As people across the country practice strict social distancing practices, coworking spaces are struggling to maintain their community-oriented atmosphere. In fact, many coworking operators are reporting declining demand, vacant spaces and some tenants jumping ship.
“It’s just Armageddon,” said Scott Harmon, co-founder and CEO of flexible office software company Swivel. “There’s no two ways around it.”
Harmon added that many clients have outright bailed out on them and moved out and broken their leases.
WeWork in particular has tried to assure investors it has enough money to withstand this health crisis, but Bloomberg has reported it has laid off 250 employees, just after letting go of 2,400 last November.
Although coworking companies are suffering, apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Zoom are experiencing a huge boom, which indicates that the future of work is closer than ever.
In order to keep coworking businesses afloat, some operators have been offering discounts to tenants in order to reduce cancellations. For instance, WeWork has offered clients on month-to-month leases half-off deals to keep them aboard for longer-term leases.
Some operators have started utilizing virtual meeting rooms to keep their clients engaged and connected with other members, while others are continuing business as usual and upping their cleaning standards.