These last few months have been very stressful and challenging for all of us. I recently made a decision to significantly limit the onsite office presence of our 7 U.S. co-working spaces in light of the COVID-19 virus. Unlike many tech companies, a huge part of our business is our offline office operations and services, not all of which we can recreate remotely. On one hand, I can’t let my employees risk their health and safety to operate our space; on the other hand, as the CEO, I have full responsibility over my company’s success. Our member community is everything to us and we know they are also going through tough times, so this was a hard decision to make. However, as community builders first and foremost, we are confident it will be the right decision in the long term if we all work together on this.
We have two offices in China with many close partners, customers, and friends there. We closely followed what they went through earlier this year and saw the sacrifices they made by self-quarantining. As a result, the precautions made a positive impact on the spread of the virus. We believe the U.S will have to go through the same painful but necessary short term losses in an effort to maintain the long-term health of our communities.
Given the quickly changing nature of the Coronavirus, we commend the companies that have already taken a leadership position by asking their employees to work remotely in order to protect the health of their teams.
When I built OnePiece Work, I envisioned much of our identity and value come from the international community and bridge building, and the long-term health of both our team and our local communities are essential to that. We’re honored to be an office solution and be of service to a community of fearless entrepreneurs who are making every impact to this world becoming what we wished to be. Thus, I also believe deep relationship building and the huge value it can bring are a long-term game so we can’t afford to be shortsighted.
I highly encourage fellow CEOs to go fully remote if they have the capability to do so. I am happy to share our strategies for managing our offline operations if you are sharing in our challenges under the current situation. We took many of our events and services online over a month ago with the outbreak in China and are now bringing that same model to our U.S. team. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if I can be of any help.
We hope everyone stays safe and we will be doing our best to support our community during this challenging time.
Vickey Li is the co-founder and CEO at OnePiece Work, a global community of innovative leaders in tech. OnePiece Work was built upon Vickey’s experience living and working abroad in major metropolitan cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, and San Francisco. Her passion for community and extensive experience in commercial real estate led her to the vision of a cross-border co-working space that would promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and accelerate global expansion for startups. In just three years, OnePiece Work has expanded to 10 cities globally and is a community of over 300 companies worldwide.