Nir Kelner is Head of Global Coworking Unit at Brain Embassy, an Israel based coworking brand with locations in Tel Aviv, Warsaw and Antwerp. Two months ago, as lockdown arrived in Israel, we spoke with Nir and, as many coworking spaces, he was worried about the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on their operations. After eight weeks, we wanted to know more about how the situation evolved in Israel. Check out this interview to see how things are getting back to a more normal situation and the good news coming from Israel.
Nir Kelner has shared with us his experience, the measures implemented at Brain Embassy for the past 2 weeks and some optimistic thoughts on how he sees the future of coworking after this revival. Here some of the takeaways:
- Two weeks ago Brain Embassy had 20% occupancy. Today, they are closer to 70%. Nir assumes those numbers are due to the combination of 3 main causes: the situation of the country itself, the marketing campaign they launched at Brain Embassy and the current situation of companies which are looking for more flexible solutions.
- Israel government asked for a lot of safety measures. Here some measures they put in place:
- Sanitizers everywhere
- Plastic partitions that separate desks on the open space and in private offices. This way, even though they don’t provide the look and feel Brain Embassy aims, it lets them use the whole space without loosing seats and while keeping the social distance
- Branded masks for members
- They went out with a marketing campaign: offered 15% discount for the initial 2 months, mentioned that they will provide a safe workplace environment certified by the government and provided branded masks made of cotton that can be re-used; a sustainable and useful giveaway.
- Summer arrived in Israel and in Nir words: “It kills the virus. The fact that the virus is much lower in presence now also helps people to relax and go back to the workspace”
- From what they have experienced, a lot of corporates in Tel Aviv advise their employees not to come back to work and their offices are close. Google, Facebook and Amazon, for instance, have their research development centres there which are closed. “Those type of companies aren’t going back to the office”, affirms Nir.
- In terms of revenue, they haven’t seen an increase in May but Nir forecasts to see some in June: “We see new leads arrive“, he celebrates.
- Only the meeting room and event spaces business keep operating on a much lower pace. Nir mentions that they received some enquiries for occupations up to 20 people on a meeting room. They refused those bookings and follow the policy of meetings rooms up to 8 people max.
- Light is at the end of the tunnel for coworking spaces. Nir shares with us some positive thoughts after seeing some movement in the last couple of weeks: “At the moment, the situation is recovering in Tel Aviv. We see companies looking for different solutions and coworking is an option for them. We hope things will soon be better in Warsaw and Antwerp too”.
Find below the podcast version of the interview to learn more about the Brain Embassy experience in Tel Aviv and the good news coming from this country.
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