How has Acceler8 been doing during the lockdown?
COVID-19 hit everyone pretty hard, including Acceler8. No one was really prepared to face a challenge like this and it has impacted our everyday lives. It was difficult to get used to not being in the office surrounded by the Acceler8 community, and we definitely can’t wait to see each other sooner rather than later. But for now, everyone should stay safe and do their part in flattening the curve.
A flexible workspace adapting to the pandemic
When offices started closing down, whether temporary or not, the management team began to reach out to other people in the industry in search for ideas on how to survive the crisis. The team read on more information about COVID-19 to create a plan to keep Acceler8 going. Technology has played a huge role in adapting because this helped effectively communicate with the team, clients, and partners.
Throughout the lockdown, the team would meet regularly to figure out what to do next. All the internal disagreements and debates led to better decision making overall. Safety was always the top priority when deciding on what to do next. Along the way, there were mistakes here and there, but it’s important to learn and move on from them.
Mutual understanding between Acceler8 and the community
Acceler8’s business model relies heavily on the physical workspace which makes handling clients and leads the most challenging part. It was always a point for the team to build a positive relationship with these clients. Each community member is facing a unique situation due to COVID-19, and the approach to dealing with them would differ from case to case. When handling clients during a crisis like this, it is best to layout your cards upfront to be able to understand one another and reach a decision that would be best for both parties.
Not only did Acceler8 take care of the current office tenants, but also potential ones. The pattern of these customers is constantly changing and Acceler8 needed to adapt. With this understanding, the pandemic has opened a window for Acceler8 to revisit its services and widen the scope. Not only are startups and SMEs looking for flexible office spaces, but bigger companies are now trying to downsize to minimize cost allowing them to expand without the long term commitment. This shows that the potential outlook is still high for this industry.
Making ‘remote’ work
The team had to adapt to big changes internally as well. The whole Acceler8 team used to be on site everyday to monitor and assist the three office locations in Makati – Legazpi, Salcedo, and Rockwell. When the lockdown was enforced, most offices were ghost towns for safety reasons, and Acceler8 was no exception.
Working remotely has its own pros and cons. On one side there’s no need to go through hours of traffic to get to the office, but on the other, there are a lot of distractions at home. To make this set up work, there should be mutual trust within the team as each member plays a vital role. Your team should be in the loop on why and how decisions are being made for the company. This gives everyone a chance to voice their own observations and opinions to make better decisions overall for Acceler8.
It wasn’t only the work set up that changed. As a flexible workspace with different services such as virtual office plans and coworking, it was carefully planned how Acceler8 could proceed with operations. The Acceler8 offices adapted several safety protocols along with some minor office changes to ensure a safe experience for our community. Even members of the team had to adjust their roles to the new normal. These changes were needed to be able to pivot most of the operations and marketing work online.
What’s next for Acceler8?
With the positive outlook for flexible offices, The ultimate goal for Acceler8 right now is to survive COVID-19. Once the demand starts to pick up again, then the team could revisit lessons learned and then build from there. If we take it one step at a time for now, adapting to fast-paced changes would be more manageable. This pandemic has given us unique opportunities to collaborate and innovate with our community in order to take this industry to the next level!
What steps have you taken to make sure that you, your team, and your business get through this crisis? We’d be more than happy to hear your stories. If you want to check out our other online sessions, click here!