There seems to be a new emerging trend in office space seeking. Hitherto one would typically plan for an office, which will serve its purpose for say 10 years with built-in capability to cater in terms of space and amenities for a planned expansion. Of late the mantra seems to be more existential. “Let me find the office space that is just adequate for my current staff strength” is the common refrain. The unstated corollary being, “I will seek more space when I need it”.

While prudent reduction of spends, especially in the case of relatively smaller organizations is certainly an important reason, the catalyst for this very perceptible change in thinking is perhaps the emergence of Shared Office Space. With increasing availability of shared and co-working spaces, flexibility or more precisely upward and downward scalability has become an almost mandatory requirement when looking for office space.

I am reminded of the once extremely popular JIT, the Japanese concept which suggested that raw and intermediate materials be made available just immediately before the processing. This resulted in huge savings in inventory costs, both in terms of investment and storage space. This required that the supply chain is managed immaculately, so as to ensure that neither was there a hold up in production due to non-availability of raw material nor was there any idle raw stock.

The shared and co-working space have done just that. Pay only for the space you need now. As and when you expand, take more space without any great fuss. And God forbid, if there is any down-sizing, give up the space you don’t need, again without any fuss. As the highly delighted clients of HQ10 — a reputed provider of well-equipped shared/ co-working spaces in Chennai — declare, this is a new management tool for optimizing an expensive resource for which there were no sensible options till now.

And they don’t stop with that. They wax eloquent on how one can choose from the range of well-appointed private offices at HQ10 – from a one/ two-seaters for individuals to six seaters for small teams to work in privacy – all rentable on a daily/ weekly/ monthly basis.

Indeed, private offices and shared/ co-working spaces are turning out to be much more advantageous than what one thought initially.