Coworking Will Survive COVID, Despite What the Headlines Say

Women in a meeting in a coworking space

It’s an old joke in the online news space that if a headline asks a scary-sounding question, the answer will invariably be “No.”

  • Can You Die From Drinking Coffee?
  • Is Your Phone Sending You Subliminal Messages In Your Sleep?
  • Does Talking To Yourself Mean You’re Insane?

Clearly, the answer is no, but media outlets are so fixated on writing clickbaity headlines that frighten people into jabbing at the phone screen like it contains the coffee antidote.

I was reminded of that when I saw a recent article, Will Corona Kill Coworking? by Influencive.com.

The answer, as you would guess, is no. No, Corona will not kill coworking. No, the industry will not fail because of the coronavirus.

And the sub-head wasn’t much better: The pandemic has significantly altered work including coworking.

You think?

The entire world has been “significantly altered,” so it stands to reason that coworking has been affected.

The shipping industry has been “significantly altered.” The entertainment industry has been “significantly altered.” The manufacturers that make those little plastic things at the end of shoelaces have been “significantly altered.” (Those little plastic things are called aglets.)

So, yes, our industry has been altered, but if anything, the pandemic will see coworking rebound and grow even bigger and better than before.

Women in a meeting in a coworking spaceThat’s because so many people have been working from home this past year and so many businesses have been shutting down and moving out of their commercial office spaces. Now, the commercial real estate has been affected and they’re even considering adopting short-term rental strategies

But companies will still want their employees to be in a work setting, once it’s safe, and coworking spaces are a natural fit for that philosophy.

Companies can rent clusters of desks for their employees, and let them gather and work as needed. They’ll have the option to work from home or go into the office. But there’s no need to rent an actual office and pay all those utility costs. All people really need is a desk, wifi, and a meeting space, and coworking provides all that.

Influencive Doesn’t Even Believe Their Own Headline

Well, of course, Influencive doesn’t actually believe their own headline. If they did, they wouldn’t have made it a question, it would be a bold prediction.

They even say as much in the second half of the article:

So what is the future for coworking? After facing a drop in 2020, occupancy will rise and stabilize. According to a Global Coworking Growth Study, the number of coworking spaces worldwide is projected to reach almost 20,000 this year. More companies are sending their workers to coworking spaces. With all the entrepreneurs looking for an enjoyable space to make their work easier, coworking is becoming a more and more popular option. Despite Corona, coworking is predicted to grow and expand significantly. Even so, the growth is expected to be gradual and moderate.

In other words, not killed.

The bottom line: Coworking isn’t going to be going anywhere. You may see the large coworking giants like WeWork and MakeOffices closing down their spaces, but they’re sinking a lot of money into a lot of expensive real estate, and they had the misfortune of bad timing.

But don’t let those stories scare you away from coworking. There are still plenty of small spaces opening up, especially outside of the major (and expensive) cities. They’re opening up in the smaller cities and tiny towns: Recently, CoWorking On Central opened up in Whitefish, Montana, a town of roughly 7,700 people.

The need for coworking will be there. The giant coworking companies may not be, but the smaller operators know there’s a need and it’s only going to grow as people get their vaccinations and continue to mask up during the pandemic.

So don’t let the scare headlines worry you or trick you into clicking. Remember, if the headline is a question, the answer is most likely “No.”

Photo credit: Rawpixel.com (PXHere.com, Creative Commons 0)

Author:
Erik Deckers is the Director of Marketing for Neoware Studios. He also owns a content marketing agency and has co-authored four books on social media marketing, including Branding Yourself and No Bullshit Social Media. He was the Spring 2016 writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando.

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