How OfficeBing Survived the Pandemic: 5 Tips for Coworking Spaces
When the pandemic began, there was much speculation as to whether or not coworking spaces would survive the storm. While some coworking companies did have to shut down, others have made it through and even churned out a decent profit!
As coworking aggregators, we were also presented with challenges that could deeply impact our future. However, we managed to find solutions to each problem and have been doing quite well.
Today, we're sharing 5 strategies that helped us make it during the pandemic. (We hope they help!)
At the start of the pandemic, we faced a lot of demand from the BPO and call center industries. While some worked the regular shift, others had international processes and worked during the night.
Considering the unpredictability of the economy, we could not set up more spaces for these clients.
It was then that we realized we could lease our existing spaces in shifts to accommodate more teams! With this revised strategy, we were able to earn more money without making risky investments.
Turns out smart work is better than hard work!
When we founded OfficeBing, we were fully focused on setting up smart offices where people could come in and work together. Unfortunately, the pandemic situation didn't allow for people to gather in groups at a physical location.
At first, it felt like we had no other option but to let go of our goals and move on. But then, we realized that we already had an alternative in our portfolio — virtual offices.
As an aggregator, we noticed a spike in the number of clients registering for virtual offices. So, we decided to switch our focus from physical spaces to virtual offices. And it's been working out pretty well so far!
Sometimes, all it takes is a little readjustment to find your way again.
In today's pandemic situation, most business owners would do their best to keep all their clients happy. And you should, too! You definitely don't want to be losing clients during a tough time like this.
However, when you search for new clients, it is important to be realistic about your priorities.
During the first few months, we bent backward to get all possible clients to join our network. But we soon realized that such a frenzied approach would not work. So we analyzed the situation, and realized that big corporate clients were our best bet!
Big corporate clients are cash-rich, and won't be severely affected by the pandemic. Since they prioritize their employees' convenience, they are more likely to book seats for them at coworking centers near their homes. At the end of the pandemic, they could either switch to coworking completely or use the shared offices as additional spokes to their main hub office. Whichever way, we figured that these corporate clients were our best hope at business stability.
While focusing on corporate clients, we definitely did not ignore the needs of our startups and freelancers. We just planned practically to keep our company going.
Your spaces may have been designed as offices for corporate professionals, but they can also be used for other purposes.
If you have aesthetic, sound-proof cabins, you could consider marketing your space to Youtubers or musicians — they would be thrilled to have a professional space at an affordable price.
You could also open your space up for shooting TV series, commercials, or films during the weekends. The possibilities are endless!
When the pandemic began, we didn't really have a steady team. Some members had dropped out to pursue their education, while the rest were juggling multiple responsibilities to make things work.
We tried candidate after candidate and struggled quite a bit till we managed to build a steady team.
For any company to be successful, they must have a strong team with highly motivated, self-driven individuals. When tough times strike, only the most dedicated ones will go the extra mile to keep you in business.
It took us a while to find our chosen few, but it was definitely worth the wait
The main focus of any coworking space is flexibility. But that shouldn't just be limited to flexible seating or changeable agreement terms. Owners of coworking centers must also have a flexible approach in order to thrive in an ever-changing economy.
We, at OfficeBing, have been working both hard and smart during the pandemic. With our eyes on the future, we have managed to stay steady in uncertain times. We have shared our best strategies from experience, and hope that it helps coworking companies and other office owners find success even during this pandemic.
Remember, if you make it through this, you can make it through anything!
The article was written by Rohit Gawli. Rohit is a co-founder at OfficeBing, a co-working solutions company that has built a chain of industry-specialized office spaces in various parts of India. With a powerful technology platform, they aspire to meet the dynamic business needs of both office owners (space partners) and occupants (customers) at every step of the way. OfficeBing is now ready for the new-normal conditions and has started reopening its offices as per government-recommended safety protocols.