Coworking after covid – 3 things that will change and 3 that will stay the same

The coronavirus has changed the world of work forever. 

Coworking has been on the rise since well before the coronavirus pandemic and we here at believe Covid-19 will only end up accelerating the rise, bringing forward the coworking revolution.

While coworking continues to grow, social distancing rules, face masks, and avoiding contact where possible is going to change how, where and when we work permanently. 

So what’s going to change with coworking, and what’s going to stay the same. We’ve highlighted the three most important of each.

Coworking after the coronavirus – 3 things that will change

We all know that this pandemic has had and will continue to have an extraordinary effect on everything that we do. Office space and how we use it has been one of the most affected areas. So it’s no wonder things will have to change and we will have to adapt.

  1. There will be far more coworkers

Whether this one will happen in the next few months or over the next few years we’re not totally sure. But we are one-hundred percent certain that coworking spaces will become busier, more popular and in high demand.

Of course, coworking had been growing before the coronavirus, but now, after covid-19, this growth is likely to accelerate faster than it ever would have.

The pandemic has led to a mass trial of working from home and remote working in general, and it’s been successful for the most part. Businesses are realising that their employees can remote work productively.

It’s a win-win for businesses and their employees. After all, many workers have been demanding flexible work for years, and the businesses can save money on office space.

Employees who have requested remote work before, can not so easily be told no anymore. They will have proven that they can be productive from home so there’s no reason to not let them.

Similarly, businesses will be attempting to offload countless employees from their offices so they can downsize and save cash. A few large corporations have already committed to increasing the proportion of remote workers they employ.

  1. Lower density of workers

With social distancing rules to adhere to, coworking spaces will not be allowed to be as densely packed as we’ve known them to be.

Especially in hot desk environments, with a collaborative and social setting, coworkers tended to be very densely packed in. This worked very well and provided great benefits for networking and provided a wonderful community feel with everyone nearby.

However, with the new rules, it is likely that hot desking environments will become more spread out. This will reduce the benefits of hot desking such as its collaborative environment and community feel.

We may see some operators downsize or even remove their hot desking environments as it is likely to become less important (and less profitable) than dedicated desks and private offices.

That thought in mind, another change we’ll see if the spaces are less densely packed is a potential increase in price per desk. Operators design spaces with high density in mind to ensure profitability.

Spreading the workers out means spaces won’t be able to fit in the same amount of sellable workspaces as before, leading to decreased revenues for the operators. This means we may see a hike in prices to counter this.

  1. Huge increase in the total number of spaces

A direct result of an increased number of coworkers is an increased number of coworking spaces.

We already know that there are new spaces opening all the time around the world. But with increased demand for the spaces, the number of new spaces opening will increase hugely.

With social distancing meaning coworking spaces will have to operate below max capacity, we’ll need new spaces to bring the total number of desks available back to pre-covid levels.

I said earlier that the cost of a desk could increase, however, lots of new spaces opening and the total number of desks increasing should counter this. Greater competition between coworking spaces should bring the cost per desk down or at least keep it steady.

In turn, the lower prices of coworking spaces will invite more individuals or companies to join the coworking revolution.

Coworking after the coronavirus – 3 things that will stay the same

While of course things will have to change, and we as workers are going to have to adapt, there will also be a few things that are going to stay the same, ensuring a little bit of continuity.

  1. There will still be the signature community vibe

First up, the community feel is not going away anytime soon. One of the greatest benefits of coworking is the collaborative environment and the community feel. You get a sense of belonging that greatly increases job satisfaction and productivity.

The community vibe is extremely important to coworking operators as it is one of coworking’s unique selling points. They have been working hard to ensure that it remains, even with the changes listed above.

With coworkers no longer able to be so close, and face to face contact limited where possible, you might think, well how can you retain that community feeling?

Well, coworking operators have been working around the clock to bring the community online as much as possible. Many offer a social media style online community where members can share content with one another. There are lots of tutorials and courses created by members online.

So, while you might not be so close and face to face conversations are not so common. Coworking will still keep that community feel via different means.

  1. It will still be first and foremost for freelancers, entrepreneurs and startups

Traditionally coworking spaces were created for freelancers, entrepreneurs and startups. Providing them with a cheaper alternative to expensive traditional office space.

Until recently, the majority of individuals and companies using coworking space have fallen into one of these three categories. However, that’s beginning to change.

As more and more businesses rent private offices in coworking space, and individual employees of large corporations join coworking space, the percentage of freelancers, entrepreneurs and startups has been decreasing.

With the majority of the new growth in coworking space coming from large corporations and their employees you have to wonder, will coworking still offer the specific benefits to freelancers, entrepreneurs and startups as it once did?

The answer is yes. While many new coworkers will be from large corporate companies, coworking will still be a great place for the original coworkers. Still providing a cheaper way to get access to great locations for those individuals and companies who need it most.

  1. Still far better than traditional office space

One of the main factors that draw new members to coworking is the greater array of benefits it offers over and above those that traditional office space provides.

There will be no change here, coworking will continue to offer far greater benefits than traditional office space.

Coworking after the coronavirus overview

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many things forever, and the way we work is no different. How we use office space will not be the same again, social distancing rules and greater hygiene is here to stay, so we must adapt.

However, while many things are going to change. There will also be some key things that remain unchanged.

After the coronavirus, coworking space will become more popular and there will be far more coworkers, yet they will become less densely packed, with workers spreading out to abide by social distancing rules. These two points will cause a huge acceleration in the design and building of new spaces, to ensure there are enough desks to cater for all the new workers.

The unique selling point of coworking, its community vibe and feel, will remain unchanged. Similarly, it will continue to be especially beneficial to the original kind of coworkers, freelancers, entrepreneurs and startups. Finally, coworking will continue to provide a greater range of benefits than traditional office space does.

Thanks for reading.