The future of the coworking industry has become increasingly uncertain in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Many companies are doing their best to implement physical distancing measures and strict cleaning regimens, but this can be difficult to accomplish in a shared workspace with limited finances.
Still, there is still a place for these work environments as companies also seek to adopt more flexible arrangements, which will likely drive demand in the future.
“I think that the industry over the long-term will still be around,” said Owen Thomas, CEO of Boston Properties. “But in the short-term, it’s challenged and clearly there is limited growth, probably contraction, amongst the coworking operators.”
Doug Linde, president at Boston Properties, added that some coworking operators would have to limit the amount of space they are leasing and it would be up to landlords to decide whether they want to spend money to redesign spaces that meet distancing guidelines.
Several coworking tenants have requested rent deferrals and lease cancelations, so smaller operators may not be able to weather this storm without the additional revenue. Still, these struggles are short-term and the industry is still poised to come back stronger than ever.