New Zealand coworking industry association, Coworking Aotearoa, is welcoming the return of coworking in Level 2, saying it will help boost businesses and support local economies.
The members of Coworking Aotearoa, a Facebook group of over 200 coworking owners and managers, have been supporting each other to develop safe plans to reopen at Level 2, and are excited to help small businesses and larger teams find ways to work in this new normal.
Association spokesperson Marie-Claire Andrews says local businesses are looking for options around flexible spaces to move their teams into and wanting flexibility over long term commitments she says.
“Not all businesses have the space to accommodate the physical distancing requirements and coworking spaces offer ideal overflow for those businesses.” she says.
Chief Activator of COIN South, Louise Evans, says coworking is becoming a more accessible option locally too, as businesses reassess staff’s working environments.
“The time spent in our home bubbles these past weeks has proved remote working is an excellent option for some teams, and having a dedicated space is key.” Evans says.
“Coworking spaces foster a community of like minded small businesses, freelancers and innovative start-ups, and it’s that support and connection that people need right now – even if it’s a little more spaced out than we’re used to. Plus independent work leads to productivity and output increases. It’s really a win-win for everyone.”
The guidance from the government is that coworking spaces should operate the same way as office spaces under level 2, wherever they are in a position to safely do so. COIN South will open its doors from Thursday morning to existing coworkers, and have the capacity to rent up to 10 desks.
Evans emphasises the importance of adhering to social distancing, and says COIN South has implemented local innovation, Checkin-19 as a way to support contact tracing.
“It will be business as usual at COIN. All we’re asking is for people to be responsible, kind, and remember to check in,” Evans says. “It is incredibly positive to see our coworking spaces reopen again,”