How can we help coworking spaces to survive the COVID-19 outbreak?9 min read

How can we help coworking spaces to survive the COVID-19 outbreak?9 min read

Reading Time: 7 minutes

The world has come to a halt over the last few weeks and many now are working from home. Our team from CoworkBooking.com have decided to organize a fundraiser in order to support coworking spaces, so once the crisis is over we can work again from our favourite coworking space.

I had the pleasure to talk with four community managers from four different countries to find out how our initiative could help them.

Candy from LOKAL in Tbilisi, Georgia

How did the COVID-19 outbreak affect your coworking space? (Tell us what problems are you facing now and what should happen in the futur for you to be able to continue running your coworking space) 

LOKAL opened our door ‘officially’ on March 1st and due to COVID, we officially closed for health and safety reasons a mere 13 days later. From the start of the shut-down, we began to put plans in place to minimize the financial effects, we’ve made accommodations to keep most of our staff employed, and we’ve moved all of our events to a virtual platform (for free) to keep our community members engaged. We’ve collaborated with other digital nomad communities to bring more resources and events and to help support one another. 

We recognize that space and general day-to-day operations will have to change post-COVID. We’re analyzing these on a constant basis and working hard to put best practices in place to ensure the continued health and safety of both our members and our staff. 

How could donations help you and your members? (Tell us how would you use the money and what that also means for the members) 

As a newly opened business, we were planning on the summer season to balance out our opening investment. With our doors closed and the monthly expenses still continuing, we foresee a strong need for future investment into the business to accommodate the health and safety needs of our future community members. We were already operating at a very low profit margin in order to keep our member fees affordable. 

Donations will allow us to purchase the necessary supplies and equipment to make sure that member health and safety is accommodated without causing an increase in member prices. 

Because we are confident that the post-COVID community in Tbilisi is going to grow exponentially, we are also looking into moving to a larger space where our community can continue to thrive and grow while maintaining adequate space that meets new social distancing requirements. Any donations beyond the immediate needs will be put aside for our future growth. 

Do you have any message for nomads? (How can they help and come together as a community to help to their favorite place to work) 

LOKAL has been focused on continuing our mission of creating a strong, supportive community, developing unique and creative offerings, and building excitement for the future of travel in this incredible city. I am excited and confident in the future of Tbilisi as a perfectly suited Digital Nomad destination. 

How can you help ensure the future success of LOKAL? 

● Share! Share our virtual events. Share our Social Feeds. Share with your nomad friends so that when this is all over – we can continue to grow our community. 

● Collaborate with us! We’re always looking for speakers, knowledge / skill shares, affiliate partners, etc. Let’s help each other. 

● Pre-Purchase a membership for yourself or a friend. If you know that you are planning to come visit us in Tbilisi, this is the best way to support us now so we can be there for you when you arrive. 

Last but not least…drop us a donation. Even $5 would go a long way toward making our dreams at LOKAL a reality. We can’t do this without you. 

Simon from Coworking and Coliving Campus in Pembroke, Malta

How did the COVID-19 outbreak affect your coworking space? (Tell us what problems are you facing now and what should happen in the future for you to be able to continue running your coworking space)

The whole thing took us at Coworking and Coliving Campus by surprise, nobody thought it would be this bad. We mainly work with nomads who come from all over the world to Malta and live and work together. At the moment this is not possible. We hope to return as soon as possible to a world where people can move freely, where borders are open, where travelling and meeting people is fun again.

How could donations help you and your members? (Tell us how would you use the money and what that also means for the members)

Since we run a relatively large campus it is difficult for us to reduce the costs to zero. We have costs without it being possible to earn money. Fortunately we have some very dedicated people supporting us. I think that the donation would help them.

Do you have any message for nomads? (How can they help and come together as a community to help to their favorite place to work)

Focus on the essential and be ready for the new challenges.

Dominik from HubHub Bratislava, Slovakia and Budapest, Hungary

How did the COVID-19 outbreak affect your co-working space? (Tell us what problems are you facing now and what should happen in the future for you to be able to continue running your co-working space)

Like all industries, co-working spaces were hit by the pandemic. We have responded to all government and public health regulations. In the first days, the situation changed literally from hour to hour. HubHub is not only about space. It’s about people. Our community is the priority. So, the first challenge is to keep all our members well informed and provide everything that can help to protect them from COVID-19 like disinfection and meticulous cleaning of our premises. It’s about regular communication, updates and newsletters. The second one is from a business perspective. We have been discussing the situation with all our members case by case and we are trying to find the best way to help them, support them and keep our spaces full and alive.  The third one is related to community activities. We typically organise many events for our members and the wider community such as community breakfasts, drinks, small workshops and other kinds of events. We are missing those activities. Many of them are now in the online version, but physical presence is irreplaceable. I think that the changes that occur will be reflected by the overall change in people’s minds and the functioning of society. From the perspective of our business, it is hard to say what the market reaction will be. From the perspective of the operation of the premises, we expect an increased demand for cleanliness and hygiene in our offices from our members. Due to the flexibility of our products, we believe that our offer will remain attractive. Of course, we will follow current trends and market developments and adapt our strategy to the new challenges that the world will face after this pandemic.

How could donations help you and your members? (Tell us how would you use the money and what that also means for the members)

In addition to responding to the current situation, we think about the future of our services. The market will undoubtedly change and each sector will have to adapt to new conditions. We are considering how to improve services and offer members news that will help with the launch of their projects. New services also require new investments. We would use any support to improve our services.

Do you have any message for nomads? (How can they help and come together as a community to help to their favourite place to work)

As I mentioned above, HubHub is about the community. All co-working spaces are based on people and users. If possible, return to your offices and premises. Help not only financially, but also with your experience and knowledge. Support your colleagues and friends.

Martin from Coffice Prague, Czechia

How did the COVID-19 outbreak affect your coworking space? (Tell us what problems are you facing now and what what you are expecting in the future)

All our events at Coffice, which were an important part of our business, were all cancelled. Our situation was a bit special because we were just opening a few weeks before the pandemia started. So basically when we were takking off – with all the energy and happiness generated by starting a new project – we received this hard hit that put at risk so many previous months of work, sacrifice and dreams. Also, as our main product is hot desks “per hour”, our clients were always changing, so our community it was not strong enough. It feels like we will need to start again. Anyway, for the future, we are ready and positive! We are positive and we know that in a few months the coworkings will get even stronger than before. I think that this quarantine times will create a change in the way of working. Companies will be more flexibles about home office work and by the other side some new companies will move to coworking space o reduce costs (in some cases).

How could donations help you and your members?

We will use the money to keep our dream alive and add more services to our space (for example one small room for skype calls). All the donations the members will make could be used like credit by them to use in our hot desks or meeting room.

Do you have any message for nomads?

How can they help and come together as a community to help to their favourite place to work. Probably most of the nomads were also affected by the crisis, so the most important thing I can say is basically to not give up! This crisis was something out of our hands and it brings a lot of bad news for everyone. Anyway, I deeply believe that crisis is the moment to get stronger. There is no other option. Keep working, keep focused and be surrounded by people with the same mindset. Being pesimist never was a solution for anything, so runaway from there. In all these weeks I was working every day non-stop, working on our website, making new connections online and saving energy and ideas to develop once we will be back on the game. So basically I encourage everyone to connect with us, or with the coworking you want, we can still be social and we can still make good things together.

Written by: Kristina Lukacova, a DN that enjoys good food, good wine and good vibes.




Kika

Kristina Lukacova is a DN that enjoys good food, good wine and good vibes.