The Future of Co-Working Spaces Amidst the Pandemic

Look at the coziness here! Isn’t it such a shame you can’t work in communal spaces like this anymore? Well…

How long has it been since the pandemic has ravaged-I’m sorry, stalled our world and made us look for scraps to survive-sorry I mean make us bored out of our minds? I’d tell you how long it has been, but honestly, we all have felt older than dirt as the inexorable march of time passes us slowly as ever in this ceaseless time of boredom. And in all of this of course, as someone who worked in a coworking space company for what, a month right now?, a question emerges inside this messy mind of mine.

The Question: How Can Coworking Spaces Survive?

Written in this report by Cushman and Wakefield, they identify a number of pandemic-related issues that could ultimately make coworking more appealing, where some companies and workers who have found blending work and home life challenging can find a conveniently located coworking space attractive. A post-pandemic suburban “renaissance” may also benefit coworking locations outside downtown centres.

Stated by the report, “As an alternative to committing to large amounts of space under multi-year leases at suburban corporate parks, some companies could opt to implement a re-imagined workplace ecosystem that balances office, home and third places, and in this ecosystem, some employees work from home a couple of days a week and at a coworking space close to their home the other days.”

So with that report read, there is now a great conclusion that can be surmised from that, whether for myself, or for you, budding businesses, enterprises, startups, and all such companies. How can coworking spaces survive in times like these?

The Answer: More People Will Need Us, Actually.

In this economy of our lord 2020 after pandemic pretty much puts all the businesses to a screeching halt, there’s the possibility that only the biggest/most established companies have the budget to maintain headquarters and grit their teeth on it, while medium-sized and smaller businesses in general that clearly doesn’t have the same resources as the bigger corporations may just scrap the idea of having a physical location at all.

So, if companies (old or new) can’t get the budget to create a physical location, or especially trying to connect with others, where’s the solution, then? That’s where coworking businesses, such as yours truly, can solve that problem both at the same time!

How and why would you people want to use coworking spaces, you ask? Here, let me give you five reasons why.

1) Flexibility First

Many companies, even pre-pandemic, have had to deal with the burden of long-term, lock-in leases with heavy security deposits, which takes away the ‘business cashflow’ ability to respond to changes in the economy quickly. Now, more than ever, having the flexibility to downsize one’s team — and therefore, one’s work space, is crucial. With the government urging companies to institute staggered work hours, adequate gaps between shifts, and social distancing within offices, it’s becoming more important than before for employers to have the option of smaller, or more flexible work spaces, as the need arises.

2) Customised Adaptation to Space Constraints

With recent government guidelines directing companies to maintain six feet of physical distance between team members in the workplace, employers are faced with another problem — that of being able to accommodate their teams in the same amount of space they had, pre-pandemic. The modern office space has certainly evolved over the ages, and as companies look to resume business, redesigning and restructuring of existing real estate will pose yet another challenge. Coworking spaces seem able to respond to design changes required post-Covid-19 quicker and more efficiently than traditional office spaces can.

3) Re-building Communities with Trust

Employers may not have accounted for the unanticipated mental health consequences that their teams may be struggling with, by working from home. Isolation and burnout are two very valid causes for concern, especially for employees who are used to the pace and offerings of day-to-day office life. It’s a proven fact that being in a coworking environment helps fight loneliness, burnout and depression, because of the connections people are able to make with others they see on an almost-daily basis.

Apiary has designed a 30-min weekly catchup with the community called ‘Community Social Hour’, virtually, every Friday @4.30PM (GMT+7). Hit up the link to join the community!

4) Leaving it to the Experts

For the past few months, business owners have had to deal with everything from shuttering their offices for an indeterminate period of time, to learning how to help their employees optimise their productivity, while working from home. As they now look to a return to the office space, business owners should be allowed to focus on their bottom-line and driving productivity to an all-time high, not on the hassles of running an office. And this here is where coworking spaces such as, obviously us, can help you people out, with our very own curated bunch of experts that can help you out in anyway you can, whether legal purposes or even design help.

5) Ready for the Future

If Covid-19 has taught us one thing, it is that, being able to pivot and rapidly adapt to the almost daily challenges that the pandemic has brought with it, have been the key. Even while lockdown restrictions are slowly beginning to ease up, companies would understandably remain hesitant to enter into long-term leases again, given that the country is still seeing big spikes in positive case, and a tally that shows no immediate signs of flattening down.

Written by: Callasyah Erwinanda (Copywriter of Apiary Coworking Space)