The ongoing pandemic has caused businesses to ditch traditional work arrangements in favor of remote and hybrid models. It has also made entrepreneurs realize the value of coworking and flexible workspaces, so more companies are opting for shared spaces and managed offices to survive the pandemic and stay in business.
However, simply shifting to a coworking space might not be enough to tide over the difficult times. Given that the pandemic will continue for several months, you must also know how to get the maximum value from coworking. The key here is to understand the unique features of coworking and unitize them to your advantage.
In this post, the experts at The Office Pass (TOP), one of the leading coworking operators in India, talk about how you can derive the ultimate value from coworking during COVID times.
6 Tips to Get the Ultimate Value from Coworking During COVID Times
- Make the Most of Lease Flexibility
- Come Up with Smart Schedules and Timings
- Keep Yourself Up-To-Date with Virtual Events
- Network Within the Community
- Ask About Bonuses and Discounts
- Choose Neighborhood Offices in Multiple Locations
1. Make the Most of Lease Flexibility
One of the defining features of coworking is flexibility, and you can tap into it while navigating the current economic instability caused by COVID-19. Rather than committing to a long-term contract, you can lease desks for anywhere between a few days to a few months. It gives you the flexibility to downsize or upsize your team or exit the workspace without complications.
Some operators might also offer hourly or pay-as-you-use packages, which are ideal for small businesses. Short-term packages also make it easier for you to switch to remote working when the government enforces lockdowns and curfews. You can start working out of your coworking space after COVID restrictions are eased, and you don’t have to pay for the period when you didn’t use the office.
Many coworking spaces also have ways for businesses to maintain their square footage while lowering costs. For example, you can reduce the rental by switching from a window office to an interior office. So, check your membership plan and see how you can make the most of it.
2. Come Up with Smart Schedules and Timings
Everyone in the business world would agree that it is going to be a while before we return to a daily 9 to 5 routine. To maintain physical distancing and minimize office costs, you can consider scheduling your office timings strategically. For instance, instead of renting ten desks, you could rent five desks and have your employees work on alternate days.
Alternatively, you can take a more free-form approach that allows team members to book time in the office that is most convenient to them. For example, an employee may want to work from the office for a few hours in the morning when his/her children are attending online classes. Likewise, another employee might prefer afternoon hours when there are fewer people around.
Such smart timings and schedules help you balance your budgets and enhance employee productivity during the pandemic. More importantly, you can make sure that your business is functioning in a safe and COVID-appropriate manner.
3. Keep Yourself Up-To-Date with Virtual Events
Coworking offices have always been known for the wide range of networking and business events they organize. One of the effects of COVID-19 on coworking spaces is that most of these events have moved online and become easier to attend. Such events are the best way to stay connected to the community and keep yourself updated about the latest trends and changes in the industry.
Besides, you can attend events organized by other companies working in the same space. You’d be surprised at how often they’re facing the same challenges you are. The coworking operator may also give you free or discounted access to private events, all of which help you get better perspectives and insights.
4. Network Within the Community
While many things about how businesses function may be changing, the one thing that has remained constant is the need for networking. With the advent of the pandemic, networking opportunities outside offices have become scanty. However, since coworking spaces house multiple businesses and professionals in the same building, networking happens naturally.
Try and connect with the community around you to keep your spirits high and expand your business during the pandemic. Even large, successful companies have started looking at decentralizing their offices and are working out of coworking space after COVID. You can meet and network with professionals from diverse sectors, and even seek collaborations.
Many shared offices also often have internal communication channels like their own LinkedIn Group or a Slack channel. Log into these channels of communication and use them to exchange views with other people working in the space.
5. Ask About Bonuses and Discounts
There are several cost-cutting deals you may get at a coworking space. For example, you may get business discounts on Amazon Web Services, gym memberships, air tickets, passes to networking events, and discounts on business services from partners. Coworking space providers may also offer referral bonuses or credits that can be used in exchange for facility usage.
Not all of this information may be listed on the company website. Unless you ask about it, you probably won’t hear about it. So, speak to the space providers as well as other people who have been working out of the space. Many reputed coworking operators like The Office Pass also offer free credits, discounts on packages, and additional discounts for female members.
6. Choose Neighborhood Offices in Multiple Locations
To get the ultimate value from coworking spaces, you can also choose more than one neighborhood office. Many coworking space providers have multiple locations in the city. Rather than choosing several desks at a single location, look into the possibility of dividing the number of desks between the different spaces.
Neighborhood offices make it more convenient for employees in different parts of the city to use the facilities. It also helps reduce the risks related to commuting since employees can walk to the office. Click here to know more about the benefits of neighborhood offices during COVID times.
According to the latest studies, flexibility and other features offered by shared offices ensure a strong future of coworking post-COVID times. In other words, coworking spaces are here to stay, despite the setbacks and challenges posed by the pandemic. It’s high time you moved into one and started reaping the benefits of coworking.