In conversation with Harsh Lambah, India - country manager, IWG

In conversation with Harsh Lambah, India - country manager, IWG

Harsh Lambah, India - country manager, IWG, sheds light on how co-working spaces are causing a ripple effect across the economy – from core businesses through to supply chains

How was 2018 for this sector and what’s the forecast for the coming years?
Workspace needs are changing for every sort of business, from major corporates to small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), start-ups and individual entrepreneurs. The drivers discussed here - technology and the desire of workers and businesses to experience the benefits of flexible working - are accelerating the demand for change along with the fast acceleration of the Start Up movement. And many indicators are pointing in the same direction - workers are increasingly mobile and can access their work and be productive from anywhere.

In India many businesses and organizations are exploring ways to embrace flexibility and the benefits of coworking by partnering with workspace organizations such as Spaces/Regus that can allow them to work in multiple locations as part of varied communities. With companies expanding operations in tier II and III markets, coworking gives employees the freedom to choose, they are more likely to stay in town, which in turn benefits the local economy. Co-working was the fastest growing industry last year and according to recent industry reports, the sector will continue to grow exponentially in the coming year as well. Demand continues to gain momentum across cities so much that about 13 million people are expected to work out of coworking spaces by 2020.

How does co-working spaces help a company maintain a healthy bottom-line?
The benefits of flexible working don’t stop at the office door. A recent Regus study found that flexible working is set to contribute over $10 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Greater levels of flexible working will save businesses money, reduce operating costs and boost productivity – ultimately causing a ripple effect across the economy from core businesses through to supply chains. It’s hugely exciting to consider the ways our society could benefit as a result of increased flexible working – especially as the growth projections to 2030 show just how important it will be in the decades to come.

Everything about our network is designed to help our customers control their costs, improve productivity and make their lives easier. At the heart of this approach are our apps, streamlining and simplifying every contact. In addition, our commitment to providing a world-class digital infrastructure underpins our customers’ ability to work exactly as they want across the world, using our 60 million Wi-Fi hotspots and thousands of business lounges to be as productive as they possibly can be. With 24/7 customer service and a dedicated account manager supporting every contract, our customers can focus on what really matters to their business.

What are the USPs of this model?
There are numerous benefits of working from a co-working space, be it for an entrepreneur or a big organization. The flexibility and convenience provided helps professionals to collaborate and expand which cannot be done at a traditional office set-up. Start-ups get the opportunity to work in a fully equipped office without worrying about the costs of setting up an actual office. They can scale-up and down as and when required. Such a set-up is great for networking and building contacts and sharing ideas and knowledge. As for big businesses, they benefit from offering their employees flexibility. Often, traditional office spaces can be quite introverted by nature.

They have people working super hard, and it can be a challenge to find the right mechanism to ensure people get away from their screens or R&D labs, speak to other people, interact face to face and have the sorts of conversations that can spark great ideas. In a flexible workspace built on collaboration, this effect is amplified – because people are speaking to fellow workers not simply from within their own business, but more widely. This is a key benefit recognized by businesses and one of the main reasons why they are exploring flexible workspace strategies.

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