After 18 months of being locked up by coronavirus pandemic restrictions, Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo is gradually opening up, thanks in part to open-air coworking spaces.
Once the domain of internet startups, these coworking businesses have branched out to a wider client base while also moving from offices to rooftops and terraces. “Forty percent of businesses in GoWork are conventional: lawyers, consultants, auditors,” said Fernando Bottura, the young owner of GoWork, one of the first coworking businesses in Sao Paulo that now owns 14 premises covering 32,000 square meters.
“We’ve had a 300 percent increase in requests for estimates from traditional big businesses (since 2019) like fertilizer and plastic industry companies,” said Bottura, dressed in jeans and sneakers. There are now around 200 coworking spaces in Sao Paulo, “more and more outside with rooftops,” said Bottura. “It no longer makes sense for anyone to rent an office.”
In Brazil as a whole, coworking spaces increased six-fold between 2015 and 2019 to almost 1,500. In the metropolis of 12 million people, “beaches” with parasols are set up on rooftops and terraces, sometimes right next to cafes and even sports courts.
“We take great care of employees’ well-being. We know that employees that work in good spirits develop a lot,” said 38-year-old Renan Camargo, an online trader using the GoWork space on the city’s prestigious Paulista Avenue. Despite face masks being compulsory, coworking spaces provide an opportunity to network and interact with people after months of working from home.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS