By Vaishali Dar
A co-working office space can be good place to meet new people. It helps one understand how other people are working and building businesses. The idea of a flexible workspace solution for companies in all stages of growth—from solopreneurs to start-ups, small businesses and large corporations—co-working spaces have brought in a wave of fresh creativity. Through dynamic changes, fluid work spaces and an opportunity for the professionals to interact, engage and grow together, co-working has broadened the definition of community-building and networking.
For a country that is inclined towards community-love, it is surprising that Indian work spaces are quite restrictive when it comes to networking, especially if you are an independent professional. “Co-working spaces have taken the Indian market by storm, especially in the last couple of years. While the concept has been around for far longer, Indian market has only just woken up to the umpteen benefits that this work space model brings. The traditional route has been in place in the workplace context for as long as one can remember. With a limited professional circle and less networking practices and isolated way of working—Indian work spaces seemed to have reached a plateau. Until co-working spaces spread their wings,” says Pranay Gupta, co-founder of 91springboard, whose co-working community consists of nearly 9,000 members and over 3,000 teams ranging from tech start-ups, business entrepreneurs, medium and small enterprises, freelance professionals and international digital nomads.
Ceasing all boundaries, co-working spaces have created a space where independent professionals, as well as large corporations, can work together towards achieving a common goal. Functioning as a platform which brings together people from different industries, co-working spaces give you instant solutions to perennial problems. “If you are a creative agency that is unable to manage logistics or a logistics company struggling to understand tax laws—there is someone at the next table who will be willing to collaborate for mutual benefit,” adds Gupta.
Understanding the importance of networking, co-working managements have devised virtual platforms which bring all their members together. Encouraging cross-functional operations through events, get-togethers, skill workshops and regular conferences—co-working spaces are the ideal set-ups if you are an established brand or a growing business or even a freelancer looking for collaborations.
Team up for events
Freelancers, remote and independent workers collaborate on many occasions for a community event that attracts people to your space. Something like a ‘demo day’ which is appropriate for start-ups and individuals to demonstrate what they’re working on and get feedback from the rest of the community can work best in a co-working setup. Even better, one can host a panel discussion on hot topics like how to get financing or how to scale up businesses, etc. There is a growing trend of having weekly morning breakfasts with your local technology community or inviting a local venture capitalist to talk about funding as well.
Besides, most co-working spaces organise weekly luncheons that encourage meeting or viewing presentations or simply talking about a pressing issue. Workshops for members, early morning runs or yoga, wine and work sessions in a nearby café, tech talks or hackathons are a few other examples of networking events held in a co-working space. For instance, investors are invited for an elevator pitch where they understand how start-ups can impress them with their ideas. They interact with like-minded entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors and build a network that makes a start-up dream a reality.
Take the case of Famous Studios. Set up in 1946, Famous Studios has given dreams a voice and provided a canvas for artists to create stellar content in the world of Indian cinema and television since pre-independence India. Recently, the studio launched its Famous Working Company, a co-working space where creative people can access an entire spectrum of services that cater to their art. From shooting stages, in-house motion capture facility to getting access to the Phantom flex lab, ready-to-shoot sets and a high-end editing suite, this co-working offers new services apart from access to concerts, events and meets at the venue.
“We have maintained a strong focus towards introducing innovative technologies, learning and development in order to add new age relevance to offerings at Famous Studios. We have introduced new service offerings at the studio—visual engineering, motion capture technology as well as India’s second largest Dolby Atmos at home mixing facility for the OTT original content space. We are also working towards expanding our creative studios and visual effects facilities. All this will help individuals from media and tech industry to grow, create and succeed,” says Anant Roongta, founder-director of Famous Working Company.
Hence, co-working spaces offer the best of formal and informal social interactions with ample options in terms of place, hospitality, service and human interaction, maybe, a few of the many reasons why people want to come to work!