Occupancy levels in co-working spaces across the country were hit in March and April, and from May onwards some recovery has begun with the occupancy improving from 15-20 per cent to about 50-70 per cent level depending on the city. Many of those who had to work from home and didn’t have required infrastructure have started looking at ‘working near home’.
Sharing the emerging trends in the last few months, Awfis founder & CEO Amit Ramani told Telangana Today, “We are clearly seeing a new trend where corporates are looking at a distributed network of co-working spaces in each city so that employees can operate from spaces within their vicinity, instead of making them commute to one major centralised commercial location.”
And another trend is that some level of re-densification is happening within the co-working spaces to ensure social distancing to meet the safety norms and expectations in the coming 3-6 months. Common areas, cafes and pantries will be avoided for some time to ensure safety. Since the occupancy levels are low in co-working spaces now, social distancing is not an immediate challenge now, but will become crucial when footfalls will increase.
However, in terms of occupancy, co-working space providers which were largely dependent on the startups and freelancers were impacted more after the pandemic outbreak, while those who largely catered to large enterprises saw stable activity.
Co-working space provider Awfis is reaching up to 80 per cent of its pre-covid sales levels, as those who were operating in conventional office spaces whose renewals were due have started moving to flex or co-working spaces.
Ramani said that technology will play a big role in these times. Awfis, for instance, has rolled out an app even before Covid that allows co-working space occupants to have a seamless experience for booking meeting rooms and access other areas.
And for those employees or independent professionals who were required to work from home, the company recently launched Awfis@Home, providing smart furniture, seamless connectivity and an integrated tech enablement platform on subscription and one-time payment mode.
When asked if a dip in the hospitality business which is impacted by lockdown is leading to new opportunities, Ramani said, “We have been creating spaces in hotels and retail mall spaces. We are seeing many deals in this segment with several large brands and Awfis is currently in the process of finalising deal structures. Hotels are keen to turn their banquets (2,000-10,000 sq ft space) into co-working spaces. This is a huge opportunity.”
This story appeared in the 12 September , 2020 issue of Telangana Today and was originally published at : Distributed network to drive co-working space growth (telanganatoday.com)