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What Is Coworking Virtual Office And How To Use It

In this post, we’ve collected the most useful COVID-19 resources for coworking spaces. You’ll find blog posts, webinars, panel discussions… We hope they will help you go through the situation more easily.

COVID-19 is putting huge pressure on flex and coworking spaces all over the world. But the coworking community keeps being strong and supportive! And that’s a great thing to see because by supporting each other, we’ll go more easily through this.

For the last few weeks, we see so many operators and industry experts willing to share advice. And that’s great!

Below, you’ll find a list of useful blog posts, panel discussions, and other resources. We believe they might be of value to you in these challenging times. We’ll also update this on a regular basis so it’s relevant enough. 

P.S. Feel free to reach out to michaela@officernd.com if there’s a resource that’s not listed here but you find useful.

1. General advice

  • Webinar: Business Risk Planning for Your Flexible Office Space: A great panel discussion from GWA featuring one of the most experienced and successful operators and industry experts. You’ll learn about the measures they take to handle the situation. Some of them are thinking through proactive financial measures and handling member cancellations.
  • Webinar: COVID19 – How to Close Your Space Without Going Out of Business: Another useful talk from Alex Hillman, co-founder of Indy Hall, one of the most respected coworking communities. The video chronicles the day-by-day decisions and actions taken to navigate the crisis of COVID19 and close the space. 
  • Blog post: 5 Tips for Coworking or Flex Space Business to Approach the COVID-19 Crisis: A blog post, explaining how to focus on the two major elements to preserve your business during the crisis – financial stability and customer retention. The measures you’ll take depend on the size of your workspace, team, and resources. But you’ll find several tips that are applicable in any case.
  • Blog post: OfficeRnD Video Rooms: The Best Way To Engage Your Coworking Community Online: Being adaptive in terms of communication and using the proper coworking apps could be key to succeeding in keeping your community engaged online. OfficeRnD now allows your members to start a video call with other coworkers directly from the app. And there’s no need to use additional tools/software!
  • Webinar: How Coworking Operators in China and South Korea Proceed: A great talk if you are interested in knowing how the coworking sector in China and South Korea is handling the situation.

covid 19 business risk planning for flex spaces

2. Talking to your landlord

  • Webinar: How to Have The Right Conversation With Your Landlord: A great talk from GCUC featuring Giovanni Palavicini, a Real estate and Flex space expert. It will be useful to all flexible workspace operators who are looking at having a conversation with their landlord. And if you’re not looking, you should! The talk highlights the importance of this step, how to approach the process, and how to negotiate.
  • Webinar: How To Talk With Your Landlord During A Crisis: GWA invited Laurent Dhollande, CEO of Pacific Workplaces, and Wolf Bielas, Managing Partner at Downtown Works on the Coworking Council Series to have an honest discussion of how best to approach talking through your options with your landlord during a time of crisis. Laurent shared how Pacific Workplaces approached his conversation with his landlords back in 2008 during the Great Recession. Wolf, who provided the landlord perspective, said that landlords are nervous as well. However, we’re all in this together. He provided several suggestions for how operators can navigate communicating with their landlord.
  • Email template: How to talk to your commercial landlord during COVID19: A great example of an email sent from Alex Hillman to his landlord. He states you can use it as a template. But have in mind this “is NOT a magic wand that will make your landlord stop your rent. All landlords are different, and their willingness or capacity to be supportive right now will vary widely. What it WILL do is open the door for a thoughtful and considerate negotiation.”

3. Finance and (alternative) revenue streams

  • Webinar: Finances, Communications, and Marketing During Covid-19: Coworking marketing expert Kevin Whelan teamed up with Sean Eikerman of Cultivate Advisors to bring you some strategies and tactics for surviving and building in the next few months and beyond. The two main points that are covered are:1. How to manage your financials and weather the storm (including cash forecasting, managing expenses with a forward-looking lens, etc);
    2. How to handle marketing and communications today and going forward. You can find communication strategies for the indefinite future, the shift from lead generation to brand development, etc.
  • Blog post: Should Members Pay Their Coworking Membership During COVID-19: The answer is yes, and no because it depends. In the post, you’ll find more about what to consider to make the right decision, maintain relatively steady revenue and strong relationship with your coworking members during COVID-19.

