Interview with Roman Levy about coworking post Covid-19
How do you see the future of coworking moving forward?
“Shared spaces are now more than ever be a solution for companies that are questioning their future. Instead of hiring a three-year commitment, a business owner who takes a few steps back can see the shared spaces as an intermediate solution.
The employer will come, rent some offices, some of the roles for working from home, and then the shared spaces that are rented for short-term can be a worthwhile replacement for long-term rentals.
Urban Place and coworking spaces, in general, are going through a transformation where we can now ALSO work with larger companies that are looking for flexibility and lowering of costs, ”
What were you able to offer your members during these last months?
I am so proud of our team, that were able to reach out to almost every single member and speak to them personally about their needs. We were able to offer some discounts to members who were affected by COVID and we continue to work with members on an ongoing basis to see how we can help.
But aside from financial offerings, we were able to move a lot of our programming online including group yoga, business development workshops, and office hour consulting for our community”
How important is community during these times?
Community is more important than ever. Even though our community was briefly based online, being there for each other as friends and as business partners was a real benefit for our members.
Even though we’ve all been quarantined by ourselves, we still need an outlet to vent and friends to talk about during these confusing times.
Do you see freelancers still coming back to Urban Place?
Yes- I think that freelancers and startups are noticing 2 things:
- The best way to be productive is to get out of the house. We do see that some small companies are adjusting to working from home full time, but there are so many studies that show how your environment improves productivity, and that’s something that we’re always working on improving.
- Never wait on an idea. Business and the business cycle are very cyclical and if there’s a time to be productive and work from an office- now is the time.
What’s the biggest challenge coworking spaces will face now
“One of the biggest benefits of coworking spaces is that we’re a ‘plug and play’ model. Companies can come to Urban Place and be set up in a working office in a matter of minutes. We take care of everything for a company- Arnona, cleaning, internet, and the company can focus on working on their company.
Our challenge is to re-defy the way companies look at the model of ‘plug and play’. It’s still standard practice to look toward building a personal office, but we need to work hard to change that standard.”
Any advice you would want to give to your members?
“Use the resources that are there for you. We’re a community, and host hundreds of professionals. Our Urban Place network is there for our members to use and contribute to. Not just the Yoga and the happy hours, but an Urban Place membership comes with a built-in network of experts and professionals.
My advice to my community is to use what there’s for you. We’re a family here, and the more you can contribute, the better the experience.”