The Ministry of Health in the Tel Aviv area is tightening their guidelines on employees that can work out of their offices due to the coronavirus. Now, coworking spaces are struggling to stay afloat as their clients look for discounts on membership payments.
For instance, members at WeWork’s locations in Tel Aviv and Herzliya collected 200 signatures to demand a discount from the company as it was impossible for them to work out of the space. Reportedly, the company has offered a half-off discount contingent on clients extending their leases, but those who have signed contracts in advance have yet to hear anything from the firm.
“We are not pigs, we understand that they are also suffering losses, but we heard that the government is helping them with municipal taxes, so we expect it to roll onto us as sub-tenants as well,” said one WeWork customer. “The feeling is that the Israeli management is hiding behind the international corporation.”
Some operators responded more creatively to the situation. For example, executives at shared office provider Mixer told clients it would transfer its full revenues to a fund that would help clients who need financial aid during this time.
Many have also opted to close their facilities in April altogether and stop collecting payments for that period of time.
Once the pandemic has passed, coworking experts anticipate many mergers and acquisitions. Still, companies looking to avoid long-term leases in the future will likely flock to coworking spaces as they prepare for another potential crisis like this.