Coworking Sector Expected To Flourish In Post-pandemic World
SINGAPORE – While the global coworking industry has declined 13 percent in 2020 based on a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com due to the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible working centres are expected to continue operating, according to a commentary published on ChannelNewsAsia (CNA) on Tuesday morning (15 December).
Subtenants and members of coworking centres in Singapore were initially “left in limbo” over the rental rebates of such facilities during the circuit breaker period, leaving a bad experience to many clients and entrepreneurs, said the authors of the commentary.
“But recent studies of the coworking sector suggest brighter prospects in the post-pandemic economy,” wrote Carys Chan and Julian Waters-Lynch. The former is an Organisational Psychology lecturer at Griffith University’s School of Applied Psychology, while the latter is a professor in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Organisational Design at RMIT University’s School of Management.
As proof, they cited Singapore’s JustCo, as well as Spacenow and The Commons in Australia have all reported a significant rise in enquiries from potential customers as the health crisis unfolded. Moreover, enquiries at JustCo rebounded to 85 percent of pre-COVID levels.
“We can expect renewed interest and uptake of co-working spaces going forward. It may be that the flexible working arrangements forced upon organisations during the outbreak will be retained even after the pandemic eases.”
For example, major tech firms like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce, and Twitter have all institutionalised some form of remote working.
The telecommuting trend goes beyond the tech sector, as a recent Gartner poll showed that roughly 74 percent of CFOs across the United States intend to increase the number of employees who are working from home permanently.
Additionally, some companies are implementing hybrid work arrangements, wherein some staff are only required to go to their workplace 2 or 3 days per week.
“We should expect to see more organisations end their fixed long-term leases in the central business districts and turn to coworking spaces which have more affordable, scalable and flexible leases,” noted the duo.
One example is IT recruitment agency Real Time Australia, which relinquished its physical office space in Melbourne and Sydney during the beginning of the health crisis. At present, the company is taking advantage of coworking space listed on Spacenow for its team collaborations and external meetings.