The startup scene in Amsterdam has allowed coworking spaces to blossom as they offer inexpensive office solutions for young companies and entrepreneurs. But the physical distancing guidelines created due to the coronavirus have threatened the coworking industry as a whole, so how can operators keep their companies afloat?
Coworking providers have taken various approaches. For instance, Startup Village in Amsterdam Science Park has shifted to remote working, but continues to stay in touch with its members. TNW Spaces has moved its events online, even keeping their community cooking classes virtual to keep the members engaged. B.Amsterdam now offers COVID-proof private offices that promise safe and clean workspaces.
“First week after the social distancing guidelines were announced, a lot of people came over to pick up their office supplies,” says Lucas Hendricks, director of A Lab. “The past couple of weeks, I think the occupation has hovered around 10 percent. Mostly the founders kept coming, while their employees worked from home.”
A Lab in particular is reaching out to their members individually to keep the community alive and support them through these trying times. In some cases, members have been offered deferrals and provided coaching in reducing costs and applying for government aid.
Some members have taken things into their own hands and started new business models altogether. For example, StartDock members came together and started CollabNow, an online marketplace that allows members of StartDock to offer their services with a discount.