Despite the massive hit the coworking industry has experienced over the last few months, operators are optimistic about the future.
While millions of people have been forced or chosen to work from home for the time being due to the ongoing pandemic, flexible office experts are finally seeing a spike in demand for those who miss the office.
However, in the meantime, major operators have had to make drastic business decisions to stay afloat. For instance, WeWork is currently offering a 50% discount for some tenants due to low occupancy levels, while IWG registered a pre-tax loss of £176 million for the first half of 2020.
This has led them to renegotiate leases, and in the case of IWG, file several of its U.S. locations into Chapter 11 bankruptcy to make the restructuring process less risky.
“We’ve talked to all of our landlords across the world and looked at which [offices] were great and which ones were tough,” said Patrick Nelson, head of international real estate at WeWork. “To some, we say respectfully ‘this is an asset we don’t want in the portfolio.’”
Still, companies have become enlightened about the best workplace strategies due to this swift change. Now, many are looking forward to a more flexible future that accommodates all work styles for employees.
“Covid is like dynamite. . . no one is ever going to work in the same way again,” said Mark Dixon, CEO of IWG.