Co-working firm WorkSuites’ latest location in North Dallas has just opened its doors.
The flexible office center at 6060 North Central Expressway, called WorkTank, has more private work areas and even outdoor spaces. The center’s opening was delayed to allow the office layout to be restructured.
The space was redesigned with small private offices and work desks booked for one person per day.
Welcome to the new model for shared offices in a COVID-19 world.
“We are selling basically part-time offices,” said WorkSuites’ CEO Flip Howard. “You have fewer common areas.
“This is our new hybrid, and I think it’s going to work out well for us,” said Howard, whose Dallas-based co-working firm has opened seven new locations in the last year and a half.
Like other shared-office providers, Howard had to rethink his business plan for the pandemic.
The open collaborative working areas and shared desks that were hallmarks of co-working offices aren’t ideal in a pandemic when social distancing is required.
Co-working offices across the country are seeking bankruptcy, shutting down or trying to back out of leases.
Two of the biggest North Texas shared-office providers — WeWork and Regus — have sought relief in the courts.
Regus put several of its Dallas-Fort Worth offices into bankruptcy. And WeWork is suing landlords in North Texas and other U.S. markets in hopes of getting millions of dollars to support their operations.
“Since COVID hit in March, nobody in any flexible workspace is doing as well as they were. It hurt all of us,” Howard said. “Everybody was doing well up until then.
“Any idiot could have made money in the co-working business, and plenty did.”
Howard said he’s working to retool his shared-office centers to meet the demands of social distancing while slowing growth.
“We are preserving cash right