THE FUTURE OF COWORKING INDUSTRY AFTER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

synergia
Miray Başaran PhD.
Founding Partner of Synergia
Many people ask about the future of coworking sector after the recent COVID-19 pandemic seriously affecting the worldwide economy. At the time, coworking space providers are facing a massive drop in the number of people using their workspaces everywhere in the world. Commercial Property Executive reported the Bryan Murphy, the CEO of Breather statement:
 
 “As we take steps as a community to flatten the curve by staying home, offices, whether they are traditional leases, coworking spaces or private, flexible meeting and office spaces, are rightfully being left empty with teams working remotely.”
 
According to Murphy, some of the coworking spaces decided to implement an enhanced cleaning and disinfecting policies to pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces and hence reducing the risk of the coronavirus for the members.

Kelly Konya from the Coworker.com – a website that aims to connecting people with coworking spaces around the world - guides us to a critical question of “whether shared offices offer a viable solution for the worldwide surge in remote workers arises?” According to Konya, obviously many remote workers do not have access to the amenities they need to productively work from home that makes coworking spaces appealing for them during the COVID-19 crisis. However, the coworking spaces should offer high hygiene practices and thus they can become an alternative for businesses in need of a substitute workspace that may prove useful.

Jean-Yves Huwart from Coworking Europe believes that the coronavirus could fast-forward the remote work adoption process of many companies around the world. In an interview with Workdesign Magazine, he states that:
 
 “Should a recession hit, cost reductions could come from embracing a distributed workplace model, where employees can work closer from their home, while not being isolated nor out of touch from colleagues living in the same area. It’s the opportunity to strengthen the message, especially through working on some PR actions that can spread the story in the mainstream media and that way change the mindsets.”
 
All of this can mean that coronavirus aftermath will lead to a revolution in coworking industry. With new economic conditions there would be a higher demand for coworking spaces – specially by SME’s - because of the low-cost they offer. On the other hand, as a result of social distancing issues, people may prefer to join a work-from-home movement. On the both cases, a new structured coworking services can become the best choice for them.

Based in Istanbul, Synergia Coworking and Business Services is one of the companies that cleverly forecast the new needs of its customers, and it totally moved into a platform of digital services including online company registration, professional business development consultancy, cloud services, tax, accounting, sales and marketing, common resource use, financial management, grant consultancy, educational programs and more than 150 other services that any businessmen could need in Turkey. They offer their members to “just focus on their core-business” and leave the rest to Synergia, that results to attract more and more members for them during a short period of time.

All in all, adapting “Synergia” as a successful model, the coworking industry inevitably needs to digitalize their services, and to re-consider the customers need in the post coronavirus era. Offering digital services should be accompanied with staying in a close touch with the customers. They could use coworking area anytime they feel like it, but they can receive all the business services online. This will be a solution to seriously decrease customer costs and increase their flexibility and efficiency.