Can coworking spaces survive the post-pandemic economy?
Millions of professionals around the world have proven that they can do their jobs remotely. Yet, Coworking spaces are still wrestling with lower-than-usual demand as the Covid-19 crisis shut down numerous ventures and social distancing norms reduced the number of work desks accessible. Expansion plans of various Companies have been pushed back or slowed down due to this pandemic. Operators of coworking spaces have seen an almost 50%-60% dip in traffic. COVID hit the coworking spaces like nuclear winter. Social distancing, which means the maximum capacity of place won’t be utilized, and the cost associated with more frequent deep-cleaning and sanitization cycles will also eat into the Bottomline. Coworking companies have seen many of the cases where companies moved out and broken their leases saying We’re moving out. You can sue us if you want. We’re not paying.
The developing concerns encompassing the outbreak have made co-working firms ramp up hygiene checks as part of precautionary measures. Many have even dropped events at their locations, which usually see huge get-togethers.
However, an increase in inquiries from many companies that have given up their offices for cost optimization now seek flexibility which will help soften the blow to coworking spaces in the long term.
Companies that use these co-working spaces for their staff have asked for flexible packages that are limited to a few hours or days of usage, other than those monthly and annual subscriptions.
The Benefit of having this flexibility is even if one location is declared in a containment zone by the government, then remote workers have the option to choose another as a recovery site to work from. Many of the coworking space operators are agreeing to this flexibility.
Plan to Survive
Business centre in Chennai model operates on short term lease, they take offices in various places on lease thus making it easier for tenants or remote workers to hire at low cost. As coworking space companies are bound by terms of the lease but remote workers are not making it easier for them to walk away in this time and leaving coworking space companies unable to pay landlords thus they are facing a huge loss.
A significant number of Coworking companies to survive have also launched work-from-home packages for remote workers. Companies and remote workers are provided an office chair, desk, internet connection, and IT support. it’s offering also has Covid-19 inclusive medical insurance coverage support and premium Zoom membership, while some provide access to an app that has productivity and attendance tools.
Companies have stopped planning for the long haul, which was not the case before.
Bigger questions must be answered about how people come back to offices after prolonged periods of remote work. Executives in the industry say falling demand may yield lower monthly rents — for those that survive this Business.
Sustenance of Industry
Making changes to coworking spaces and going above and beyond the guidelines and standards set up by the government will be the major drivers to sustain this industry. Exceptional cleaning standards are going to be critical to continued business operations and assistance over social distancing will also be needed. The space providers will have to provide and convince the clients for delivering the finest and innovative methods for their health safety like:
- Deployment of thermal screening devices at receptions.
- Regular deep cleaning.
- Sneeze screens for reception areas.
- Desk screen dividers for workstations.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) for the housekeeping staff.
- Contactless systems throughout the center.
- Social distancing marks in the areas having the highest footfall.
- Biodegradable and single-use items such as crockery, cutlery, glasses, and cups.
As the lockdown is lifted down, companies would focus more emphasis on cost optimization and prefer flexible workplaces. Most corporates would avoid capital expenditures to save cost and look to coworking facilities to expand their business
Though we all are operating in a challenging environment, the coworking industry can respond to this challenge by various approaches with operational expertise and experience being the key. Below are a few of the points which will be essential to implementing and they are somethings that the clients would not get with a traditional lease with coworking spaces.
- Risk assessments.
- Increased health and safety audits.
- High levels of cleaning and sanitization regimes.
- Engagement on general wellbeing.
- Certifications of air quality.
- Social distancing in common areas.
coworking space in Bangalore taking the same health-and-safety precautions as other offices: Screening, or self-screening of employees at entry; stepped-up cleaning and ventilation; and limiting kitchen-area access with a focus on single-serve, disposable food, and beverage items.
There are so many options and flexibility in rents still not enough startup tenants to fill them
Now that everyone is conscious of personal hygiene, Remote workers might feel the need to shift away from heavily shared office space; the popular concept of the “hot desk,” in coworking spaces where people randomly sit at an alternate work area each day, is likely to be less appealing to them now as they want to maintain social distancing norms.
More big companies, due to the COVID crisis, would enter this flexible space instead of building their own offices for optimizing costs.
Companies Can’t Run from Kitchen Tables 24/7.
Coworking Will Make a Comeback.
Remote workers have to find a workplace environment somewhere, all things considered, and a significant number find over the period that their houses are just useful for the specially appointed, crisis not for focussing special attention on work After All there is too much distraction by working from home. Huge numbers of them need an executive space close to their house— yet closer to their office — to deal with their work duties.
Those having kids and babies need a coworking space closeby, as raising babies or kids at home and working closeby is a difficult task and requires multitasking as it is far more difficult than it may seem.
corporate professionals are right in assuming that coworking spaces will suffer the ill effects of the pandemic but they could be wrong about that this is the end of coworking spaces, its harsh but the truth is that this emerging industry will be reawakened after the post-pandemic period and become more valuable than ever before. Regardless of whether we’re talking about enabling companies to bolster the psychological well-being of their workers or pointing out unique networking opportunities that businesses in coworking arrangements can enjoy, there are a plethora of reasons to believe that coworking will survive and flourish in the aftermath of Covid-19.