Youth catching up with ‘co-working’ culture in India

Youth catching up with ‘co-working’ culture

If you happen to be a coffee-shop frequenter, you might well be used to finding people sitting alone on tables; either immersed in their notes or hooked to their laptops. In general, these individuals are freelancers, work-at-home professionals or people whose work schedules require them to travel often, resulting in relative isolation. However, there has been a sharp decline in the number of such solo-occupancies at tables in eateries over the recent past; a development which can largely be attributed to the rapidly budding phenomenon of co-working spaces. After being a success in several major cities across the country, the idea has now found its way into Nagpur too. We take a look at how the city reacts to this new working concept.


City getting accustomed
In layman terms, this is a style of functioning that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office atmosphere, those who are co-working are usually not employed by the same organization. "Co-working spaces are essentially flexible working areas. They help start-ups, entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers access all workspace amenities without having to incur fixed costs," further simplified Shailesh Deshpande, the owner of the first such facility in the Second Capital. Within the first few weeks since its inception, the office has attracted around half-a-dozen young professionals from different backgrounds, indicating the city's quickly growing acclimatisation of this new working culture.

Building a community
As more young professionals are tending to set up their own start-ups, the initial days are rather spent in solitude. But co-working is not only helping them deal with this isolation but also making them feel a part of a community with its own culture. "Being a solo-founder, I hardly had any human interaction earlier apart from the handful of interns who I used to meet twice or thrice a week. So co-working helps deal with the resulting detraction along with which, you also feel a part of a working culture without being in a proper office," said Abhijeet Khandagale, who operates his IT start-up from the co-working space. Adding to this, Jayesh Bagde, who owns a Nagpur-based e-commerce website, said, "Despite early days into this working style, we try to catch up with our co-workers for knowledge-sharing and exchanging ideas. Feeling comfortable in one another's presence makes it easier."

Gateway to easy networking
Working with individuals from diverse spheres of life in the same space has been another attraction for young professionals. Anup Wadodkar, who uses the space to work as a freelance content writer, supported, "Belonging from the industry that I do, networking and meeting new people is an important aspect of my work. So instead of working alone from home or coffee-shops, why not be a part of a co-working space that offers you the chance to come across interesting professionals under one roof and build relevant contacts." To this, Shailesh added, "Say, if you have an IT start-up in a co-working space and a person running a digital marketing firm works in the same space, you can seek mutual benefit without any trouble."

Co-working trivia*
– Concept originated in USA
– Over 2,00,000 users worldwide
– Majority of people in 20s or 30s
– Over one-third are women
– CWSs doubling every year since
2006 *stats from a survey

MIHAN been there
Although the city has recently been introduced to the concept of co-working spaces, the Multi- Modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) has been providing such a facility since 2010, but only exclusively. "We have a central facility building which can accommodate upto 1,50,000 people. However, its usage is restricted to just the export companies within our project, who don't have a proper office but want to start operations immediately," said Atul Thakare, MIHAN's marketing manager.

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20 Hot Coworking Spaces for Business

*** Originally posted on Small Business Trends by Annie Pilon (01/10/2015)

Working remotely doesn’t have to mean being cooped up in your house or apartment. Now there are spaces where remote workers and tech startups can get office space or just share a communal work area with others just like them.Coworking spaces like WeWork have even made the news recently scoring big cash investments.

Robert Conrad, partner in another such venture, Co-Merge Workspace, explains to UT San Diego why coworking is the future:

“One, technology enables it. With all that technology offers, beyond face-to-face interaction there’s no reason to have an office. It’s much more effective to have people work wherever is most productive for them. Two, there’s a lot of value in this to big companies. It can reduce the real estate costs, and they’re more likely to retain talent if they allow employees to be more flexible about where they work.”

Here’s a list of 20 hot coworking spaces currently making news, perhaps one in a city near you;


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

This New York based startup rents office space to entrepreneurs around the world.WeWork’s business model essentially pairs office space with the technology that it takes to run a business. After a recent round of funding, the company is now valued at $5 billion, making it one of the biggest players in the coworking industry.


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

With nine locations throughout the country, primarily in California, NextSpace is one of the fastest growing coworking organizations around. Membership varies at each location, but most offer options ranging from day passes with mailbox access to full-time offices.


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

This coworking space in the heart of Boston offers a professional office setting with a vibrant community of entrepreneurs. Monthly plans range from $99 for conference space and a few other amenities to more than $1,450 for private office space.


