Well, we are at a time which we have not imagined coming. We heard the term “Contingency Plan” quite a few times in our lives, but we never thought of a contingency like what we are experiencing now.
There is uncertainty in each and every way. Few companies are looking at taking a pay cut, few organisations are taking care of their employees and few are closing down.
Co-Working began shaping up few years ago and 2018/19 have defined a bit of this business. 2020 did not began with a bang. Spaces I know are holding up their expansion plans, ensuring their members are staying and not deciding to leave and few are taking the burden of not raising invoices at this point of time.
Let’s be honest, it is very easy to say, but difficult to execute certain things.
Spaces, if you are finding it difficult, please understand that this phase is going to pass. The true colours of businesses evolve on how they handle their crisis. It is a difficult time for the occupants and also for the spaces. Government’s around the world are doing what ever support they can to ensure businesses continue. For instance, India has given a moratorium for EMI’s for all individuals and businesses for 3 months. This is a good start.
If you are a space, we (Since we occupy a Co-working space too) as members do understand your situation. We want to help you, but we need support from you too.
If you are a member, remember, even spaces are running a business like ours and they need to be supported.
Life is a two way street.
The business model of a Co-working space is monthly rentals from members and for members, it is an office space where you pay monthly and if you don’t want to continue, you could walk out giving a 30 day notice (predominantly).
The aspect of office space is not going to change. People will definitely not go completely virtual and work from home (Even though there is exception for freelancers or individuals who are a one-person company, trust me they need an office too).
Spaces, here are 3 ways you can help your members:
- Empathise – Reach out to your members and ask them if they need some time for paying the rental.
- Offer Flexibility – If they don’t need, its fantastic. But if they do, speak to them and work on a plan acceptable for your member and yourself to make the payment. Members appreciate the support and they will stick with you for a longer term. Is this not more important?
- Win Confidence – Just because a member needs support does not mean you restrict access or lower their perks. Continue you’re offering.
Members, here is what we need to do to support our space:
- Ask – If your space is not reaching out for help, you reach out. Ask for any help you need. There is no harm in asking, either you get the help or you don’t.
- Try to Pay – Remember, they are also in a business. They are also hit the same way we are hit. So, offer any support you can. Pay as much as you can. Don’t take advantage of their support.
- Treat it as your office – Don’t think that you can just send an email informing about vacating the space. Can you do that if it is your own? Yes, you can, but you also have a lot of investment in the infrastructure which you can’t just walk away from.
Small steps together can help building a life long relationship
. We are all in this together and we all should sail together to ensure we reach the other side.