Our CEO, Alex Bonnet, recently spoke with Arbuthnot Latham about the appeal of coworking in a post-lockdown world.
Read the full article here – Arbuthnot Latham.
How has the Government’s lockdown affected the perception and utilisation of the coworking office environment?
Alex Bonnet, CEO, Venaspace:
“Considering the Government’s stay at home order and the rules around social distancing, a reasonable assumption would be that coworking and flexible workspace must be struggling, which is far from the truth.
“Despite this being a very worrying time, we were fortunate enough to have entered the pandemic in a strong financial position. At first, we did have to dedicate resources to ensure invoices were paid, and expenses were kept to a certain level. It is important to bear in mind that in the beginning, some client rent payments were suspended and tenancy contracts were not renewed.
“It was not until after the first three months of lockdown that we saw demand pick up for our services to the point where we are performing better than we did pre-pandemic. We are now at 95% capacity in terms of office space let, and with that rental income has also increased, showing that there is a shift in business needs that the coworking space fulfils more so than before.
“Social distancing rules and the changing needs of businesses when it comes to office utilisation, now that a percentage of staff are likely to work from home, led us to split our larger offices into smaller units. This has proved to be one of the main reasons we performed strongly during the pandemic. Another factor to the coworking space popularity is that businesses may not have the resources to move or refurbish their existing premises enough for a post-lockdown world, so they turn to us, as we have all the state-of-the-art amenities, cover cleaning costs, IT infrastructure, signage and Covid ‘proof’ office.
“Naturally, the use of conference facilities has declined, and this is an industry-wide issue. However, for us at least, we found some solace in using the large conference suites for small socially distanced meetings.”