Freelancers and entrepreneurs migrate from cafes to coworking spaces, which are safer and more conducive to work
After almost a year since the start of the Covid-19 health crisis which caused the partial closure of offices and workspaces in the country and the rethinking of the way people work, coworking chain Commons announces an increase in requests for office rentals in its Bucharest centers, both from freelancers and from SMEs.
After in the first months of the pandemic, the demand for office space decreased by 90%, as a result of the health crisis, in the first two months of 2021, Commons registered a threefold increase in requests for office tours, compared to the end last year.
In addition, the number of members within the Commons network increased by 11% in January 2021, compared to the end of 2020, representing an occupancy rate of 60% and a total of 250 people working from the Commons offices.
“Even from the first week of 2021, we noticed a significant increase in requests from people interested in changing how they work. These are often professionals who cannot afford to have a deficient work space: poor internet connection, an improper office etc., people in search of a better working environment,” said Andreea Raveica, community manager at Commons.
Another trend the Commons managers have noticed is that of companies migrating to the outskirts of the city, looking for better facilities such as: easily accessible parking spaces, proximity to home, premium office location etc., and wishing to avoid the efforts of entering the busy traffic in the center of the Capital. Because most meetings take place via video call nowadays, quick access to the city center is no longer a requirement or an important factor for professionals.
Thus, companies are looking for smaller offices for teams of 2-5 people, offices which are closer to home, the newest coworking space in Commons Băneasa being the most sought after by professionals living in the northern part of Bucharest.
Both freelancers and entrepreneurs are looking for a flexible office, with a 24-hour schedule, which is very useful especially for those working with clients or business partners in a different time zone.
“Work from home was a solution for many at the beginning of the pandemic, but this way of working is not appropriate for everyone and often cannot be maintained long-term. We’ve received this feedback from the growing number of people who visit our offices, people who are interested in returning at least partially to working from a proper office. The reasoning is simple, either they are tired of working from home, or they do not have the necessary conditions to be able to do their work efficiently. Our goal at Commons is to provide a place where our members can focus on the work they have to do, while we take care of all the other necessities: a comfortable desk, a stable internet connection, meeting rooms, printer, scanner etc.,” explained Andreea Raveica.
Small and medium-sized companies that rent offices at the Commons have gradually given up the classic offices and now have teams which work in different coworking centers in the city, depending on which ones are more accessible to employees.
“Although we are glad that people are slowly returning to the office, or, better said, to a different kind of office, our goal is to maintain the strictest possible rules to maintain safety and health. Thus, we have allocated a different person in each of our centres in Bucharest, to ensure that all spaces are cleaned and disinfected several times a day. We have installed disinfection stations everywhere in the spaces, wearing a mask is mandatory, and the number of people allowed in the hot desk area has been reduced to comply with the rules of social distancing. However, we are glad to see a lot of responsibility on the part of our members in terms of compliance with security measures,” added Andreea Raveica.