The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has left numerous industries struggling to sustain operations, especially in the flexible office industry. Across the globe, many coworking operators and flexible office providers were forced to close their doors to members as governments announced varying degrees of work-from-home orders.
However, the coworking industry has displayed a particular resiliency to the impact of the current health crisis. Throughout lockdowns and periods of self-isolation, coworking operators have transitioned their business models to serve members from afar, offering alternatives like virtual coworking and various work-from-home packages.
At their very core, coworking spaces are a service-oriented, shared workspace that are flexible in nature. This underlying mission of workplace flexibility has led major operators to pivot during the COVID-19 outbreak and develop full-scale response programs for the benefit of members.
Already, key players in the industry like Industrious, Serendipity Labs, and Venture X are paving the way for the continuity of coworking with COVID-19 response programs.
Industrious’ Launches ‘Continuous’ Program
Industrious, the largest premium workplace provider in the U.S., has announced new partnerships with leading service providers to deliver a range of health, wellness, and lifestyle services while members continue to work from home. These partnerships are a key component of Industrious’ COVID-19 response program Continuous, which is designed to deliver sustainable work-from-home solutions while also helping companies prepare for their eventual return to the workplace.
Industrious members can access free or discounted services to support their day-to-day work and life, including: free professional online counseling with a licensed therapist through BetterHelp; online access to doctors and health coaches through Parsley Health; and functional music developed by scientists to support concentration, relaxation, and sleep through Brain.fm.
“Industrious is a company that will go to the ends of the earth to make things a little better for our members, and our partners in Continuous share our belief that this commitment only grows stronger when times get tough,” said CEO Jamie Hodari. “Since the pandemic began, we’ve continually engaged with members to identify how to make the most of working from home, and these partnerships reflect those discussions.”
The new benefits have been specially curated to reflect Industrious’ commitment to delivering a great workday for members, even if it means going beyond the four walls of the company’s spaces. Other member benefits include products, services, and discounts from companies including Care/of, TaskRabbit, KiwiCo, and more.
‘Emerging Stronger, Together’ with Serendipity Labs
New York-based Serendipity Labs, which has coworking locations in most urban areas of the U.S., was one of the first companies to implement both digital solutions for members and an extensive workplace transition program. The program, called Emerging Stronger, Together, aims to help businesses regain momentum and employees reclaim control during the transition from working at home to the future of work.
“As experts in remote work, we have created trusted, flexible workplaces with ample space to be comfortable — close to home — where safety is paramount,” according to Serendipity Labs’ program announcement.
Emerging Stronger, Together includes four main offerings: transitional workplace subscriptions, on-demand private offices and desks by the day, video-enabled small meeting rooms, and virtual offices.
Included in the transitional workplace subscription is a variety of features designed to directly support business owners that need additional agility. For example, the subscription includes spacious private offices and team rooms for $299 per desk per month, along with total flexibility to reassign memberships among employees or to transfer anywhere in the operator’s network.
Offering transferable workspace subscriptions for private dedicated workspaces in any location in Serendipity Labs’ national network is attractive to tenants for obvious reasons. This program is one of the most flexible offerings in the shared office industry, which is attractive to growing businesses as well as corporate entities looking to decentralize operations.
Venture X and the ‘Reopening America Together’ Initiative
Venture X, a shared workspace community that contains a blend of boutique hotel and modern office styles, is also promoting a new COVID-19 response program for members to make the transition back to work easier. As part of the United Franchise Group (UFG), which is a family of brands representing over 1,600 affiliated companies worldwide, Venture X is playing a crucial role in the Reopening America Together initiative.
The initiative is ultimately a resource to empower local businesses in the U.S. as they reopen, and Venture X is supporting the efforts of UFG by offering safe, clean workspaces for business owners.
Venture X will offer their private offices to help those finding it impossible to work from home and support entrepreneurs in launching new businesses with their virtual office solutions. All proceeds raised during the Reopening America Together campaign will be applied to the GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund.
Despite the uncertainties in the market for flexible office space that COVID-19 has created, coworking operators are showing a particular resiliency to the fluctuations in demand.
By outlining extensive programs in response to COVID-19 to support the return to work, coworking operators like Industrious, Serendipity Labs, and Venture X are carving out their own growing niches as the market begins its recovery.
To see evidence of the flexible office industry’s current climate in terms of recovery, read our latest article, which includes promising data from Coworker.