Is It Possible for a Coworking Space to Stay Full in Times of the Pandemic?
This is probably the most inspiring story I’ve heard recently. And it would be a crime not to share it with all entrepreneurs struggling to break even in times of insecurity, especially the ones operating in the coworking niche.
So, is it possible to thrive when other workspaces are desperately looking at the empty desks at their premises? The experience of Hatcham House shows that it’s real.
The workspace I run in South London is one such example. Situated just outside the city center and next to dense residential homes and businesses, we have — whether by luck or by serendipity — managed to grow and indeed carve out a new model for Work-Hubs, one which I believe will be more relevant in a post-COVID world. — says Stephen Carrick-Davies, the founder of Hatcham House project.
Just like any other flexible workspace, at the beginning of the pandemic, they were fearing the worst. They didn’t know if they could survive the lock-downs if they could manage to break even with fewer daily customers, and so on.
Well, the trick was not in curating a mixed clientele and a mixed program of work activities.
Think Community not Corporate, boutique not branded, think work and work plus but most of all think personal and authentic.
And here are the top five tips that let Hatcham House stay full and grow bigger under conditions other workspaces consider adverse.
1. Subsidize Workspaces for the Young and Under-employed
At Hatcham House we have gifted 6 places to young people who have been made redundant through COVID-19. Yes, there is a cost to us but they bring energy and new ideas, and skills and because they appreciated the subsidized or gifted places are keen to give back in new ways.
2. Give Members a Platform
Every Friday in lock-down we have run the ‘Hatch Hour’ an hour in which a Hatcham House member runs a training session for other members and the general public using Instagram Live broadcasting. These have been downloaded or watched by over 1,000 people which has helped these businesses raise their profile and give Hatcham House further exposure.
3. Innovate Using Technology
Teaming up with andcards has been the best thing we could have done in re-opening after lockdown. The Hatcham House app they designed with us allows members to book, and pay for their booking straight from their mobile phone in real time.
For more tips please see the full version of the article: Expanding at a Time of COVID-19