Proponents of coworking spaces have long argued that companies managing flexible office space would be able to weather a recession. That’s because, while a number of clients at coworking spaces might choose to liquidate their space completely, coworking companies expect an influx of new clients looking to downsize from traditional office space with long lease terms into so-called flexible or coworking space.
What the coworking space enthusiasts didn’t anticipate was a fear — and a legitimate safety hazard — of working in close quarters to others. Coworking companies like WeWork have already seen a rapid decrease in demand as clients with month-to-month commitments have dialed back or terminated their coworking memberships due to shelter-in-place orders during the pandemic. Experts say this setback hardly signals the end of coworking. It’s probably temporary, though it may lead to the demise of some struggling coworking companies.