Creating a Coworking Space in Multifamily Properties

As offices remain closed, millions of Americans continue to work from home. Among the many commonly reported challenges of remote work is differentiating between professional and personal time. Creating a schedule and a designated office space is a great place to start, but many people either do not have the space for private working space or have pets or children that prevent them from working uninterrupted.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, developers began swapping traditional business centers for modern shared workspaces to accommodate the growing number of remote workers. And as the demand for professional space only grows, more multifamily properties, such as city homes and community associations, are considering adding coworking spaces to their list of amenities.

Here is a list of some of the elements needed to successfully manage a coworking space in a multifamily community, and the additional public health precautions that should be taken in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Essential Elements of a Coworking Space

  1. Price: Typically, coworking spaces charge a monthly fee per desk. In a community association or condo complex, however, the business model will look a little different. Include the price in the cost of amenities. Make sure it is not out of renters’ price range nor is it unprofitable for property managers.
  2. Atmosphere: One of the major appeals of coworking spaces is their relaxed ambiance. Unlike corporate cubicles, coworking spaces have a low-stress atmosphere. Make use of colors, décor, and furniture that are modern and clean, yet homey and comfortable. Think subdued walls, rustic wood tables, faux plants, etc.
  3. Equipment: While things look a little different now, coworking spaces have everything from pens and stables to printers and copy machines. They must have every piece of equipment needed in everyday work, and this can either be included in the total price or treated as an added expense.
  4. Technology: High-speed and secure internet connection is an absolute must. Almost all work is conducted over the internet, from research to emails to video calls. Ensure that the coworking space is held to high online safety standards in order to avoid a data breach.
  5. Perks: Less relevant in the age of covid, coworking spaces often have an array of perks like free coffee, meeting rooms, kitchen spaces, etc. This not only meets the demand of many millennial workers; it also adds to the sense of community.

Important Public Health Considerations

In light of the ongoing pandemic, coworking amenities will look different. Fancy perks like free coffee or office supplies will no longer be an option. Fewer workers will be in the office at one time, due to capacity restrictions and a hesitation to commit to a full work schedule. And cleaning practices will be updated to meet increased sanitization needs. Compared to the traditional coworking space, multifamily property coworking spaces are better poised to adhere to public health guidelines. All workers live in close proximity to one another, and rather than hosting hundreds of workers, multifamily property coworking spaces can only host a handful. With an appointment-based schedule, masks, social distancing, adequate air filtration, and proper cleaning, multifamily property coworking spaces are one of the safest ways to work outside of the home.