• Andrewc

Coronavirus impact: Co-working space companies take cover.

Updated: Mar 12

Mumbai| Bengaluru| New Delhi: In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak in China, providers of coworking spaces such as WeWork and Awfis that usually attract travelers and freelancers as their key clientele has started taking preventive measures to keep the deadly virus away from their centers across the country. The Indian arm of WeWork, which has shut around 100 of its coworking buildings in China over virus worries, has issued advisory to its members urging them to ensure that people returning from China and other affected areas overseas undergo medical screening. The company is advising such members to work from home for 14 days.

Other flexible workspace providers such as Awfis, SmartWorks, and Hong Kong-headquartered Garage Societies also have started taking similar initiatives. Apart from issuing an advisory to their members, these companies are also monitoring the situation closely to maintain an infection-free environment at their centers.

“The impact of Covid-19 in India is likely to be short-lived provided the virus remains relatively contained,” said Anshuman Magazine, chairman & CEO, India, South East Asia Middle East & Africa at global real estate service provider CBRE. “In the long term, the outbreak could encourage more occupiers and landlords to place greater emphasis on employee wellbeing and sustainability,” he said.

Since its outbreak in Wuhan, Covid-19 has claimed at least 1,367 lives and confirmed 59,805 cases in China so far. The rest of the world has so far recorded 524 confirmed cases and two deaths.

All the workspace providers that ET spoke with said they are adhering to guidance from the government and local health authorities regarding the proper prevention and management of this issue on an ongoing basis

“All our workspaces have been disinfected thoroughly and this process will continue every week to maintain utmost hygiene standards,” said Prashant Garg, country manager at Garage Society. “Full-size sanitizer bottles have been placed almost at every corner… Our community desk is always open in case anyone wants any support or help from our end,” he said.

A WeWork India spokesperson said the company is monitoring the outbreak closely and has “implemented precautionary measures across all our Asia locations”. Awfis Space Solutions has advised its members to follow government advisory on traveling to high-risk countries besides taking measures to maintain hygiene.



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