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Enerspace offers coworking memberships in Chicago and Palo Alto, California. Members can choose between full-time and part-time, coworking and private offices, as well as other offerings. They also have access to special member events like demo days, classes and networking lunches.


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

This Sacramento-based coworking space features membership for entrepreneurs and makers. Mentorship programs, networking and industry events are aimed at students, professionals and hobbyists, mainly in design and creative fields.

Posh Coworking

coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Posh Coworking is a coworking community created specifically for women entrepreneurs. Located in Austin, Texas, membership at Posh comes in various levels, which come with different annual prices and benefits. The space also offers various networking events for women throughout the year.

The Hive @ 44

coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

The Hive @ 44 is a coworking center in St. Louis, Missouri that focuses on community building. Member amenities include meeting rooms, mail service, a photo and video studio, legal services and more. Cost ranges from $15 for a one-day pass to $575 and up for a private suite.


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs and freelancers in Hawaii also have access to coworking space withBoxJelly. Members can book a dedicated workspace, attend or host meetings and events, or even just use it as a place to receive business mail. Mail membership starts at $50 per month and dedicated desk spaces can range up to $349 per month.


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Blankspaces offers three coworking locations in Southern California where entrepreneurs, freelancers and other creatives can gather or work privately. Full-time membership starts at $350 per month. But there are also part-time options for those who want to just drop by once in awhile.



This Washington D.C. based startup incubator aims to connect startups with the resources they need to succeed, from mentorships to capital. Mainly focused on sectors like education, energy, health and cities, 1776 accepts startup applicants and hosts events at its campus just a few blocks away from the White House.

Collective Agency

coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Collective Agency in Portland, Oregon offers a cozy environment for anyone in the area who would rather work alongside others than at home by themselves. Membership ranges from $250 per month to $375 per month and includes amenities such as Wi-Fi, coffee, conference rooms, bike parking and more.

Tahoe Mountain Lab

coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Located in the mountains of South Lake Tahoe, California, this coworking space offers both shared and private office space outfitted with the necessary technology for entrepreneurs and freelancers. The space has a variety of different plans to fit different needs, from a one-day pass for $25 to full-time, private offices for over $500 per month.

Design Spaces

coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Design Spaces is a community focused coworking space in the heart of Silicon Valley. It aims to provide an office environment to foster collaboration and cooperation between entrepreneurs and other remote workers. Coworking membership starts at $250 per month and includes shared workspaces, conference rooms and other amenities.

Spark Labs

coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

This co-working space also offers support and consulting services for entrepreneurs in the media and tech industries. With locations in both New York City and Paris, Spark Labs also has partnerships with other incubators and accelerators around the world to enable its members in different markets.

Venture X

coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Venture X is a coworking space in Naples, Florida. Members can rent office space starting at $249 per month or rent meeting rooms or virtual office services.

Game CoLab

coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Located in Tempe, Arizona, this incubator focuses specifically on the gaming industry. Its aim is to educate people about games and gamers about business, while also acting as an advocate for the gaming community.


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

With multiple locations in Denver, Colorado, Thrive offers everything from part-time lounge space to meeting rooms and offices. Part-time membership starts at $199 per month. Thrive also hosts various events for entrepreneurs in the Denver community.


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

Venturef0rth offers 10,000 square feet of coworking space in Philadelphia. The space is a mix of private offices and common areas for entrepreneurs to meet and collaborate. And this coworking space doesn’t keep regular office hours, so its amenities are available to members 24/7.


coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

This coworking space offers a place for entrepreneurs to work and collaborate along with other acceleration services like virtual reception and member events.Thinkspace has two coworking spaces located in Seattle and Redmond, Washington, with more than 300 companies in its community.

HQ Raleigh

coworking spaces for entrepreneurs

This coworking space in Raleigh, North Carolina offers a variety of different options for local entrepreneurs. Coworking membership starts at $125 per month and includes workspace, meeting space, and various other office benefits. And community membership starts at $300 per year and includes access to the group’s network of entrepreneurs and various other benefits.

Top 10 Problems of Working at Home


Working at home was a huge trend. However, a business at home is not without problems. Here is a list of the top ten conflicts that you might experience while working at home:

1. Separating work and family life.

Start-up home based entrepreneurs find that the main advantage of a work-at-home business – to be near family – can be a disadvantage as well. Daily household routine can be a source of distraction for your business. Instead of answering emails, for example, you feel compelled to do the laundry.

