Olga Fomenko is the Global Relations Manager and the Leader of the Market Team at MatchOffice, one of the largest serviced office brokers worldwide based in Denmark and Ukraine. In its yearly Industry report, MatchOffice surveyed 1.472 flex office and coworking providers in 58 countries. According to the 2020 data, 74% of operators and landlords report their businesses have been severely or significantly hit by the coronavirus crisis. Only 25% find themselves only lightly affected. We have interviewed Olga Fomenko to find out more about its results and how she envisions the future.
The highlights from our conversation with Olga Fomenko are summarised just here:
- MatchOffice tries to find out tendencies regarding occupancy, pricing, contract plans, etc. They figured out differences year after year: “A couple of years ago everybody was raving about working in an open space and how good it was for productivity. Last year another research contradicted that and said open space wasn’t actually good, it was distracting and everybody moved to closed offices”
- More than 60% of the interviewed coworking spaces say they expect a dramatic impact due to Covid-19 crisis: “A lot of tenants decided to work from home on an indefinite bases; the most popular option nowadays is virtual offices and people sometimes gather together at meeting rooms to brainstorm”
- Olga sees differences between the impact in big and small coworking spaces: For bigger operators it will be easier as they have longer terms of contract (5-10 months) and they can be occupied by bigger and smaller companies. Small operators that are mostly occupied by freelancers are standing empty now that everybody works from home”
- There is a correlation between how hard a country has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact in the coworking sector: “Italy and Spain reported they were influenced by the crisis a lot; if we take Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium… they mostly reported things were pretty calm. Also, they had government support packages that might have benefited them”
- Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, occupancy rates were very high, close to 90% in most of the European countries, as well as in Asia and Northern America
- Since common areas are not allowed anymore, coworking spaces are trying to change their working models switching to more closed offices. Also, MatchOffice have noticed an increase for virtual offices and meeting rooms.
- There is a hybridisation tendency: “Meeting rooms are now being equipped more and more with video-conference materials. This is what to expect in the near future. Also, operators will have to equip their rooms with the new standards”
- Operators switched their attention to different marketing platforms: “Operators are really active. They try to find new ways to get more clients for their workplaces”
Watch the full video conversation with Olga Fomenko below.