Business Centres and Coworking Spaces: – Are they synonymous?  Are they competing against each other? Do they cater to the same clients? Which one do I choose and why? The questions have been puzzling the clientele for these office solutions since quite some time. The reasons are obvious – both these terms are used for real estate solutions which coexist for professionals, start-ups and SMEs who do not wish to invest in independent offices due to logistics, cost constraints or size of operations.

Kowrk.com endeavours to lift the curtain from some of the differentiating points between these two viable shared workspaces.

History and Price Difference

Luxurious business centres like Regus set shop approximately 12 years ago in 2003-2004 and by 2005 were charging approximately Rs.1 lakh for 2 people. Coworking, on the other hand, is a relatively new phenomenon. It entered India (Delhi) in 2010 with the first coworking space “Moonlighting” which opened its doors to anybody and everybody at a mere Rs.5000 per month for a desk.

Apart from being way cheaper than business centres, modern coworking spaces offer pricing in many flavours like flexi-desk, meeting room, dedicated desk on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to suit one’s budget , requirement and working style. Business centres typically offer monthly pricing plans along with more savvy services like access to secretarial services such as a receptionist to answer and handle calls.

To surmise: Starting Small?  – Save some money for those unexpected twists and turns in your venture – Adopt Coworking; Have money, Can spend? – Flaunt the swanky Business Centre address on your business card and impress your clients in a professional environment.

The Vibe and The Presence

Coworking spaces offer a collaborative atmosphere wherein you get to interact with a community of people from a myriad of backgrounds. This ensures that there is no dearth of ideas, inspiration, advice and electric energy. In the initial stages, every new business needs this kind of mentoring and motivation.  Alternately, Business Centres like Regus, Vatika etc. offer a professional setup for established businesses, large corporates, mature startups and SMEs in the form of satellite offices. It is more of a desk and a chair for rent with meeting rooms, secretarial services and internet connectivity.

Coworking industry, being in the nascent stage and dominated by private players, most coworking spaces are present within one city. Business Centres, on the other hand, are well established spaces with state of the art infrastructure and usually have a multi-city presence. This creates a familiar work-environment for the user across different locations facilitating a seamless transition from one city to another. In India, iKeve and iShareSpace are two successful business centres that are present across multiple cities.

To surmise: Looking for connectedness and networking in a testing the waters stage – opt for a Coworking Space; A private enterprise who needs the privacy with the option of hassle free, multi city work-environment invest in a Business Centre.

USP

Coworking Spaces facilitate a casual and relaxed environment for some seriously creative work. It is a melting pot of ideas, strategies and game plans to innovate and succeed. Certain specialised coworking spaces encourage crafters, artists, hardware enthusiasts etc. to collaborate in a hassle free atmosphere by providing them specialised equipment, resources and various tools of their trade under one roof. The location of a coworking venue is often based on ease of commuting, connectivity, nearness to eating joints and other such conveniences.

A Business Centre, on the other hand, provides luxurious office space at a coveted address for the seasoned players and large corporates which is often revered as a mark of success and helps in brand building, brand recognition and brand visibility. The idea is to create awe and respect in the eyes of the vendors, clients and other stakeholders.

To surmise – Coworking spaces equate to cool, casual, collaborative; Business Centers equate to the black tie affairs which are impressive, imposing and serve to create an identity for an enterprise.

We can easily concur that business centres and coworking spaces cater to a common market segment. But that segment is highly differentiated. Differentiated to the level of an individual. It all comes down to whether you are a person or small group of people who have decided to ditch their respective living rooms or an established player who wants to build a brand at a reputed address. The former are ideal candidates for a coworking space and the latter almost always tread towards a Business Centre

We cannot end without mentioning that hybridization is the latest trend to hit the shared workspace market. Many business centres are offering trimmed down plans for their fees and facilities to allure the customers for coworking spaces. Either way, the tides are turning in the favour of shared workplaces and consumers have a reason to grin ear to ear as they are certainly spoilt for choice.

Go ahead and choose the option best suited for your needs and keep returning to our blog for well researched insights and relevant answers to your questions

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