The pandemic has changed a lot about the way people work and where they work. Many workers now choose to work from their homes or remotely instead of an office. Others have employers who have permanently shut down office spaces and are forced to work remotely.
“We’ve had a huge increase in co-working memberships and demand for that, as well as meeting room rentals,” said Audrey Hoyt, co-owner of The Pioneer Collective, an independent co-working space for office suites and meeting rooms in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.
Seattle is ranked No. 2 nationally for the greatest share of people working from home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Hoyt agreed that neighborhood foot traffic and number of office workers have decreased in the downtown Seattle area, where one of her spaces is based.
“Co-working on the other hand, like individuals coming in and utilizing our spaces, we still have a lot of people doing that sort of thing,” she said.
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Hoyt believes the lack of people out on the street since the beginning of the pandemic almost three years ago has affected some of her favorite stores in the area. She hopes the small businesses around her will survive.
“I think brick-and-mortar is what’s been really hit in a city like Seattle, and that totally disappoints me,” said Hoyt. “I feel like brick-and-mortar businesses that are small and local create the fabric of our communities.”