Christoph Hammer is Senior Vice President and Product Owner at ezeep, a cloud printing platform for coworking and flexible workspaces. ezeep stands for “easy printing“; the solution takes away the technical hassle of administrating network printers as well as tracking and charging printouts of coworking members. The company also cares about planting trees to offset the carbon footprint of coworking spaces’ print jobs. Christoph Hammer witnessed how Covid-19 hit coworking spaces from the other side and shares some thoughts with us about how he envisions what’s to come.
The highlights from our conversation with Christoph Hammer are summarised below:
- According to ezeep, on average, 30% of coworking spaces members print every given month.
- With cloud presence in hundreds of spaces around the globe, ezeep is very well positioned to see the slowing down and catching up processes of coworking spaces during the Covid19 crisis: “April was the low point. There was barely any printing activity. Maybe 20% of the normal. In May, the activity slowly started to come back. In June, we saw a 50% growth over the month. We are confident it will keep moving back to normal”, affirms Christoph Hammer.
- The story is the same almost everywhere. The exception would be South America, where the situation is still grim. In Asia the situation is very much depending on the country. The Philippines are so far doing worse than other Asian countries for instance.
- Some coworking spaces have opened their doors for other people in the neighbourhood to allow them to print out stuff while they had no printing capabilities – Like a local print shop.
- What does ezeep see as the upcoming next steps for coworking? “The signals are contradictory. According to some surveys, only 70% of coworking members will want to come back. On the other hand corporates are said to be looking more for flexible workspace options, fuelling new demand for coworking. Which of these trends will win? That’s the big question”, says Christoph Hammer.
- Christoph thinks that we might be about to see a shift in the usual profile of coworking spaces users. The traditional freelancers or startups could become a minority as oppose to employees of middle or big companies: “Coworking with a community focus might be challenged “.
- ezeep sees new patterns people implement to keep in touch: “There are concepts we see now supporting the idea of virtual coworking. Having virtual lunches together for instance”.
- Business suites are not as much under pressure as open office plans.
- Meeting rooms seems to be booming as well: “People can’t have meetings with customers in their kitchen”.
- Zoom rooms also are proving to be a huge success it seems. “Smaller meeting rooms, with good tech, this seems to be what people are looking for”.
- Christopher also expects a change in the financial risk sharing between coworking operators and tenants: “At the moment, coworking operators support all the risk. In the future, it might become important for companies to commit for a longer term, not for 10 years, but for 1 or 2 years instead of two months. This is a shift we could see”.
- As a member of the PropTech community, ezeep expects the move towards more space automation to continue.
- Remote virtual concierge could become a big thing in the industry, he believes.
Watch the full video conversation with Christoph Hammer below.