grew from a niche product to the first preference of startups and SMEs to now enterprise. The traditional market of office spaces induced heavy leases, Capex, and Opex along with other management handlings which disrupted the work flow and focus points of the professionals involved. Along with that, new companies that are mostly bootstrapped couldn’t afford to invest into office space, which gave rise to the idea of on-demand spaces, where small teams could sit out of fully functional and managed office without incurring extensive extraction from the pocket. This new model of acquiring a workspace wasn’t just affordable but helped in the growth of the companies at infancy stages where they collaborated in a like-minded community. This was on the similar grounds to the millennial lingo – “No string attached”. On the other hand, established corporations wanted quick solutions for expansions overseas or in Tier 2 or Tier 3 cities. The managed office spaces offer fully customizable features with the branding of the booked area along with many personalised features.

The gap was filled, although with new demand, came the concern of real-estate footprint. The initiative of the shared economy was deliberated resolution. The idea was to deploy underutilized resources in the market, such as large offices that inhibited smaller strength in teams. This was also the opportunity for the owner to monetize their assets and minimize the losses. The large offices were then converted into managed office spaces and offered with the same services. The flexible real-estate witnessed on-demand as well as the shared economy. Although the year 2020, with came the pandemic and the question of the new normal became the focal point.

A flexible economy is the new normal. While work from home was refreshing for a time being, it soon brought with it some cons, like lack of collaboration, blurred lines between professional and personal lines as well as lower motivation to work. It promoted the industry leaders to unlearn and create an environment where it became more about enterprise productivity rather than the act of merely visiting the office. The productive and growth-oriented environment consisted of functional and tactically designed infrastructure, sensitivity to data and profile, incorporating and directing mutual warmth and respect for the colleagues as well company culture, along with team collaboration and deducted commute time. The idea was to strategically shift micro teams in various coworking spaces while data sensitive operations still being a part of the head office.

The implementation of various coworking offices present on the on-demand basis helped corporates to promote easy and safe exist from the home of their professionals further managing the expenditure in the tough times. The spaces are fully managed to abide by the precautionary guidelines and check measures issued by the government. Each entrant goes through a thermal screening process, carries masks, and practices social distancing.

The year of 2020 has changed our definition of standard indeed, but this new normal shouldn’t be seen as a compromise rather a profitable opportunity for companies as well as the professionals to work on flexible terms while being safe. The corporates who practice the sustainable way of employment will be preferred by skilled and talented individuals as employers. Its time to relearn the way to office space.

~~ By Author Kamal Jeet Singh
& Co-Author Yashi Khamboj

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