Just like the car industry in the 2000s, the post-pandemic work model is going hybrid — and it’s a positive for local coworking companies.
Coworking spaces were popular before the pandemic, but when the world switched to remote work practices, people stopped going into offices. Coworking spaces Raleigh Founded, The Loading Dock, Industrious, and American Underground all reported a dip in demand during those early months.
Fast forward to a year later + membership levels are back to normal. At American Underground, membership is actually higher than it was pre-COVID.
So what caused the comeback? The rise of a hybrid work model that allows employees to split their time between working from home + working from an office.
“Remote work has obviously taken off since the pandemic and I think it’s more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle shift,” Jessica Porta, director of Raleigh Founded, said. “What we are seeing in our spaces is more of a hybrid-remote model where companies of all sizes are downsizing and taking a smaller footprint.”
Industrious rolled out a new membership option to cater to this model where members only pay for the days they visit the space.
American Underground also saw an influx of new members who started businesses during the pandemic and now need the entrepreneurial support + community that coworking spaces offer, Tim Scales director of growth, said.
The Loading Dock also offers cowarehousing spaces at its Dock 1053 location. Companies can rent warehouse space, have access to things like dollies + an actual loading dock for shipments.
Like other industries, companies needing cowarehousing space are spiking, too.
“There is a noticeable increase in activity and interest in our model, and we don’t anticipate that trend slowing down anytime soon,” Brian Fuhs, director of business development at The Loading Dock, said.