Transforming the way we work: WeWork

Is it a fad that will die soon? No, we think not. Coworking spaces are going to define the future of offices in the times to come. They’re already mushrooming across the country and Bengaluru is seeing a surge in numbers across the city. These spaces work best for independent professionals and startups and are soon turning to be a hub for those who want their chic workspace to network, collaborate, communciate and connect while building a community in an efficient and sustainable manner. Here are some of Bengaluru’s popular and most creative coworking spaces.

BY NAMITA GUPTA

What’s unique: WeWork is a platform for creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses of all sizes to collaborate, innovate and follow their passions. Their spaces are vibrant, beautiful and dynamic. They bring in design expertise that revitalises the building with community and energy. WeWork is the response to the shift towards how people work and live by providing the environment to thrive in and ultimately connecting them to a 248,000+ strong member network in 253 locations, 74 cities and 22 countries. Their designs are disrupting the traditional workspaces and transforming buildings where ideas can be exchanged, and creativity can thrive.

A space apart: While basics are taken care of – beautiful functional spaces, office management, wi-fi, utilities, refreshments, etc., are also provided to empower the members to do what they love by freeing them from other regular office responsibilities. All their locations have spacious, unique common areas, business class printers, private phone booths, fruits infused water, game room, honesty market, micro roasted coffee, wellness rooms etc. Pet parents are also provided for those who want to bring pets work. Apart from offering world class services and amenities, they hold regular community events for networking or a session of yoga, Zumba or meditation to strike a work-life balance.

One step up over others: They are the only player that brings together community, design and technology at a global scale to provide an environment where people work to make a life, not just a living. Using community, design and technology to meet those needs that no one else can, they start with the business needs, being collaborative, incorporating innovation and research along with creating new designs. They have 45% large enterprises as members who realise that we are not only easing their real estate challenges, but offering a culture that is enhancing employee satisfaction and retention. They understand the need of employees that are looking beyond cubicles to build empowering connections for collaboration and innovation.

Current trends: As per a recent CBRE study, 73% millennials are unwilling to travel beyond 45 minutes to work and consider commuting time, location, office design and flexible working as critical factors when deciding on a new job. Companies are focusing strongly on employee retention and considering these factors as they grow by moving to coworking spaces. With office rental costs continuing to rise, the total space leased by coworking operators in the top cities could stand at 7–9 million sq. ft. by 2020. Coworking spaces are not only cost-effective alternative to renting and leasing but they are also a feasible option even for large companies that are looking for a shared space. A great chunk of large enterprises is warming up to coworking spaces due to culture, affordability, flexibility and collaboration opportunities. The trend is moving towards creating beautiful, well designed, functional spaces that encourage collaboration and create a sense of community. There has been a shift demanding innovation to transform workplaces from being purely functional to being more productive, experiential and meaningful.

Top startups that work out of here: Post starting its operations in July last year, WeWork under the leadership of Karan Virwani has expanded to three cities – Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore and 8 locations with over 10,000 members. Its members are creators who run the gamut from entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses, to middle-market and Fortune 500 corporations. While 55% of its members are startups/freelancers/SMEs like Miller & Camron, Megshala (NGO), AA Hospitality and Get Gorgeous, 45% of the members are large enterprises such as Microsoft, Jaguar Land Rover, GoDaddy, among others.