As many coworking firms continue to see a dip in business due to the pandemic, operators are looking to adjust their business model to be as flexible as possible.
“We’re seeing the parents who have kids at home, the people who need a place to get out, but you can’t get out of the house or do not want to get out of the house every day,” said Jamie Russo, executive director at Global Workspace Association. “The I-do-not-want-a-30-day-commitment customer. ‘I only want to pay for what I use.’”
In a Coworking Insights survey of over 600 coworking firms and users found that 71% of respondents saw a drop in space usage, which led to a 40% drop in membership and contract renewals.
However, despite the countless challenges that the industry has seemingly faced over the last year or so, operators remain confident that coworking will come back stronger than ever.
In fact, the same survey found that over 71% of remote workers said they had plans to return to a coworking space.
But the concept of absolute flexibility is a must moving forward, and the transition is being seen in operators large and small. WeWork recently started offering on-demand rental for non-members, while Industrious launched its Oasis program over the summer to allow members to come into the space two or three days a week for a reduced fee.
“COVID kind of accelerated the underlying demand factors in the first place. If there’s ever a time to experiment with this, now is the time,” said Jamie Hodari, CEO of Industrious.