Changes in product/service Mix?

Hi!
We opened our space (biomacowork.com) on March 9th.
On March 16, a full lockdown was imposed nationwide (our timing couldn´t have been better).
We were allowed to re-open in June.
Fortunately, our members base is growing at a reasonable pace, considering the context.
We have 32 desks (given local social distancing measures, we are allowed to have up to 16 members simultaneously), 3 private offices, and a meeting room.
2 of the private offices are already on a monthly based contract (hurray!!!). So we are keeking the third one for a more flexible scheme: hourly or bundled hours.
Still, we are seeing that most of the potential customers are looking for private spaces, especially for zooming (where external noise can be bothering both for the one in the conference and for the rest of the coworkers). We are having some trouble selling the shared desk concept, even though we have a lot of space to assure social distancing (more than 4 sqft distance between members).

Is this something the rest of the community is observing too? Or could it be that we need to “evangelize” more about the shared spaces concept? I Forgot to mention that our space is the first space in town (a suburban area of a big city) so many people are not yet quite acquainted with the coworking idea.We are focusing our marketing strategy around educating the community about coworking

Should we consider redesigning our floor plan to allocate more space to private spaces such as more private offices or phone booths?

Interested in your insights and thought about this.

Regards
Cecilia

For at least a year now, the trend has been more towards private office space than shared coworking space.

This trend preceded the pandemic, and the pandemic has only increased the demand for private office space.

We are having a VERY hard time getting shared coworking members during this time (we are in California, 20 minutes north of San Francisco).

We have lost probably 65% of normal revenue during this time, just fyi.

So the fact that you are growing at all, especially in the shared coworking space, is a feat in itself.

Keep up whatever you’re doing, as you’re doing better than many of us are presently.

In your case, it’s not an either/or strategy, I would say it’s both. Keep evangelizing the shared space concept since it’s still a ‘‘new’’ idea in your town, but I would also convert more of the shared spaces towards private.

We realized after about 18 months of being open that we should have built more private offices. We opened in March of 2017. So it’s been over 2 years now that we realized that.

We have converted our biggest meeting room into a private office since it was the least used of our meeting rooms. Another meeting room is being used temporarily as a private office during Covid since there is demand for it. It may stay that way once we go back to normal (fingers crossed). And we could still use more private offices, especially right now during the pandemic.

Our meeting rooms are faring only slightly better, as people see it as a simple short term commitment, they’re in and out in a few hours, and it’s only shared with people they know, or not shared at all (sometimes they book a room just to make a zoom call or a video shoot, podcast etc).

Stay safe,

For open space coworking at Stacks Co., we’ve created partitions for each desk in addition to distancing.
In addition to the real effect on safety, these also improve privacy and increase the sense of separation.

Partitions marketed toward offices can be expensive. We put together a cost effective, and aesthetically pleasing, solution with garment racks and curtains.