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Traditional Offices & Co-working Spaces - Their Differentiators

There was a time when setting up a traditional office was a sign of having arrived. Business owners were therefore pushed to outdo themselves in setting it up, from getting interiors done to ensuring the space had all facilities and was equipped with quality furniture and decor. On the flipside, this involved plenty of expenditure especially on rentals, not to mention the time involved in setting it up and effort that went behind it.

Cut to present times, and the traditional notions of doing business have changed drastically. Businesses are increasingly working within flexible time frames. Work from home options and enhanced technological advancements have meant employees can work remotely, and the concept of pay per seat has ensured companies optimize every spend they make.

Co-working spaces are great for today’s companies. They have changed the entire concept of the way companies do business. The flexible format, the ‘pay per resource’ concept and large savings on time are encouraging both small and big companies to adopt this model.

Although co-working is a Western concept, the large strides in this segment and quick adoption of this format by Indian companies has ensured their rapid growth in several major cities across India, says Anshuman Magazine, chairman, India and South East Asia, CBRE. According to him, 2016 saw the demand triple as compared to 2014. Leasing of co-working spaces is expected to cross 1.5 million sq. ft in 2017 and is expected to touch 10 million. sq. ft by the year 2020.

Both traditional and co-working spaces have their own pros and cons. Below are a few that will help you in making a choice based on your business needs.

FACTORS THAT DIFFERENTIATE CO-WORKING FROM TRADITIONAL

1. OPERATING COSTS

TRADITIONAL OFFICES
Traditional offices are self-driven setups. Being the owner of space entails personal involvement at every step. All operating costs in such offices are borne by him, including time spent ensuring all facilities are working fine and maintained regularly.
The focus on operating issues in addition to generating business can be a continuous challenge. These spaces balance out costs if occupied for many years. Productivity though can be affected when owners are constantly distracted by office related operational issues.

For a business owner renting out space, the costs involve ongoing monthly rentals irrespective of the number of resources working in the space, number of days they put in and time spent.

CO-WORKING SPACES
Co-working spaces offer an opportunity for many entities to work together in a shared space. There are two main areas in which such spaces have major impact on companies who work out of them and their bottom line. Firstly, co-sharing optimizes their overall costs and secondly, their time.

Flexible costs are the most attractive feature of co-working spaces. Paying for seats as per use, helps companies save money and divert it into other requirements. Co-working spaces have membership plans that can be taken based on space utilization and resources deployed. Besides, costs are further lowered for common facilities such as security, valet and front desk reception since they are divided between everyone who uses the space.
More importantly, co-working spaces afford people the luxury to use their time productively in growing their company, instead of getting involved in other office related operational issues.

Golden Square’s co-working spaces can be used based on a membership plan which is inclusive of all operating costs including electricity, internet, and seating. Additionally, businesses can avail the company’s assistance in other areas including management of non-core tasks such as accounting, courier and admin work.


2. OPTIMAL FACILITIES

TRADITIONAL OFFICES
Owners of companies have to always ensure that employees get all the necessary facilities that make work productive. Amenities like air-conditioning, telephones, internet cost money and require continuous maintenance.
Facilities also include furniture, decor, electricity, and plumbing which have to be well looked after. These require continuous spends unless the costs can be recovered after several years of usage.

Traditional office facilities are standard, never more or less and are generally ‘one size fits all’. As an owner you have to ensure everything works, carry regular maintenance checks or negligence will cost you further.

CO-WORKING SPACES
Co-working spaces offer state-of-the-art facilities in terms of food, meeting and conference rooms, connectivity, shared receptionist at all times which are all inclusive in the cost.
Upkeep and maintenance of the space, including furniture and electricity are also a part of the membership plan for each employee. With the motto of ‘Joy at Work’, Golden Square truly removes stress off the business owner’s shoulder by taking care of everything, including ensuring that non-standard tasks essential for running a business are also taken care of in-house, allowing employees to focus on their work.

A Chartered Accountant who runs his entire business from our office, can avail the services of our courier and delivery person at any time to run errands and make important deliveries. This gives him time to focus on his work, rather than be distracted and waste time over errands that hamper his productivity and deliverables.

In a co-working space, maintenance is taken care of by the people who own it. As a businessman, it is not required for you to get involved in everything. This ensures no distraction and you can focus on your company needs.

3. FLEXIBLE

TRADITIONAL OFFICES
Traditional office spaces cannot work flexibly. Owners are liable to pay for everything, including basic facilities whether the space is used or not. Continuous maintenance also needs to be done regularly.
Regular office spaces are not flexible and operating costs can only be recorded over time. This is a continuous investment irrespective of time frames and use of the space.

Traditional offices aren’t flexible. You own everything, which you have to use and pay for. Even if you’re not using any services, you will still be liable to pay.

CO-WORKING SPACES
The word  ‘co-working’ was coined by Dekoven in 1999 wherein he envisioned the breakdown of hierarchical boundaries in his own office to facilitate collaborative work between individuals.
Although the meaning of co-working has changed over the last two decades, the essence is that of collaboration between people and businesses that happen when they come together and work with each other. The lack of boundaries and flexible nature of interaction provided by co-working spaces ensures the constant exchange of ideas.

Golden Square’s spaces provide flexibility for professionals across diverse backgrounds to meet and interact with each other. The co-working spaces are accessible 24-hours a day, there are common areas for interaction and everything is built with the purpose to encourage sharing and dialogue.

In co-working spaces, the use of the space is flexible. You can at any point of time decide not to use something, or addon additional facilities or even move across offices and pay for them accordingly.

4. AMBIANCE

TRADITIONAL OFFICES
Offices need different types of spaces for different needs. Private spaces for meetings, more informal spaces for a casual chat, a well-equipped conference room for training and board meetings. Traditional offices typically cannot have all of these in one space unless the team size is very large say more than 100 people. So one ends up compromising, distracting others and moving around furniture to meet different needs.
Traditional offices spaces usually don’t have such well-defined areas, with existing infrastructure used for a variety of needs that may or may not be conducive for specific tasks. Therefore a conference room may be used for team meetings and also become a temporary office with increased strength on specific days. This can create much stress and chaos. Designing larger offices with separate facilities always requires bigger costs.

COWORKING SPACES
Co-working offices afford people the option of choosing designated spaces that suits their requirement. There may be those who love doing their work in silence, whereas there are those like marketing heads and people engaged in calling and liaising with clients. Different needs can avail different rooms when the need arises.
Besides different kind of cubicles and rooms tailored for different employee strengths and work needs, co-working spaces also provide a very collaborative atmosphere. Golden Square provides a variety of such rooms for different needs, along with a terrace area for recreation and cafeterias. They can be used by anyone.


Whatever you need is, at whichever stage of growth your company is in, evaluate your requirements and then decide what you want to go with. An office space is very crucial for a company’s growth and has many implications on the minds of its employees.








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