Coworking space still viable in time of pandemic

Patrick Villalobos, Contributor

EVEN though the new normal has allowed the labor force to “work from home”, some have returned to their offices or job sites with the easing of lockdowns while adhering to social distancing protocols. 

With this in mind, companies are open to have multiple workspaces in the same location to support their segregated employees. This is by alternate staffing or having or setting up their headquarters in one building and have supporting functions in other flexible shared offices.

 “Having a workspace remains as a powerful tool to foster engagement, inspire innovation, and drive productivity,” said Turochas Fuad, WeWork managing director for Southeast Asia and Korea. 

 “A well designed one will further elevate the work environment and experience for employees, promoting better collaboration, comfort and happiness in the workplace. It is now even more important to provide employees with the confidence of a workplace that prioritizes their health and safety,” he added.

 The WeWork Southeast Asia team recently has reviewed feedback and worked with industry partners and government bodies across health and safety, cleaning, construction, and design to install enhancements. 

From adjusting shared spaces with staggered seating and buffer zones to accelerated cleaning and sanitization procedures, the focus will be on three key areas: Prioritizing personal space, cleanliness, and behavioral signage.

“WeWork has redefined the workspace over the years, reimagined for the way spaces are sourced, built and designed to ultimately bring people together and help members be successful,” Fuad said.

He added that their space design seeks to elevate office environment and experience for the members, “promoting better collaboration, productivity, comfort and happiness in the workplace.” 

While the general community quarantine remains in full force all over the Metro, the firm keeps on engaging its members by taking inspiration from its community element—arranging webinars and sessions with business leaders and members to keep ongoing engagements and exchange of ideas.  

 “While distancing may be part of the new work order, our goal is to ease the transition back to the workplace by proactively revamping WeWork’s product to meet member expectations around social distancing and cleanliness. This allows us to focus on our ability to create an environment that facilitates connection globally in a thoughtful and user-friendly way,” said the top executive.

Apart from fostering alliance and productivity, the company’s role is to also drive business efficiency of its members. 

“As many of our enterprise members have a global presence through us, they have been turning to us for counsel and guidance to navigate the evolving situation and ensure the safety of their employees across the region,” Fuad said. “We are also seeing an increase in proactive conversations from our members and non-members to better understand the importance and relevance of space-as-a-service as part of their business continuity planning strategy.” 

 Flexible workspaces enable enterprises to scale the amount of space needed, especially during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis. In fact, big companies are future-proofing operational efficiencies by innovating their global real estate strategy and closing deals with shared office space providers.

As the Philippines continues to attract global and regional companies, they turn to WeWork to address their property—with their speed-to-market up to three times faster than traditional choices and with end-to-end solutions from information technology, employee experience to security and now post-Covid 19 solutions. 

From 2019 to May of this year, WeWork Philippines has been able to track a 25-percent growth in enterprise members. The country is one of the markets with the highest growth across Southeast Asia, next to Malaysia. 

Given the new normal, strict protocols will always come with innovative approaches toward collaboration and productivity to achieve common workspaces.

“We will always be driven by the concepts of community and connection and ready to pivot to what companies need. This is what truly makes us WeWork,” Fuad stressed.

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