KYIV, June 17 (Reuters) - Coworking Platforma, Ukraine’s biggest shared office operator, says that lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic could boost demand for its services aimed at flexibility amid uncertainty.
The global shift to working from home, new technologies allowing staff to collaborate remotely and the need to cut costs have reduced the amount of space companies are willing to lease.
Serhii Yashchuk, Coworking Platforma CEO, said that while its office space used to be more popular among freelancers and companies with less than 50 employees, it now attracts bigger corporate clients with up to 200 employees.
“Corporate businesses fell out with typical lendors on many issues,” Yashchuk told Reuters. “Once there is an opportunity, companies leave business centres and are looking for new solutions.”
Coworking says it can move work stations according to clients’ needs, and provide flexibility if some employees prefer to work from home. Agreements can be reviewed if circumstances change, as they have under the coronavirus lockdown.
Coworking Platforma co-founder Refael Yucha said companies did not want to spend time and money worrying about details like furniture, office security and coffee.
“They (just) want to be the next Steve Jobs.”
One of Coworking’s clients said the business model suited her during times of flux.
“Let’s say today the number of ill people is rising and maybe a new wave (of the coronavirus) is coming in autumn,” said Elena Shostak, CEO of jMind Systems IT-company which ordered one of Platforma’s services.
“There is no point in renting out a huge space,” Shostak told Reuters, adding that Coworking allows the team to increase from 50 to 100 employees without moving to a new office. (Editing by Mike Collett-White)