The 2008 financial crash opened up a pathway for coworking spaces to be a viable workspace option for businesses looking for a more cost effective solution. Now, as the world attempts to adjust to the new reality that coronavirus has brought upon society, coworking spaces may have significant challenges ahead of them.
Several flexible workspaces have had to shut down their facilities as cities everywhere are going under lockdown, which will likely lead to some casualties. Still, with over 32,000 flexible workspaces representing 521 million square feet worldwide, the sector is expected to withstand this health crisis.
For instance, the world’s largest serviced office firm IWG saw its shared drop 16% last week due to lockdown, but its board says they are confident that they will see long-term structural growth.
Now, operators are finding ways to keep their members engaged with tighter restrictions, such as digital key cards and limited access hours. Companies that have had to close their doors to members, such as The Wing, are donating their facilities to non-profits, healthcare workers and government organizations combatting the pandemic.
Recently, the UK government said that tenants that are not able to pay rent due to the coronavirus will not be evicted for the next three months, which has helped providers breathe a sigh of relief.
Overall, this crisis will likely lead to the upheaval of traditional work models and force companies to rethink how more flexible and agile options can benefit business and staff beyond COVID-19.