Coworking space remains sustainable for enterprises amid coronavirus

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NOW that global economic activities have slowly resumed with the easing of lockdown measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, companies have reopened their businesses while still prioritizing employee engagement and productivity.

Although working from home has brought a great deal of convenience, returning to the workplace remains possible without compromising social distancing.

It is for this reason that companies still consider to have multiple workspaces in the same place to back up their segregated employees. This is by alternate staffing or having or setting up their headquarters in one building and have supporting functions in other flexible shared offices.

“Having a workspace remains as a powerful tool to foster engagement, inspire innovation, and drive productivity,” said Turochas Fuad, WeWork managing director for Southeast Asia and Korea. “A well designed one will further elevate the work environment and experience for employees, promoting better collaboration, comfort and happiness in the workplace. It is now even more important to provide employees with the confidence of a workplace that prioritizes their health and safety.”

The WeWork Southeast Asia team has recently reviewed feedback and worked with industry partners and government bodies across health and safety, cleaning, construction, and design to install enhancements.

From adjusting shared spaces with staggered seating and buffer zones to accelerated cleaning and sanitization procedures, the focus will be on three key areas: prioritizing personal space, cleanliness and behavioral signage.

“WeWork has redefined the workspace over the years, reimagined for the way spaces are sourced, built and designed to ultimately bring people together and help members be successful,” he said.

Fuad added that their space design aims to achieve an elevated office environment and experience for the members, “promoting better collaboration, productivity, comfort and happiness in the workplace.”  While Manila is stil under the general community quarantine, the company keeps on engaging its members by taking inspiration from its community element—arranging webinars and sessions with business leaders and members to sustain ongoing engagements and exchange of ideas.

“While distancing may be part of the new work order, our goal is to ease the transition back to the workplace by proactively revamping WeWork’s product to meet member expectations around social distancing and cleanliness. This allows us to focus on our ability to create an environment that facilitates connection globally in a thoughtful and user-friendly way,” the top executive said.

Beyond fostering partnership and productivity, the firm’s role is also to drive business efficiency of its members.

“As many of our enterprise members have a global presence through us, they have been turning to us for counsel and guidance to navigate the evolving situation and ensure the safety of their employees across the region,” Fuad said. “We are also seeing an increase in proactive conversations from our members and non-members to better understand the importance and relevance of space-as-a-service as part of their business continuity planning strategy.”

Flexible workspaces allow enterprises to scale the amount of space needed, especially in the time of Covid-19. In fact, big companies are future-proofing operational efficiencies by innovating their global real-estate strategy and closing deals with flexible workspaces.

As the Philippines continues to attract global and regional companies, they turn to WeWork to address their real-estate needs—with their speed-to-market up to three times faster than traditional options and with end-to-end solutions from information technology, employee experience to security and now post-Covid-19 solutions.

WeWork Philippines has been able to track a 25-percent growth in enterprise members from last year to May 2020, being one of the markets with the highest growth across Southeast Asia, next to Malaysia.

Given the new normal, strict protocols will always come with innovative approaches toward collaboration and productivity so as to have common workspaces. Fuad stressed: “We will always be driven by the concepts of community and connection and ready to pivot to what companies need. This is what truly makes us WeWork.”

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