2019 was when the co-working space scene really began to fire up. In 2020 more and more companies are opting to work out of such spaces than renting out offices for themselves. Robin Chhabra, founder and CEO of Dextrus, explains why more independent professionals and start-ups are opting for co-working spaces rather than traditional offices in India.
1. Your lease terms are a lot more flexible
When you’re launching a new business, you don’t always want to take in large fixed costs. You may not know exactly how many employees you’ll likely need in the coming months or how much your business will grow, Chhabra says. Getting into traditional office space means you’re locking your money for a fixed office space which may or may not always work in your favour. In a co-working space such as Dextrus all you do is sign service agreements that are flexible in the sense that should your business be on the right track you can easily scale up the number of desks you need. If you’re an independent professional, you may not necessarily want to use a desk space every day because you’ll be away on meetings on some days. In such a case, Chhabra says, there are membership plans that enable you to pay for only the amount of time you use that space.
2. It’s easier to design your own space
When you rent an empty shell, you have to start designing your office space from the scratch. In a co-working space, you start off from a different point. Since Chhabra himself is an architect, he’s added several design elements that increase the flexibility between rooms. So, if you’ve hired a space for, say, 16 people like one of his clients did but want to reduce it to ten desks facing a certain direction, there’s a good chance Chhabra’s design philosophy can accommodate your requests. Simple sound-proof partitions make it easy to reduce or increase your office space in Dextrus. “When we open our new facility in Lower Parel, we’re dedicating one half of that property to managed office spaces and continue running the other half on a co-working model.”
3. You can start working from day one
Unlike a traditional office space, you don’t have to go through the hassles of, say, sourcing a desk and a chair, setting up the internet and air-conditioning or trying to find a housekeeping service to maintain basic level of hygiene in your office. Dextrus goes a step ahead by offering VPNs, server space and dedicated internet lines so, really, you cans tart working on the very first day you walk through the door.
4. You’re part of a community
Working as an independent professional can be a lonely task. You report into a remote office and don’t often know who your colleagues are. In such a situation, it helps to be part of a vibrant space that gives you a sense of being part of a community. “At Dextrus, we try and host initiatives as diverse as tea sessions with Tea Trunk or a Diwali lunch with Thangabali. We’ve also hosted talks by P Sainath and women’s entrepreneurship seminars that help our clients get together either over a meal or a common shared purpose,” Chhabra says. “For smaller companies that don’t have a human resources department or independent professionals who work remotely, this goes a long way.”
5. It helps you network
It isn’t unusual for an independent professional to find new business when they’re working out of a co-working space because there’s always someone looking to collaborate with or hire new talent. Dextrus sees itself more as a solution provider than just a co-working space by bringing business services to its clients and is looking to empanel service providers. So whether you’re a lawyer or a social media professional, there is always a possibility that you won’t just be a client of Dextrus but you could also find new business at the co-working space or find a client in Dextrus itself.