COVID-19 has transformed the way we work and live. The global lockdown affected lots of businesses including the coworking model. Freelancers and startups had to retreat to working from home in the wake of containing the spread of the virus. Now that businesses are slowly reopening, the coworking industry is going through a massive disruption.
Coworking spaces need to pivot and adapt to the new normal to be back in business. The remote workforce isn’t going anywhere but that doesn’t mean people wouldn’t want to connect in person. This void will be filled by coworking spaces.
The Future of Coworking Spaces
There is no doubt about it coworking spaces have been providing vital business services for supporting the remote workforce closer to where they are. Coworking spaces were thriving before the pandemic. Businesses were preferring them the way any organization would prefer performance appraisal methods. The future is bright as well because it’s expected that the coworking industry will make up 30 percent of the commercial real estate market by 2030. This means the industry is expected to thrive post pandemic as well.
For co-working companies to continue doing business, they must be designed in such a way that the concerns of over spacing and sanitation are addressed. Members want spaces where desks are seated further apart. They would also want access to cleaning supplies, frequent cleaning protocols, and a healthy general environment. When these precautions and health safety measures are in place, workers will be willing to leave their homes and rejoin the coworking spaces because they offer more than just a desk.
Human beings are social animals. They will always need a place to connect. This is what brought them to coworking spaces, to begin with. Coworking spaces are offering something that traditional offices have failed to offer in terms of a tight-knit network of support.
How are Coworking Spaces Post Pandemic?
Flexible workplaces are more practical for businesses that want to rise up and tackle this new normal. The coworking segment after COVID will have to go through development to attract businesses and even those companies that previously were reluctant to give it a chance.
This pandemic has been one of the biggest catalysts for digital transformation. Large enterprises are rethinking the new digital workplace strategies and that involves not just hot-desking and remote working but also co-working. Here are some ways these spaces are changes to adjust to the new normal:
The co-working industry is undergoing an infrastructural revamp. Companies are augmenting behavioral signage, social distancing regulations, cleaning protocols, and even PPE for members in closed-door face-to-face meetings.
As more and more employees are returning to the co-working spaces, companies are urging them to work in shifts to ensure the offices are not crammed with people.
Some co-working spaces are thinking of creating isolation rooms for those who develop symptoms. These rooms have special ventilation in place to reduce further exposure.
The Rapid Adoption Of Technology
In the post-pandemic era, the only way co-working spaces can survive is by adopting technology. Many have started offering digitally-enabled virtual tours for interested parties already.
This is just the beginning, the operators of coworking spaces will have to invest in the latest technologies like new wireless devices, interactive dashboards, digital calendars, and more. These innovations are not meant to overwhelm the workers but to improve the experience and ensure everyone’s safety.
Apart from their desks, people in coworking spaces tend to use many surfaces starting from coffee machines, door handles, elevators, water coolers, washroom taps, and more. This could increase the risk of cross-contamination. They must rely on technological advances to sustain the world after covid-19 by using contactless tech, motion sensors, and automated doors.
Co-Working Isn’t Going Anywhere
Co-working companies will continue to grow even past the COVID era. The market trends show that flexible spaces will emerge stronger. Also, as startups continue to grow, they need office facilities for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and community support, which these shared spaces offer readily.
It’s not just the startups, even small and medium businesses and giant players are preferring co-working spaces. After the COVID pandemic is over, businesses might be under pressure momentarily but commercial operators and investors are hopeful that better days are ahead of us.
Coworking brands will hence continue to provide unique experiences not just in terms of support but amenities such as crèches, cafes, gyms and more.