Since business and leisure activities in Dubai were allowed to resume, companies have been eager to restart the engine. But will COVID-19 mark the end of the coworking culture? This would appear to be a logical assumption many are making in the current situation, with changes in all aspects of life amid the pandemic and country-wide lockdowns.
However, given Dubai’s dynamic economy and the UAE’s overall response to the pandemic which makes it one of the safest countries in the world for Covid-19, we are confident that the coworking industry is going to emerge stronger from the pandemic. Some of the drivers behind the rising demand for serviced offices post-COVID-19 are:
- Remote workers have to work somewhere
COVID-19 has forced the world to embrace remote working. While working from home has slowly integrated into our work life during the pandemic, maintaining productivity away from the office can be a challenge for some, and living arrangements can sometimes make working from home difficult.
These remote workers have probably never been exposed to the concept of coworking before the pandemic, but will likely turn to this as an alternative to working from home in the ‘new normal’ once the pandemic is over.
- Businesses are looking to de-densify their offices
While a lot of businesses are allowing their staff to continue working from home after the lockdown, others are exploring the possibility of a ‘work-near-home’ policy where staff are offered alternative office options closer to their homes. Serviced offices will meet exactly this need.
There is also increasing demand for businesses to host multiple office locations rather than just one, as companies look to de-densify their corporate headquarters. With the need for social distancing in mind, the demands for less dense workstations also mean that some companies now need more office spaces to keep their staff safe and also make them feel comfortable working in an office environment again after months of lockdown.
- Businesses need flexibility more than ever
COVID-19 or not, serviced offices are known to bring many advantages to organisations. One of these is the flexibility to rent only a part of a large working space without any pressure to sign a long-term lease. Companies have the flexibility to take the space they need at the time with the option of expanding or decreasing when they need to.
This will meet the spike in current demand for flexible workspaces as companies embrace social distancing as part of their new work model. Companies can now invest all that money on their people or expanding their business rather than on expensive city-centre offices.
Until we have more clarity on what the future of work will look like, serviced offices remain the best option for companies looking for short-term, flexible solutions.
- Remote workers miss the social interactions
While most of us will continue to work remotely after months of lockdown and isolation, we do miss the human and social interactions. We miss the connectivity, the water-cooler chats, and the social energy that an office environment provides. The pandemic has also made us realise how important it is to be part of a community.
We expect that some small corporates and SMEs that currently let their staff work from home amid COVID-19 will look to start using serviced offices in search of the social interaction they miss.
Remote workers and companies in Dubai have massively adapted to the ‘new normal’ over months of the pandemic. The way we work has changed, and we can assume that the demand for serviced offices like OneSpace is only going to be stronger in a post-COVID-19 world.