In just 18 months since its launch, coworking space provider WorkEZ has taken pole position in the Chennai market. The company leased an additional 1.3 square feet of office space in addition to its existing 2.75 lakh square foot shared workspace portfolio, bringing its cumulative shared workspace portfolio to over 4 lakh square feet and 8,500 seats in three micro-markets.
“Our 8,500 seats in Chennai give us a good market share. As a result, we reach around 30% of the Chennai managed office space market, ”said Prathap Murali, CEO, WorkEZ. “We welcome clients looking to personalize their space and are totally light on capital and operational expenses,” he added.
To put the numbers in perspective, WorkEZ’s 8,500 seats place SmartWorks (6,274) in second place and Workafella (3,100 seats in rented workspaces) in third. WorkEZ also reported an average occupancy of 93 percent at its centers at Anna Salai, Guindy and Old Mahabalipuram Road.
“Most of our clients are enterprising clients and we personalize the space,” said Prathap, adding that “around 10-15% of our clients are freelancers and short-term designers. Our average lock-in period is around three to four years.
The company is also preparing an expansion plan, hoping to gain a foothold in Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Cochin and Hyderabad within the next six to eight months.
“In Hyderabad, we are looking at places like Hitec city; in Bangalore we will be looking at Outer Ring Road, CBD and Koramangala, ”said Prathap.
“We can go up to 2 to 2.5 lakh square feet in each city, we hope to start with about 1 lakh square feet in each of those cities.”
“Coworking spaces are getting better since COVID-19”
Despite concerns at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the shared workspace market fared rather well in the months that followed.
While initial projections believed coworking spaces would eventually become unnecessary or see less demand with a focus on social distancing and staying at home, real estate experts say the work-from-home boom has in fact gave flexible workspaces and coworking a shot in the arm.
“Contrary to my initial thought, a number of potential tenants, instead of centralizing their workspace in one place, are now looking to decentralize it,” said Anuj Puri, Founder and President of Anarock.
“For example, a large company in Bengaluru recently stated that they wanted 15 lakh square feet as head office space, which is centralized, while they chose to have one lakh square foot in 10 different locations that were close by. employees’ homes, “he said. added: “These 10 lakh square feet are taken in flexible workspaces.”
It is precisely because of this decentralization, Puri says, that flexible workspaces are expected to perform extremely well in the coming months.
Most experts also predict that coworking spaces in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities will perform better than before due to the large percentage of the workforce that has returned to small towns to work from home – the potential occupants of coworking spaces in a new decentralized model.
(Edited by : Yashi Gupta)