Coworking spaces had found a home in unoccupied spaces in shopping malls long before the pandemic hit the industry. Joe Brady, CEO Americas for The Instant Group, predicts that current conditions could cause a spike in these types of workspaces.
“If you think about closed Sears boxes, or what’s going to happen with the Neiman Marcus space, the problems in retail are front and center at the moment,” said Brady. “We’re seeing this intersection between people wanting to work near home, and what’s happening with some of the struggles in malls and in retail with the big boxes.”
Flexible office firm Industrious is one of the leaders of this arrangement, having workspaces within the Scottsdale Fashion Square and other shopping centers across the country.
Brady adds that the many malls struggle with excess space, combined with people wanting to work closer to home, makes this model ideal for a post-pandemic workplace that emphasizes distancing.
“I think people have figured out over the last four months that they liked their families,” said Brady. “The idea of this work-life balance and getting off the hamster wheel is appealing to people.