Despite coworking spaces being cleared out due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kong Wan Sing, CEO of flexible workspace operator JustCo, believes that flexible work spaces will be embraced once the dust has settled by those who find working from home to be distracting.
Coworking centers in Singapore have fallen under the category of non-essential business and have been forced to close their doors until at least May 4. Kong added essential businesses are permitted to use their workspaces so long as they get the necessary government permits.
Before these measures were in place, many companies had executed their business continuity plans (BCPs) that included moving their headquarters to coworking spaces.
The Singapore government also announced relief measures for individuals and companies that included making it mandatory for commercial landlords to pass their 100% property tax to tenants. Kong said that many landlords that are strategic partners with JustCo have been accommodating, but others are taking the “wait-and-see approach,” even going as far as to ask them for a report to justify receiving a rental rebate.
The government also rolled out a COVID-19 Temporary Measures Bill that allows tenants of impacted businesses postpone their rent payments for six months.
“The bill has also helped, especially the deferment of rental payment for six months,” said Kong. “The idea is to share the burden together. We have zero intention of making money from this. It is to help our members.”