Ashish Goenka, Director, Redbrick Offices, said 32 percent of its clients have chosen to work from home
With the government issuing advisories that social distancing measures be practiced as a preventive strategy to combat the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak, those working out of co-working offices have decided to work from home, impacting footfalls.
If the situation prolongs, there is a danger that growth targets of this segment may dip, say real estate experts.
Currently, investors are asking employees to work from home for the next 15-days, but if things worsen both co-working and co-living segments will feel the heat and there may be a general slowdown in shared spaces, they warned.
“If the coronavirus impact gets prolonged and threat perception around public places persists, growth targets of the co-working segment may fall by 40-50 percent, impacting overall business sentiment. Onboarding of new clients is also likely to get impacted,” said Anckur Srivasttava of GenReal Advisers.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Co-working offices are likely to see a temporary increase in vacancies, particularly in cities that are most vulnerable to a large scale outbreak.
However, Aashish Agarwal, Senior Director & Head- Consulting Services at Colliers International India, feels this disruption might actually help flexible workspace operators demonstrate the value of their offering and come back stronger as the economy recovers.
Even providers in the co-working space agree that most clients have started working from home and that clients have started delaying decisions. “While we have not seen much of an impact, if the situation prolongs we may see an impact on new opportunities with clients deciding to delay decisions. We are in the wait and watch mode for now,” Puneet Chandra, Founder, Skootr Global Pvt, said.
Ashish Goenka, Director, Redbrick Offices, said 32 percent of its clients have chosen to work from home. “We do not expect any further drop, unless the situation worsens significantly, or if, the government/ authorities step in to issue closure and stricter isolation notice,” he added.
But companies are fighting back. Awfis is extending IT support to employees of those companies that are choosing to work from home 'for a seamless experience', its Founder & CEO Amit Ramani said.
Buoyed by technology adoption, increased occupancy rates and growing investments, 2019 saw co-working space leasing touching 10.8 million square feet in 2019. Among the key markets, Bengaluru and Hyderabad accounted for about half of the flexible space take-up in India, CBRE South Asia Pvt said in a report titled 'India Flexible Space Digest – 2019'.