If you have kids, then your work-at-home life becomes even more exciting. Try closing an important deal over the phone with your customer while your one-year old child cries his heart out – in your home office!

Given the fact that your two roles are under one roof – being a wife, for example, and being a businessperson – expect to experience difficulties in juggling the demands of both home and business.

2. Not enough space.


The setting-up of a home office is less of a problem if your house is big enough to offer extra space. However, space becomes
a concern if you are living in a closed quarters, such as an apartment with hardly any room to spare. While you can make do with a makeshift office in a quiet corner of your hallway, the ideal office space is one that provides you with privacy and protection for your equipment and files.

3. Not being taken seriously.

The common concern of most home based business owners is whether their clients will consider their business a substantial one. Since home businesses are often regarded as “little hobbies,” their professional image and credibility normally suffers. Worse, they are not taken seriously! Home business owners should therefore project a professional business image.

4. Cannot do any work.

You start a home business, supposedly to be able to work from home — only to find that you cannot work from home! One reality home-based entrepreneurs are faced with is the fact that it is not easy to work from home. Others especially those who’ve never tried it may think that working from home is a piece of cake. But many entrepreneurs are finding that it takes a strong commitment, creativity in juggling various roles and tasks, and willingness to work beyond normal working hours to be able to successfully work from home.

The home is a fertile ground for interruptions. Your family and kids may demand your attention, your neighbors could drop in for a chat, housework that needs doing, dogs barking, even the daytime soap operas! Working at home is especially tough if you have a baby or very small children who demand your full and complete attention. Or you simply are not used to the isolation and freedom working from home brings that you think you need to take a course first on time management to be able to work effectively from your home.

5. Lack of privacy.

Unless you are living on your own or have your own private home office, privacy can be a concern. Imagine that your office is near the family room, for example, and guests drop by and loiter near your work area. Your documents, work and even files can be fair game to everyone!

6. Strain on family relationships.

Be sure that your family understands what it takes to operate a home business. Talk to your husband or wife and ask for their support, and explain to the children your need to be given time to work for the business. Some members of your family may resent the fact that while you stay in the house the whole day; your attention is not focused on them. However, be sure also to know when to stop working for your business and start living as part of the family.

7. Working too much.

When working at home, the line between work and family sometimes crosses. There is always the temptation to work long hours that may be difficult to resist, like checking and answering emails after dinnertime. Instead of spending quality time with the rest of the family, a home based businessperson sometimes fall into the trap of being consumed with work. They do not know when to stop.

8. Feeling isolated.

With no co-employees or bosses hovering in your workplace, the start-up home businessperson often finds it difficult to adjust in a solitary work environment. Suddenly, the whole work has become so quiet – no more exchanging weekend stories in the pantry, or exchanging jokes near the coffee machine. The isolation feels more intense for those who are adjusting from a corporate white-collar job to a home business and for those who are social in nature.

9. Self-discipline or self-management.

Your productivity as a home-based worker may go up or down, depending on your self-discipline. Working on your own business at home means that you are boss – there are no codes of conduct to follow, no weekly performance reports to keep you in tow, and no formal office routine. Others find that they are spending way too much time watching television, or they are having a hard time getting out of bed. If you fail to maintain a certain level of discipline, compounded by ineffective time management, it will be hard to accomplish your goals.

10. Zoning, home and condominium association regulations.

Before you finalize your plans for starting your home business, be sure to know the rules and regulations that govern your circumstances. If you live in an apartment or condominium, check with the management the level of business activity that they can tolerate. Your landlord may not allow you to receive too many visitors or the frequent comings-and-goings of delivery trucks may not be acceptable. If you are thinking of starting a catering business, for example, some states do not allow the establishment of a commercial kitchen in a residential area. It is better to be aware of the restrictions governing your business at the very start of your business.

*** originally posted on PowerHomeBiz (

Top 10 Small Business Trends for 2015

The ongoing technology platform shifts to Cloud and Mobile Computing will continue as long term drivers of change in 2015. While each is important and powerful on its own – and both have been listed individually multiple times in our top 10 lists from prior years – their growing convergence is amplifying their impact and fundamentally altering how business is done.

1.  Cloud Automation tools are simplifying a wide range of traditional small business applications such as accounting, payroll, inventory management, HR and benefits administration, etc.  Cloud tools from companies like Zenefits (HR administration), Intuit (QuickBooks Online), Nimble (CRM) and others are not only simplifying business processes; they’re allowing workflows to be reimagined and reengineered – saving time and money and creating new ways of working.

