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Budget 2022

Budget 2022: Coworking Industry needs recognition and needs to be in the 2% TDS bracket

Making coworking work
One of the most unexpected and unprecedented events in recent years has undoubtedly been the Coronavirus pandemic. The tragedy of the Covid 19 pandemic has had profound effects on millions of people the world over with terms like home isolation, quarantine and lockdown becoming an integral part of our lives. As businesses adapt to the new normal, they have been forced to adopt different ways of working, learning and connecting with each other with innovation becoming a buzzword. It is key to note that the ability to remain flexible and be agile in terms of operations has been paramount which in turn has fitted well into the natural advantages of coworking spaces.
Coworking Industry: Continuous Learning
In the situation of the pandemic, the co-working industry boasts of having several inherent advantages; right from offering flexible membership plans to safe workspaces to providing agility in office space design. As a result, if one chose a coworking space as their workspace, it allowed them to accommodate the hybrid model of working along with de-densifying their workspace and workforce while ensuring business continuity and employee retention.

For the team at Dextrus, our experience with Covid-19 has been one of learning and adapting. The initial challenge on hand was to operationally overhaul and plan for a safe and secure work environment by robust sanitization and following social distancing protocols. Once the vaccination drives began in full swing, we ensured our own team was completely vaccinated, and we extended support to all our members in helping them get vaccinated as well. Next, we learnt the importance of being flexible. This philosophy was in sync with our USP of going the extra mile and doing more than what was simply asked for, so that our clients could achieve more at work. Our design builds in a large amount of flexibility and this augured well for companies during this two-year period as they needed more space for a rotational team. We were able to quickly reconfigure their office space as well as provide barriers for separation. We even used plants for this purpose!

Thirdly, the same flexibility was replicated with our products. For instance, we offer a membership plan where the member can & pay as you go for the use of space rather than having a permanent office space. Relationships are very important in our business and through the pandemic, we have had to work with various stakeholders like our member companies and our landlords in order to navigate the crisis. Knowing that all were impacted helped all the stakeholders make decisions.

Empathetically, whether on matters of operational support or flexible leasing. Fourthly, with regard to our internal team members, our priority has always been their safety and comfort. We ensured they took the necessary breaks to manage their families and homes. This meant Offering them flexible work hours, giving priority to their mental well-being and ensuring that they were not overwhelmed with work. To enable this we shifted to tech solutions to enable effective work habits in a work from home (WFH) environment.
Lastly, considering the advantages of our model, it was important to focus on the future and we launched our second coworking space at Peninsula Corporate Park in Lower Parel, Mumbai in April 2021. We have been able to successfully lease over 95% of our existing inventory.
Musings Budget 2022

The budget is an important tool that can help alleviate the pressures of Covid on the economy. In my personal opinion, there should be relaxations for those on salaries to ensure more liquidity and availability of funds. From a coworking business perspective, I do feel that recognition as an industry is important, and bringing the industry into the 2% TDS bracket from the present 10% would go a long way to alleviate the pressures of cash flows. From an overall perspective, unemployment is rising and yet businesses are struggling to find talent.

These are counterintuitive problems and the Government, in this budget, could consider the allocation of dedicated funds to create a national portal that could help companies hire across the country. They could work with the tech private sector to create this portal. The problem of unemployment is complicated and it definitely needs out-of-the-box thinking and a coordinated effort which the government can facilitate.

Roadmap and Future Outlook

Coworking is predicted to grow by 10-15 percent annually over the next three years. Given that coworking will be able to naturally provide hybrid work solutions, we expect to achieve pre-COVID normalcy as we are headed into the endemic stage of the virus. Companies will look at a hybrid model of WFH and office with some companies adopting more WFH than others. Flexibility will be a key requirement for the next few years. That said, humans are social beings; hence the need to work together shall still hold resonance. The year 2022 will see much higher numbers in terms of office occupancy than in 2021. The coworking sector in 2022 is expected to surge in terms of both growth and development. At Dextrus, we are looking at expanding our presence. Our ethos is to question the norm and not be satisfied with the status quo. This makes us very excited about leading the way in innovating in all three of our focus areas which are design, build, and operations.

Penned By:
Robin Chhabra, Founder & CEO of Dextrus
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Divya Khanna is the youngest member of the team, with a background in political science. She has joined High on persona print magazine in order to gain hands-on experience in various aspects of editorial coordination as associate editor of the magazine and news site. She has a penchant for writing and enjoys meeting new people and interviewing celebrities. She has a passion for writing, she has an eye for details, loves traveling, and a quick learner. She comes from the Mecca of Indian Journalism, Delhi.
Email: [email protected]