Several coworking facilities have had to close their spaces or limit accessibility due to the coronavirus, which is causing them to take a big financial hit and keep from paying rent.
Now, firms that have closed down are trying to find unique ways to stay afloat and keep members engaged throughout the crisis.
For instance, coworking space Indy Hall has deferred member payments for the physical space until they can come back and has requested rent relief from the landlord of the space. It has also launched an online coworking membership offering members access to educational workshops and a Slack network.
“Ultimately these short term changes are impacting our revenue intensely and unpredictably, worsened by the extremely unclear timeline on any sort of government relief,” said Alex Hillman, founder of Indy Hall, in an email to the landlords. “Rent is our largest expense, and ultimately one we are not able to pay while we are closed due to these circumstances outside of our control.”
Josh White, managing director at MakeOffices, said that the company has been working with tenants who cannot afford rent and is offering deferred payments contingent upon them signing longer leases. For now, MakeOffices is remaining open for tenants who are considered essential and closed it to others until further notice.
Once restrictions have been lifted, there will be a new normal set in place for coworking spaces, such as reduced occupancy, guidelines in place that encourage distancing and routine sanitization.