2. Ambient Proximity: OK, I admit this is on the list because it’s such a cool buzzword. Ambient proximity refers to the ability of smartphones to interact seamlessly and autonomously with their surroundings thanks to the growing deployment of “Beacons”. These inexpensive devices use Bluetooth to automatically push information back and forth between themselves and nearby computers (usually smartphones). Already in use by Apple and other major retailers, Beacons are being used for applications such as in-store customer service notifications, special upgrade offers and personalized marketing messages.

 3. 3D Printing:  Despite being one of the most hyped technologies of the past few years, we’ve resisted adding 3D printing to our top 10 lists due to technical shortcomings – until now. Improved hardware, cheaper and better performing input materials and the emergence of 3D printing service providers are turning 3D printing into an increasingly viable small business prototyping tool and, in certain situations, small batch manufacturing platform.

4. Security and Privacy:  Due to a series of high profile cyber security breaches (Target, Sony, etc.) consumers and business customers have become much more concerned about information and data security and privacy. Add to this a growing wave of cybercrime – which is increasingly targeted at small business through the use of automated online bots – and 2015 looks like a year when online security and privacy will be major small business issues.

2015 Economic Trends

Despite signs of a global slowdown, our 2015 U.S. economic outlook is for continued solid if moderate growth with U.S. GDP increasing in the 2.75% to 3% range.

5. Energy: Oil prices have fallen from over $100 per barrel in July to about $57 dollars today. This rapid decline will be felt across the economy – in both good and bad ways – in 2015. The major positive is, of course, lower energy bills. But there is a negative side to declining oil prices. The U.S. energy sector has been one of the strongest sources of recent economic growth, creating both direct and indirect market opportunities for many small businesses. These firms will be hurt as the energy industry cuts back due to lower prices. While the net economic effects of declining oil prices are positive, small businesses need to evaluate the impact of lower prices to see if they are energy winners or losers.

6. Crowdfunding Moves Towards the Mainstream:  Crowdfunding is not a new trend, but until recently few small businesses used this method to finance their business. This is rapidly changing as growing numbers of firms successfully raise money via crowdfunding platforms. 2015 will see this growth continue and will also see equity crowdfunding start to gain traction. While legislation allowing this form of equity financing remains stalled at a national level, about a dozen states now allow equity crowdfunding. Small businesses in these states will start to take advantage of this option in 2015.

7. The Shift from Jobs to Gigs:  Instead of traditional job identities, workers are increasingly relying on a portfolio of talents, skills and occupations to create multiple streams of income via a mix of traditional jobs, independent work and/or part-time gigs.  These portfolios of gigs may or may not map with one particular career path and are driven by the need to earn income, uncertainty due to a lack of job security and the desire to work in meaningful and/or interesting ways.

8. Corporate HR Departments Wake Up about the Contingent Workforce:  Long viewed by corporate HR departments as a way to save money, the independent workforce (freelancers, contractors, independent consultants, etc.) is increasingly being seen as a strategic resource. Corporations large and small are turning to independent workers to increase workforce agility and flexibility, provide specialized and/or hard to find talent and even add competitive advantage. This shift is leading to the increased use of independent workers, providing more opportunities for the growing numbers of people pursuing this path.

2015 Social Trends

Economic uncertainty and a lack of job stability are leading to social shifts and changes in consumer behavior.

9.  The Lean Years: Coined by Millennial blogger Melina Coogan, "The Lean Years" describes the angst felt by this generation (and many of those who are older) due to a  lack of personal economic stability caused by slow growth, stagnant wages and declining job security. The resulting uncertainty is leading people to avoid long term or major commitments, both in their personal lives and as consumers. The impacts of “Lean Years” thinking include (but aren't limited to) lower marriage rates, birth rates, and home ownership rates and a resistance to large purchases of all kinds. "Lean Years” thinking will continue in 2015 and small businesses need to evaluate its impact on their firms.

10. Just in Time Learning: Long touted as the next big thing,low-cost yet highly professional on and offline short, specialized training courses and programs are finally starting to deliver on their promise of improved business education.  The hugely successful programming camps – 8-10 week immersive courses that teach programming skills – show that even complex topics can be taught relatively quickly and in a just in time manner.  These types of programs provide small business the ability to adapt and adjust to changing business conditions.  They also provide independent workers (and others) a way to upgrade their skill and/or learn new ones.

*** originally posted on (