Co-working spaces burn the midnight oil
Companies like GoWork, IndiQube, The Hive and Awfis are actively onboarding companies which work in night shifts to gain 24/7 occupancy.
Experts say that this trend is being driven in large part not just by companies that have teams aligned to US/UK operations and timings, but also by mushrooming startups that want to operate at larger scale and cater to foreign markets.
“Having more companies working the night shift also makes a lot of business sense as it adds to the revenue stream, especially in hot desk spaces which are not specifically earmarked to a member company,” said Rajiv Bhatla, chief operating officer at The Circle.Work, a co-working space based in Gurugram.
At GoWork, there has been a 40% month-on-month increase over the past year from companies requesting the night shift.
“We have been focusing on ramping up our systems to cater to the increase in demand from companies wanting to work at night. We have made available housekeeping and food services for them, as well as an on-call doctor,” said Sudeep Singh, CEO. The co-working space is also planning to launch sleeping pods for members to catch up on rest if needed.
GoWork is expecting night occupancy to rise by 70% by the end of the year, Singh added. At The Hive, which operates spaces in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, the focus is on reaching 24/7 occupancy.
“We have member companies that work the night shift because their clients are in different time zones, as well as member companies who allow their employees flexi-timings. We are seeing an increase in demand for working at night from both these types,” said Ankit Samdariya, CEO at The Hive. Safety and security, especially for women members, is paramount, and the co-working company is rolling out drop-offs for members working the night shift.
Companies dealing in offshore services as well as many SMEs and startups have been requesting to work at night, Amit Ramani, CEO of Awfis told ET. Almost 85% of the 1,300 clients the co-working company serves are made up of corporates and SMEs, and more than half of them specifically request the night shift, Ramani said.
“It’s essential that members working at night should not feel that something is missing when it comes to support - security, housekeeping, and cafeteria facilities are available at night as well. Very recently, we have launched the availability of IT support during the night shift, and have also launched night passes,” said Ramani.
These night passes - which are available at selected centres in Mumbai and Bengaluru - give members access to the centres at night, at a discounted price.
The night shift is great for members who work in startups and are working overtime on product launches, said Meghna Agarwal, co-founder of IndiQube, which provides co-working spaces in Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.
“We are also seeing a surge in offshore development centres working with us - they like to go for the night shift as they have to work till 2-3 am, aligned to different time zones,” said Agarwal.
“24/7 operations is pretty much the new norm that has evolved for both global and Indian companies who support services and economies all over the world,” said TheCircle.Work’s Bhatla.