– by Mr. Manas Mehrotra, Chairman, 315Work Avenue
With the lockdown ends, and relaxations and safety measures in place, we expect the coworking sector to flourish and find its feet. Changes are inevitable now and hence hygiene at the workplace will be prioritized. Technology, too, will play its part. Coworking space providers would now have to rethink their strategy, packages, interior, and design areas, and make the segment more attractive for consumers.
There’s now a lot more interest now in taking dedicated and secure private offices and that’s the big shift in the flexible office space industry. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to flexible workspaces with businesses of all sizes looking to manage cash-flows effectively by moving costs to a variable model. Corporates and large enterprises will avoid high capital expenditures and look towards flexible working spaces to expand the business. While remote working has undoubtedly become a significant part of the workforce, employees need collaboration and community more than ever.
The physical constraints and mandated social distancing norms will make coworking spaces the first choice for many organizations since work from home comes with its own challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic and the prolonged lockdown have made both employers and employees realize some great benefits of remote work, which has potentially changed the dynamics of workplace usage forever. Sometimes, a crisis also presents an opportunity to make decisions that would be hard to make in more business-as-usual times. It’s an opportunity to show how the coworking models can also offer new solutions and make our economy more resilient in such circumstances. This situation has taught us that we can still continue to work, owing to technology and commitment.
As coworking companies navigate the great unknown, not all remote workers have access to the amenities they need to productively work from home, making coworking spaces appealing during this time of crisis. Another win for flexible workspaces will also come from the fact that companies will have to practice social distancing within their campuses, which means they might have to station some employees in different locations. In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the businesses may be under pressure temporarily, investor sentiment remains buoyed and the commercial operators are hopeful of better days ahead. While this year will be a challenging year, but we look to the future with optimism.