The COVID-19 crisis is the first real crisis the coworking sector is experiencing and already the financial crisis of 2008 looks like it would have been the better choice for a baptism of fire. At this point, no one can seriously say how long the crisis will last, what the effects are going to be and what the world will look like afterwards. The only sure thing is that almost all of the coworking spaces around the globe are already experiencing the effect on their business and community.
Whatever the circumstances, be it different governmental interventions, differences in operations or peculiarities of each community, we believe that inaction is probably not the best way forward. We have therefore gathered five coworking operators from the US, Spain, Israel, the Netherlands and Belgium in an online panel discussion to talk about their measures to get through the coronavirus craze.
Panelists taking part in the online discussion
- Paula Almansa, Co-founder and CEO at LOOM Coworking, Gallery and Event Space (Madrid)
- Nir Kelner, Head of Global Coworking Unit at Brain Embassy (Tel Aviv)
- Liz Elam, Co-founder and CEO at GCUC Global – Coworking Community (Austin, TX)
- Thom Wernke, Co-founder and CEO at StartDock (Amsterdam)
- Jean-Yves Huwart, Co-founder and CEO at SocialWorkplaces.com (Brussels)
Some key topics covered at the panel
- How have they changed their operations?
- How will they maintain their liquidity during the upcoming weeks?
- How do they tackle the imminent problem of customer churn?
- How to retain tenants?
- How to tap into the natural solidarity of coworking communities?
- How to negotiate with landlords and banks to postpone payments durint the time of the crisis?
- What are the perspectives of the coworking industry?
- Can we come out better and with new creative ways to address the needs of our members once this is all over?
Click the video above to watch the full conversation.