Despite coronavirus vaccines slowly rolling out, offices and coworking locations around the United States remain largely empty as workers stay home and major employers, including Salesforce and Twitter, announce permanent remote work options for staffers.
WeWork has ditched locations around the country and Regus has done the same by putting entities tied to outposts into bankruptcy. Flex office provider Knotel filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, a little more than a year after it was crowned a unicorn, to be acquired by Newmark, while Breather shuttered all of its locations to switch to an online-only platform. Breather CEO Bryan Murphy told The Globe and Mail that “Breather, in its current form as an operator, doesn’t make sense, and to be frank, I’m not sure it ever made sense.”
However, “Coworking, going forward, for the survivors of the pandemic is actually in a very good niche of office space,” said Alexander Snyder, an analyst at CenterSquare Investment Management, who follows the flex office market. “In a post-pandemic world, we have very firmly established flexibility for the average office worker.”
“I think there will be a few more moments of either thinning out or consolidation in the industry; then I will expect the late summer or early fall to be a little clearer on where the dust settles,” Industrious’ Hodari said. “We’re probably in the final six months of finding out that question of who made it and who didn’t.”