The typical depiction of office spaces in Bollywood films of the 80s comprised long lines of desks, whirring and squeaking fans, a barrage of files and hunched workers stealing glances at the hero writing poetry on government papers. The early 2000s saw computers and modern workstations come in, while today, the hero is seen working on a swanky laptop while lazing around on the white sands of Seychelles. He still writes poetry while working, however, the point being made here is – office spaces have, over the years, changed a lot.
With the internet being available on the move, mobile phones being used for constant communication, and storage moving from the four walls of the office to the cloud, the entire dynamics of an office has altered. But, while technology has brought in mobility and ease of access, the physical infrastructure of the office has not changed much. A majority of the offices are still restrictive spaces, and architects, designers or decorators are just about warming up to the idea of revolutionizing the design concepts of a traditional workspace.
There is, however, one force that is leading the transformation in the idea of co-working spaces. The concept of co-working, serviced offices or business centers all represent a similar idea-that of a one-stop destination which is equipped with all the resources that can help multiple organizations run their businesses efficiently without having to bear the costs of a dedicated individual office space.
One of the biggest advantages of a business centre is that by managing the entire ambit of resources and utilities -including electricity, maintenance, service staff, accounting, etc., it allows executives to focus on the core aspects of their business. Furthermore, such spaces offer many networking and business information exchange opportunities, thereby enriching the organizations by letting diverse entrepreneurs interact and engage with each other.
Business centres have also led to a content and highly productive workforce. Such spaces, being completely connected with technology such as cloud computing for easy data storage and access, allow employees to do the work without having to travel a great distance to the office. Progressively, the 3 hours on an average a professional wastes in commuting will not be required anymore and the entire work can be done from these spaces.
The design of recently launched co-working spaceshas been observed to focus on having more break-out areas and open spaces with easy accessibility to vending machines etc. This takes out the ‘tiring’, ‘restrictive’, ‘boring’ factors from work and makes it light, engaging, healthy and highly productive. In fact, these spaces are being designed to incorporate open-air theaters, play-zones as well as lawns to create a productive ecosystem which pays close attention to the well-being of the workers as it does to the quality of work.
Evolution of workspaces
With devices getting smaller and Google hangouts or Skype replacing the traditional way of conducting meetings and brain-storming sessions, workspaces and meeting rooms will undoubtedly become far more concise. Interactive work-desks that manage the daily schedule of the employee and allow her/him to carry out tasks such as ordering coffee at the click of a button will become popular.
Office spaces will be incorporated in the Internet of Things circuit and the personal devices of employees will become a part of the grid. This will bring in the need for massive data security steps and providing digital security will be one of the prime areas where co-working spaces would need to focus in the future.
One of the biggest changes that can be forecasted is the fact that co-working spaces would be strategically established. For instance, organizations will create pools of employees who live near each other and then link with a co-working space located at a destination where these employees can easily reach and work. Numerous such co-working spaces would be required to cater to the clusters of employees. These places will be equipped with allied facilities such as day-care, fitness centers, sports and entertainment facilities as well.
The concept of business centres and co-working spaces is on the brink of bringing a revolution in the archaic workspace culture in India. Poised at the threshold of work and play, these spaces will ensure employees miss neither, and meet the deadlines as well!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication