Coworking spaces are upending their traditional shared environment as they prepare to open back up to their members.
For instance, Convene said it would be decreasing its office capacity by 50% to encourage physical distancing, while Industrious said it would be keeping its communal areas closed for the first six weeks.
“There’s no panacea or silver bullet,” said Amy Pooser, Convene’s global chief operating and chief people officer. “We had to come up with a safety-net approach.”
Since the pandemic hit, coworking and flexible office providers have experienced major revenue losses, leading to some laying off and furloughing employees.
Pooser added that Convene has mapped out physical and program changes, such as daily temperature checks, consistent cleaning of high-touch areas, floor markings to keep members following the six-foot rule, and box lunches instead of catering. It also will be transforming some of its meeting rooms into workspaces, as well as testing out a new program that includes a virtual and hybrid meeting service.
Serendipity Labs has started offering a “transitional workplace” subscription that offers desk space at any of its locations.
Some major companies are also questioning their need for big offices altogether. For instance, Twitter announced it would allow workers to work from home permanently and that it won’t be opening any of its workspaces until September.