Coworking operators are taking a big hit due to the coronavirus pandemic as people opt to work from home. Now, coworking firms could risk losing clients if they fail to negotiate new deals that support members during this unprecedented time.
For instance, reports have found that IWG’s coworking brand Regus has been refusing refund requests or discounts during this pandemic, leaving many members seeking to terminate their contracts.
WeWork has also refused to provide refunds to members or waive any fees, but has offered half-off rent for month-to-month tenants.
With several major companies willing to waive late fees and committing to not disconnecting services, clients have high expectations for the brands they have been loyal to and many coworking spaces have yet to meet them.
Although the coronavirus itself may not be enough to bring down the coworking industry, it is expected to have a serious negative impact. With several businesses transitioning into working from home and becoming disgruntled with coworking providers, many contracts may not be renewed.
Additionally, due to coworking offices relying heavily on a steady flow of new members due to short-term nature of their leases, the fear of being in close proximity to others may last beyond the pandemic and lead to businesses cancelling their leases.
To keep members on board, coworking operators need to find new ways to maintain engagement with clients. This could mean offering conference rooms and small pods that abide by social distancing and hygienic guidelines, or offering virtual office services.