The pandemic has definitely disrupted the coworking industry. However with the workforce returning to the office and economy recovering things are looking up for the coworking industry.
How will coworking spaces emerge from this recovery?
This article by Atul Gupta provides key insights into how coworking would look like post pandemic.
- The revolutionary shift to more accessible, flexible and affordable coworking spaces has led to the growth of the sector
- Flexible and agile workspaces are a more practical choice as businesses rise up to tackle the new normal
- Coworking industry will surely witness a boom in a post-Covid world as it has a lot of benefits to offer which businesses are now on the lookout for
The Covid-19 pandemic has upended the world in a multitude of ways, specifically in terms of how we worked. The past few years have seen unparalleled success for the coworking industry in India.
The revolutionary shift to more accessible, flexible and affordable coworking spaces has led to the growth of the sector. The current disruption on account of the pandemic is being taken as temporary as the coworking landscape is expected to witness a resurgence once the economy recovers from the ramifications of the lockdown.
In addition, the medium to long term fundamentals continue to be sound as corporate stakeholders seek alternative options to cut down on the costs of commercial spaces and save on the capital expenditure. Due to this reason, even conventional occupiers are seeing the benefits in coworking spaces. There will be a renewed focus on social distancing measures and safe communication protocols.
Flexible and agile workspaces are a more practical choice as businesses rise up to tackle the new normal. The key factors that will favor further development of the coworking segment post-Covid-19 would be de-densification and premium facility management. High levels of hygiene and other safety measures that are being adopted will attract greater number of businesses. It is also likely to attract those companies that have previously not been exposed to coworking.
Coworking: All Set To Takeover
Coworking industry will surely witness a boom in a post-Covid world as it has a lot of benefits to offer which businesses are now on the lookout for. With a little maneuvering, the industry is poised to become highly profitable. Some of the factors that will need to be focused upon are:
More Spacious & Less Open Seating
Erstwhile, coworking spaces prided themselves on efficient use of spaces. But going forward, post-pandemic, that wouldn’t be the case anymore. Due to social distancing, there will have to be larger area per seat, more space between desks and 3-sided privacy with 3-sided desk divider in between desks. In private spaces for clients, the same trend is expected to be followed but it could be done on an area-to-area basis, as required by the clients.
Increase Privately-Owned Spaces And Managed Offices
Post-Covid-19, life will be in the safety bubble for the people one interacts with. Interaction outside this will be met with fear. Clients, thus, would want to avoid meetings in open spaces. Thus, companies will prefer private, enclosed areas that will be solely dedicated to them – such as managed offices. As a result, coworking firms will have to convert open-sitting into private spaces and make modifications as per client requirements.
Offer Flexible Plans
As the professional world trickles back to normalcy, traditional offices will not hold the same sway as their rigidity wouldn’t be able to address the new normal. Many companies, even in the pre-pandemic times, had to tussle with the burden of long-term, lock-in leases that came with heavy security deposits, that tend to take away the cashflow from businesses, leaving them high and dry in situations of economic crisis.
This is where the flexibility provided by coworking spaces will come in. Businesses would actively take up flexible options based on days of usage and not any fixed number of days. Coworking spaces can also accommodate design change requirements, as and when needed by companies looking to expand or contract.
Innovation And Digitization
Covid-19 has also speeded up the digitization of workspaces. For avoiding transmission of germs at workplaces, companies are opting for comprehensive contactless technology and robotic technology. Traditional desks will have wearable technology, AI, machine learning, and IoT turning them into autonomous workspaces. Virtual workspaces will be in demand as companies have built processes to expand remotely.
Complete Solution Provider
The pandemic has led brands to not just be workspace providers but be an all-encompassing workspace solution platform. Coworking brands are curating unique experiences catering to coworking, remote working and enterprise solutions by providing amenities like gyms, cafes, creches, receptions and so on.
The innate flexibility to adopt and adapt, and its ability to nurture a strong community alliance coupled with the spirit of determination to tide over these times of despair will bode well for the coworking industry.
This article was originally published on Inc42