As the COVID-19 keeps spreading with no signs of effective prevention, governments, corporates, businesses, and companies seem to be in a stage of panic. Many companies have asked their employees to work from home while stakeholders around the nation are looking for ways to prevent the virus from affecting trade.
Stocks are plummeting as many businesses continue to survive on minimum resources and among all this kerfuffle, the new-age business hub, co-working spaces are caught between the crossfire.
As of now, co-working spaces make up 10% of the total office spaces, which is expected to rise to 25% in the upcoming years. Many corporations are also dipping their toes in the idea of co-working spaces, nevertheless, so far, startups have been dominating the occupancy.
In light of the recent virus outbreak, co-working spaces have started taking preventive measures to ensure the safety of their clients as well as the hygiene of the offices. Co-working spaces find themselves more responsible for promoting a safe environment as many startups lack the resources to be able to take care of themselves in such scenarios.
Many co-working spaces have issued warnings and advice urging members to work from home for as long as the danger of a potential epidemic continues. The members of the co-working space are also being enlightened about safety measures and personal hygiene.
Around 2 million people are a part of 35,000 co-working spaces globally. India, by the end of September 2019, had around 1000 working spaces, which makes it the second-largest co-working space industry after China.
Coronavirus could also potentially prove to be advantageous for co-working spaces as well. According to a report by The Korean Herald, the co-working business, We Work has seen many new members as companies are looking for alternative workspaces for their employees.
“Companies of all sizes and industries in the region — members and nonmembers – have been reaching out to us for multiple workplace options, as part of their proactive precautionary measure against COVID-19. We see demand from companies looking for alternative locations to house employees,” a WeWork spokesperson said.
In India, co-working spaces are issuing advisories and taking every possible measure to prevent the virus from spreading. Companies like Qdesq, CoFynd, and Garage Society are all making sure none of their employees or members comes in contact with the virus by enforcing strict rules about hygiene and cleanliness.