BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Working from home day after day can be tough.
"It's like sort of like the five stages of grief," said East Williamsburg resident Rafae Ghani.
What You Need To Know
- Co-working businesses took a major hit when offices were shuttered six months ago, but now, those running them said it may just be the way of the future
- Labyrinthe, in Williamsburg, allows anyone to rent a desk for just five dollars per hour, or 20 per day
- The Yard, a co-working company with 11 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, said it's seeing more individuals renting space, including college students who need somewhere to Zoom
When Ghani's office closed in March, he was happy to do his consulting work from his apartment if it would help to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
However, his new routine soon became monotonous, so to break up the day, he started using a co-working space called Labyrinthe.
"I'm one of those people where I like going to work and the routine, even if it's a facade of like feeling important as you go to work and you come home and leave work outside, and you have that break," he said. "Work from home doesn't let you have that."
Labyrinthe, in Williamsburg, allows anyone to rent a desk for just $5 per hour, or $20 per day.
Run by college friends Andrew Zhou and Lyon Aung, the space follows state safety guidelines for offices. Occupancy is limited, social distancing is mandatory and there are physical barriers between staff.
Customers compare the experience of renting a desk to using a Citi Bike.
"We actually have an internal dashboard and sort of our app and technology system allows us to know when people are checking in, checking out. We're able to sanitize desks after every use and provide a sense of atmosphere where people are able to work," Aung said.
Labyrinthe isn't the only business that is actually finding new clientele due to the circumstances. The Yard, for instance, a co-working company with 11 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, said it's seeing more individuals renting space, including college students who need somewhere to Zoom.
"This is certainly a more viable option for them. There's no overhead. You have everything you need," said Joseph Tighe, The Yard's director of people and culture. "Spaces like The Yard are most definitely a great option for people who need to get out of their house and need to be able to come into a great efficIent space."
Co-working businesses took a major hit when offices were shuttered six months ago, but now, those running them said it may just be the way of the future - at least, in the city.
"Many people can't live and work in their apartment," Zhou said. "A lot of people prefer to have that sort of distinction between their work and life. And plus, in New York, your apartment isn't really big enough where you can have an actual work space set up at your own home."
For many people, they would even prefer to go back to their office, but many companies don’t have plans to reopen for the rest of the year, or even ever, leaving co-working spaces like this a long term option.