4. Virtual office

5. The impact of COVID-19 on the flex space industry

  • Blog post: Coworking Spaces, COVID-19 and the aftermath: how flexible office spaces will be key to rebuild the economy: We are all talking about the challenges that the flex space industry is facing because of COVID-19 and the economic lockdown. However, there are also a lot of opportunities and the flex space industry is actually in a pretty good position. This article explains the reasons for this.
  • Blog post: Surge in demand for serviced offices as many people abandon working from home: Some companies providing serviced offices are observing a huge increase in the demand from people who are finding it too hard to work from home (especially those having kids, or experiencing too many distractions or lacking a proper workspace at home).
  • Blog post: Coworking 3.0 – The Flexible Workspace Industry post COVID-19The new wave of spaces will provide better facilities in the form of more space through better capacity planning and high-quality fresh air. Coworking 3.0 offers more business and virtual services to satisfy the need of the business community. They also provide deeper work-life integration. Coworking 3.0 is more technologically advanced, efficient, automated, and cost-effective.
  • Webinar: GWA 2019 Industry Benchmark Survey: Earlier this year, GWA released the research report from our 2019 industry survey of flexible office operators and owners. We recently invited data analyst and fellow operator Craig Baute, Founder of Creative Density, to discuss the survey results.
  • Report: 2020 State of the Flexible Workspace Industry Report: The report aims to showcase where the flexible workspace industry is heading in 2020 not only from the operators’ but from the members’ point of view. You’ll find important benchmarks like space occupancy, members’ preferences, and demand and supply trends. The document includes data from before the crisis. You will also find comments from industry experts on what can expect in the future due to COVID-19.
  • Blog post: The Coworking Evolution in Times of CrisesThe coworking industry is facing two huge crises – the external COVID-19 and the internal identity crises. And both seem to be here to stay. But they also create opportunities for the flexible workspace industry to have an incredibly positive social and economic impact.

6. Reopening strategies

  • Blog post: How To Reopen Your Coworking Space Post-COVID: To reopen your coworking space post-COVID you need to invest in extreme cleanliness, top-notch air quality, space improvements, as well as a dozen other aspects. In the post, you’ll find some ideas about how to approach this process.
  • Panel discussion: Post-COVID Strategies for ReopeningA great discussion about how operators can plan to re-opening our spaces. The panel moderated by Antony Slumbers and features a number of flex space operators.
  • Blog post: How Coworking Spaces in South Asia Fight COVID-19: Coworking spaces in Asia were among the first to start thinking about how they can fight COVID-19, and ultimately start the recovery and reopening process. To help more operators learn from their experience, we share the story of Kickstart, Pakistan’s largest coworking space operator.
  • Blog post: 7 Great Apps and Tools for Coworking Spaces Post-COVID: Technology has always been fundamental for increasing efficiency, but it also helps you provide a safer workspace environment. Touchless and low-touch devices, door access, member apps, motion sensor lights can all help you deal with the post-COVID crisis.

 7. Other resources, templates, etc

  • Blog post (for OfficeRnD Customers): Features That Can Help Your Coworking or Flex Space During the COVID-19 Crisis: If you are an OfficeRnD customer, we outlined how you can make the most out of the product (both the Desktop and Mobile coworking app) to deal with some of the challenges you’ll face in the upcoming months. We’ve focused on 4 main elements: digital community, operations, safety, and reporting.
  • Facebook group: COVID-19 Discussion Group – Global Workspace Association: A Facebook group created by GWA to help workspaces during COVID-19 the crisis. You’ll find lots of useful information and update on the situation. It’s also a great place to ask for advice and discuss with other operators the situation or specific cases. We strongly recommend joining.
  • Spreadsheet template: Coworking Operator’s Guide to Covid-19: Our friends at Coworking Resources have gathered a database with useful resources to help you maintain your space, stay engaged with your community from a distance, and stay well-informed as events unfold. The information is most valuable to US operators but it might be of help to anyone else, too.
  • Blog post: The Definitive List of COVID-19 Resources for Coworking Spaces: A very detailed list from coworking marketing expert Kevin Whelan. It contains plenty of valuable resources to help you handle the current crisis. You will also find links to examples of coronavirus-related campaigns that some operators are running currently.

Be safe, be patient, and be strong!

P.S. Feel free to reach out to michaela@officernd.com if there’s a resource that’s not listed here but you find useful.

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