Coworking and flexible office operators are just one of many industries within the commercial real estate market to take a massive hit due to the pandemic.
Now, these companies are seeking new ways to change their business models to become more sustainable as the world continues to adjust to the new way of living and working.
“The next six to 18 months are going to be difficult,” said Lisa Skye Hain, CEO of Primary. “But large and small companies are going to want the flexible terms that the coworking and flex office industry affords them. That’s the No. 1 reason we’re going to do great in this industry in the long run.”
Skye Hain was one of WeWork’s first employees, and went on to start her coworking firm Primary. However, it was forced to close its two locations in Manhattan during the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It isn’t just the smaller operators who have suffered. WeWork itself has laid off thousands of employees and closed multiple locations since the beginning of the pandemic.
Similarly, New York-based firm Knotel has laid off almost half of its staffers and has now been accused of missing rent at some of its spaces.
Skye Hain said recent deals at Primary have mostly been for one or two-person spaces for those looking to work in a safe environment, and she expects that trend to continue moving forward.
Of course, this is contingent upon a vaccine being available and larger companies feel confident to bring their employees back to physical workspaces.