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