As social distancing is still recommended, owners and operators of co-working spaces have an obligation to protect their employees from any unlawful harassment by users of the space. Space users can demand that space owners and operators take action against those who work in the space accused of harassment. In addition, shared spaces often offer fluid alcoholic beverages as a benefit to their users, which can increase the likelihood of a harassment incident and alcohol-related accidents. Moreover, co-working spaces can also be considered a place of public accommodation under federal and state laws on disability and, as such, have accessibility obligations.
The community aspects of co-working spaces are similar to those of an office, as people work very close to each other and often share resources. Co-working spaces are becoming an alternative to renting office space for professionals who work remotely. To limit risk, owners or operators of co-working spaces should incorporate extensive compensation obligations for users of the space, including the payment of attorneys' fees and costs. Users and their employers should be required to notify all guests who enter the space on their behalf that they expect to comply with the co-working space policies.
Companies with remote workers that use co-working spaces must ensure that their existing policies and procedures to protect confidential and private information are sufficient to address the unique co-working environment. Co-working spaces in the suburbs are particularly appealing to parents who want greater separation between home and work. This definition helps us understand why coworking spaces are different from business incubators, business centers or traditional offices. According to economists, an important question is whether larger companies will conserve their office space to guarantee seats for all employees, no matter how many days a week they come. The emergence of co-working spaces in residential neighborhoods underscores the uncertain prospects of the New York office sector and its role as an economic engine that supports a vast ecosystem of restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses.
John Arenas, CEO of Serendipity Labs, said that when he founded the company a decade ago, his proposal for co-working spaces in the suburbs was unsuccessful because the business world was strictly following a five-day workweek in a central office. Nowadays, people can log into an app on Monday morning and reserve a cubicle down the street for a much cheaper price than a short-term office lease. Working in a coworking space offers a unique experience and the flexibility needed to act and behave differently than in a traditional office space. In fact, Daybase itself began leasing offices this summer in a tower near Grand Central Terminal. One of the most effective ways for the owner or operator of a co-working space, or a company that uses a co-working space, to limit risk is to establish basic rules of etiquette in the workspace from the start. Bklyn Commons, LLC filed a similar class action lawsuit against Bklyn Commons, a co-working space in Brooklyn, New York.