March 2020 arrived with a lot of bad news for businesses. A complete, nation-wide lockdown pushed a lot of businesses to go underground and their BAU. While some succumbed to the restrictions, many businesses adapted, survived and managed to stay afloat with new strategies, alternative revenue streams and unexplored customer bases under their belt.
The co-working space sector was no exception. An industry which was projected to grow 5X during the past couple of years came to a staggering halt as real estate suffered, all across.
Knight Frank India, in it’s new research cited, “Small operators in India will not be able to sustain the catastrophic effects due to their disproportionate exposure to startups and small and medium enterprise tenants that do not have the financial muscle to outlive this crisis.”
This was touted as the period of shakedown for the co-working sector in India, where a lot of boundary-line businesses would make their exit and the ones that will survive would be in for the long haul.
Almost 25% of the total co-working space stock in India belongs to smaller co-working players. While experts predicted mass consolidation of the sector to merge small players and 15% reduction in cost per seat, the year saw a lot of businesses striving to sustain and flourish and beat the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic.
Relaunching Business & Revenue Streams for myHQ Space Partners
myHQ geared up for the challenge in front of them. Our partner spaces lost out on revenue during the lockdown as many other businesses and now had to revamp themselves to be COVID compliant and safe for their users.
The groundwork started with myHQ keeping it’s partner spaces fully informed of trends, changes and projections made by industry and business experts. The idea was to allow spaces to make the best possible business decisions amidst the uncertainties of the immediate future.
One of the biggest challenges for any space was having their users trust the concept of shared workspace and even stepping out of their homes! Although the spaces were remodeling themselves to adapt to the COVID compliances, assuring the users of complete safety while working outside their homes, was an uphill battle. myHQ even started a petition for the government to intervene and invest in the co-working industry and save the players from the abstruseness of COVID ridden losses.
As many professionals fled to their hometowns and abandoned their rented accommodations the first chance they got, flexible space users, majorly dominated by the startup segment, abandoned the fringe costs incurred in renting office spaces and our co-working partners felt a major jolt of loss.
myHQ helped drive a lot of conversations to ease out the perceived fear of stepping out and coming in close contact with others. Re-building trust in customers and convincing spaces to make risk-addled decisions was not always easy, but important for the sector to flourish. After all these efforts, many of our partners reached out to help them become COVID compliant and get more occupancy while maintaining the safe-distancing protocols.
“In the Post COVID era, co-working businesses had to re-establish growth and customer trust. myHQ helped us procure sanitization equipments at a discount and reopen with reduced capacity & safe distancing. They bridged the gap between the users’ apprehension and space owners’ resourcefulness.”
– Mansi Aggrawal, Founder | Co-offiz
myHQ Helped Partners Remodel Their Spaces Post Lockdown
As close contact businesses were allowed to operate under the ‘new normal’ with strict guidelines and safety protocols in place, a lot of business owners were lost and burdened with normalizing their business while also procuring and providing a safe office space.
myHQ helped spaces stock sanitization equipment and thermal guns. Since we were catering to all our partners, myHQ was able to acquire recurring stock at discounted prices, a benefit we relayed to our space partners.
Standees, posters, stickers, mailers and proper communication for COVID safety practices was ensured with thorough inspection and checks. In addition to our best efforts to ensure that every myHQ workspace was safe, sanitized and optimized to use, myHQ shouldered the accountability to provide safe spaces to its users and wore that badge throughout the journey.
At a time where clients struggled to pay rent to their spaces, myHQ led and negotiated conversations around reduced rent settlements and financial reliefs. As a representative of both spaces and users, we ensured a win-win situation for both our partners.
“Re-opening after lockdown for close contact businesses came with its own challenges. Aligning our space with COVID compliances was ensured by myHQ’s constant vigilance so we could focus on bouncing back to our BAU.”
– WOLK Coworking, Nehru Place