As work from home fatigue kicks in and people slowly become accustomed to the new normal, coworking is gaining fresh favor.
In India, flexible offices such as Karya Spaces in Nungambakkam saw a sudden reduction in clients and new enquiries at the start of lockdown — but they are now seeing an uptick in demand. In May, they received nearly 100 enquiries to rent desks from July onward.
Arjjun Chander, founder of Karya Spaces, said: “Of the people who are looking to join in July, one section sees new opportunities in coworking. Looking to cut down costs, they have changed their plans of getting their own office (for which they would have to pay a hefty deposit, and would be locked in) and are using our spaces instead.”
Arjjun believes that the need for real-life interaction of colleagues is driving this change. “It is only when you meet that you can creatively inspire each other. The importance of offices will never come down,” he says.
Vaidhyaraman S, co-founder of Chennai-based IT startup Engauge, which caters to hotels and restaurants, has a coworking membership. And while he is currently reluctant to return to the office, he plans to move to a larger space “once everything settles”.
“An employee of mine works from home in Kerala. He’s a really good resource. But there are days when he isn’t motivated to work. That can happen when you are working alone. In an office or a coworking setup, there’s more social connection and interaction, which can improve your work,” says Vaidhyaraman.