Is coworking built to survive the socially-distanced world?

Jul 27, 2022

last year, when the Covid-19 pandemic pushed companies and their employees into the new world of work-from-home (WFH), one of the biggest questions that gathered steam over the months was about the future of offices and co-working spaces. As both emptied of occupants, it was uncertain how and when they would fill up again.

A year—and a second wave of the pandemic—later, what seems to be emerging is a model in which both companies and employees prefer flexibility. While companies prefer the flexibility of office sizes, rent tenures and costs, given the economic uncertainties and the need to reduce overhead expenditures, employees prefer flexibility of when and where to work, given their need to cut out the daily commute and work closer to home. And co-working spaces—also referred to as ‘flexible spaces’—are likely to emerge as the winner, as they adapt their business models and offerings to suit both these needs. What was once considered options for startups and freelancers, is now gaining the attention of businesses of all sizes.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that flexibility can work for both employees and employers, and flexible working is the new currency for attracting and retaining top talent,” says Anurag Malik, partner, people advisory services, EY India, a consultancy firm. “Employers who want to keep the best people now and in the next normal will need to put flexible working at the centre of their talent strategy, and accordingly redesign their work models to increase flexibility for their employees.”

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