It is a welcome move that the Prime Minister has extended the lockdown which was a necessary step in view of COVID-19 threat and his seven-point guidepost to an effective lockdown makes sense. Now all segments of society should observe these guidelines to fight the crisis. We believe that India has gained from timely measures of social distancing and is in a much stable position in comparison to several powerful countries of the world. While there may be some hiccups in coping with the lockdown further, the larger goal of protecting the lives of people is laudable and welcome. However, it is critical to have liquidity in the system.
The coronavirus outbreak has globally disrupted the business cycle leading to a slowdown. Resilience of business models, resourcefulness of the teams, and responsible cash management of the companies are put to test. While concerns around Covid-19 have also led to reduced footfalls in co-workspaces which have been growing at a rapid pace for the last few years, this blip could be temporary and last till precautions are deemed necessary. Many businesses will now seize the opportunity to rethink their working arrangements to provide more flexibility to their employees than ever before, especially considering the benefits of productivity and engagement, and, this will push up the demand for co working spaces. Once the lockdown period ends, companies would also lay more emphasis on cost optimization and prefer flexible workspaces. Most corporates would avoid capital expenditures and look to co-working facilities to expand their business. The co-working industry might also see some consolidation soon and companies will explore acquisition opportunities. The current situation will also see larger enterprises seeking smaller spaces to ensure synergized business continuity in the near future.
People need options and access to a collaborative environment are needed for success in life and work. It’s an opportunity to show how the coworking models can also offer new solutions and make our economy more resilient in such circumstances. Hence a silver lining in all this is that this has offered coworking providers an opportunity to re-think their strategy and make the segment more attractive for consumers. In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the businesses may reel under pressure temporarily, investor sentiment remains buoyed and the commercial operators are hopeful of better days ahead. The COVID-19 is certainly not an end to the co-working culture as people would discover that the benefits of social gatherings in terms of emotional and intellectual fulfillment would be a crucial necessity for the overall health of a society.
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