5 tips on choosing new-age offices / coworking spaces

Neetish Sarda Founder, Smartworks

In your lifetime, you will spend 13 years and 2 months at work! That is 4821 days in total! Would you really want your employees or yourself to spend a major chunk of their lives caged in dreary cubicles?

Think Dilbert. Did he and his colleagues seem happy? Were they productive? Did they foster innovation? The answer is definitely not! This is exactly what Scott Adams wanted to throw spotlight on when he created the notorious, dark and unfortunately relatable comic strip.

The good news is that today there are ready-made office solutions available for enterprises thinking of making the much-needed jump from traditional offices to new-age co-working spaces.

These workspaces are a far cry from Dilbert’s dark and depressing offices. Today’s co-working offices are lively and thriving with immense focus on employee well-being, productivity and growth.

The bad news is that not all co-working spaces are the same. So what are the few things that need to be high up on your checklist when you choose your cool, new co-working office?

Ask yourself these 5 questions and if the answer is in the affirmative, your search ends there.

  • Is the workplace built to enhance productivity?

An idyllic workspace has a direct co-relation with productivity. Look for a co-working space that improves employee engagement through its design and work culture. Studies show that exposing employees to a workspace that provides flexibility, transparency, recognition, etc. enhances productivity and creates more value for the business. No wonder giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. are proactively using new-age upcoming co-working spaces to boost productivity of their employees.

According to global research by Deskmag and Deskwanted, in a coworking space 74% of coworkers are more productive, 86% have a larger business network, 93% have a bigger social network, and over 66% feel more creative and collaborate more on projects. If this is not reason enough to move to a co-working space, we don’t know what is!

  • Does it encourage creativity and innovation?

Creativity and innovation demand a conducive and healthy environment. A new-age office should create a suitable environment where people are given the liberty to work in a way that appeals to them. Select a co-working space that allows your talent to be the best version of themselves so they can come up with the next big idea. An ideal co-working space should offer a calming atmosphere with the usage of the right colours, materials, lights and textures. It should allow employees to choose and control their own sensory stimulations so they can put their best creative foot forward.

  • Does it promote happiness?

Employee happiness is not given its due credit. The impact of employee happiness on business is tremendous as happy employees make for successful businesses. Choose a co-working space designed to boost authenticity and individuality. An office that lets employees be themselves, while taking care of their unique needs. Your office should help employees thrive at work and beyond. Look for an informal set-up that helps employees connect, rather than being restricted. Your new-age office should also cover employee wellbeing with facilities such as gyms, crèches, meditation rooms, well-stocked pantry, entertainment room, and more.

  • Is it bringing nature to the concrete jungle?

People in metros are starved to see green lush trees, beautiful flowing water and being in the lap of Mother Nature. Pick a co-working space that brings nature to employees right within the office environment. The new office should incorporate plants, water elements, bamboos, non-toxic paint, etc. Go for a co-working space with a purpose – a green and sustainable building that is powered by solar energy, focusses on zero waste, recycling, and more. It will help employees feel they are doing their bit and contributing to building a better world. Working in a mindful space also helps employees engage and work better.

  • Does the design focus on collaboration?

Community, collaboration, connection is essential for growth of employees and growth of the company. Choose a new-age office that is designed in such a way that people can connect and share ideas in a setting that seems natural and relaxed. The work stations, meeting rooms should help increase engagement without creating disturbance. Pick an office that has collaborative spaces and brainstorming corners with comfortable sofas, benches, loungers, bean bags, etc. to create a comfortable and welcoming work environment.

Last words

An ideal office space goes a long way in keeping employees happy, becoming the office of choice to attract the best talent, retaining employees and boosting company growth. If you haven’t thought about moving your enterprise or startup to a burgeoning co-working space yet, it is time to get moving. You wouldn’t want to stay behind competition after all, would you?

The author is the founder of Smartworks