WeWork Assesses Four Opportunities during the Pandemic
The coworking space business is under pressure from the corona pandemic because the government urges people to work from home. However, coworking space company from the United States (US) WeWork saw four habit changes that could be an opportunity.
Trends first, WeWork Head of Growth, Southeast Asia, WeWork Elizabeth Fuller says that there are a lot of corporations moving from headquarters to flexible and spread workspaces. The concept of work has changed to “work-to-people”.
Second, a flexible work policy has become the new normal. As a result, many companies take advantage of technology such as online meeting rooms or virtual attendance.
Third, the Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged many companies to collaborate to boost employee productivity. Finally, business entities want workspaces that are designed with health and safety in mind to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission.
“Many clients are implementing work from home. This has an impact on WeWork and the coworking space industry,” said Elizabeth during a virtual press conference, Tuesday (26/1). WeWork sees all four habit changes as opportunities. This coworking space company also provides private office services, known as satellite offices.
Then, facilitate the separation of the client’s workforce to different locations, but still, close from the distance side. In addition, it provides a special floor for specific teams. WeWork also allows clients to book in advance, although they have not yet decided when to use the coworking space.
Company Revenue Has Fallen Since the Pandemic
Reservation reservations for workspace or conferences can also be done hourly or per day. This innovation was carried out because WeWork’s performance was suppressed by the corona pandemic last year. Bloomberg reported that the company’s revenue fell 8%.
Total membership also fell 11%. WeWork received sales of US$ 811 million for the third quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, negative cash flow was US$ 517 million. The company also released 66 coworking space locations and renegotiated leases at lower rates.
“Covid-19 continues to be a unique and uncertain challenge that we must actively manage,” said WeWork Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Mathrani as quoted by Bloomberg, November last year (12/11/2020). Globally, the coworking space market fell from US$ 9.27 billion in 2019 to US$ 8.24 billion last year.
In fact, data from the Coworker Member’s Choice Awards in 2019 shows that around 77% of operators plan to expand. This plan was drawn up prior to the coronavirus. In 2018, coworking space startups even became one of the sectors that attracted investors.
Safe Coworking Space Requirements during the Pandemic
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many offices allowed their employees to work from home, known as work from home (WFH). However, not a few offices still require employees to work in offices or even in coworking spaces.
In recent years, the trend of companies operating in coworking spaces has indeed mushroomed, especially for startups. During a pandemic, it turns out that this trend remains. The increasing need for coworking spaces or flexible offices during a pandemic has forced developers to make adjustments to recommended health protocols.
These adjustments are made so that the spaces offered are safer, more hygienic, and comfortable. So, to meet these criteria, there are several things that must be considered. Principle Designer from Fabelio Projects Miftahuddin Nurdayat said air circulation was a vital necessity during the pandemic.
“Therefore, the coworking space must have good air circulation so that it is comfortable for users and visitors,” Miftahuddin said, Wednesday (16/12/2020). To produce good air circulation, the coworking space needs to provide open space to facilitate air exchange.
In addition, it is a good idea to limit the use of materials that are easily dusty, such as wood and decorative elements that have the potential to carry allergens, including carpets, curtains, and upholstery.