Back in 1929, when the famous writer Virginia Woolf wrote her even more famous essay A Room of One’s Own, she was certainly not referring to coworking offices. She, on the other hand, was speaking on behalf of women writers who were struggling to make a mark in a male-dominated literary tradition. Several decades have passed and today, the coworking culture has created exactly what Woolf and her contemporaries had hoped for – a room or space many women can call their own!
Coworking spaces are transforming the traditional work environment in general and for women in particular. Such spaces are giving the women community many reasons to rejoice. The supportive environment and long-lasting connections they are able to make are only the icing on the cake. When it comes to coworking offices for women, they have the cake and eat it too!
Coworking Spaces Bridge the Gender Gap
It is common knowledge that almost every workplace has a rather skewed men-to-women ratio, with the former always on the higher side. As per the United Nation’s World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, the number of women and men in the world is almost the same. However, that number doesn’t quite reflect in most organizations around the world. And India is no exception to this rule. The latest economic census of Indian workplaces also highlights the wide gender divide that exists across organizations. According to the results of this census, only a quarter of India’s workforce is women, and the number is even lower for urban India at 19 percent.
Even more shocking is the number of women entrepreneurs in the country. Going by the sixth economic census, India has about 58.5 million entrepreneurs and out of these, only 8.05 million are women. This means their number is as low as 13.76 percent. These numbers speak volumes about how difficult it is for women to thrive in the current work culture compared to their male counterparts. Coworking spaces for women are revolutionizing the idea of workplaces and bridging the gender gap by giving more women the opportunity to have a space that supports them.
More Flexibility, More Freedom: Redefining the Way Women Work
Every woman has the right to carve her career path. And a coworking space is a blessing for every woman who wants to work at a place where she has her own space. Such shared offices for women provide them with support in the form of a self-sufficient office space, the right community to be a part of, and many other facilities that make their life a tad bit easier. Whether it is a female-centric shared office or a women-only coworking office, it fills the need that conventional offices or on-demand workspace rentals cannot fulfil. Andwomen love to work with women, and coworking allows them the freedom and flexibility to do so. Moreover, a shared space – whether an office for Coworking in Gurgaon or an office for rent near metro station – is not restricted by industry. This allows women in male-dominated industries to consider coworking as a better option for enhanced work satisfaction.
Coworking for Women Entrepreneurs
The number of women entrepreneurs is on the rise compared to what it had been a decade or two ago. However, as compared to their male counterparts, female entrepreneurs have to struggle more when they start a business of their own as the current work environment is more male-centric. On the contrary, coworking spaces might help women kick-start their new venture relatively smoothly as they are a playground for work and innovation minus the hassles. At such work spaces, women can feel like they belong and find the right support for their start-up. Add to it the convenience some shared offices offer, such as their location, and it’s a win-win from all angles.
Coworking for Female Freelancers
The common woe among almost all female freelancers in the world is a lack of “space of their own”. While it is easy to say that they can work right at their homes, only they know how distracting their own home can be when it comes to working to make a living. That’s one reason why freelancers jump at the thought of the concept of a shared office space. Coworking offices are especially helpful for female freelancers as they can focus on their work and career without the usual distractions of their home and family during working hours. A peaceful environment to work in, along with the other benefits of that come with it, are too attractive to resist. The chance to network with other freelancers and professionals and the prospect of building lasting fruitful connections are all the only side-effects of coworking!
Encouraging Women in the Workforce
Coming to the cost—not all shared offices are as expensive. Companies such as The Office Pass (TOP) offer 10 percent additional discount to female co-workers to encourage more women in the workforce. Coworking is filling the glaring gaps in not only the resources available for women in the workforce, but it is also opening up arenas of quality workspaces for women entrepreneurs and freelancers. It’s an integral part of the new world of work that is giving women the chance to design their work lives on their own terms.
By Kaushik Pal
who operates from various coworking spaces in Gurgaon. He is the founder of Straction Consulting and consults various early seed funded companies on Digital Marketing initiatives. He loves travelling and participating in Marathons during his free schedule.