Many companies are pushing for their employees to come back to work as lockdown measures begin to loosen. Meanwhile, a startup backed by Y Combinator is hoping for the opposite.
Globe said it has updated its home-sharing business model to meet the needs of those in quarantine, offering a quick rental service for those who are working from home.
Globe Co-Founder and CEO, Manny Bamfo, said:
"We worked with hosts that would open up their spaces in the middle of the day while they were at work, but in mid-February through early March, that part of our business tanked. We were terrified."
This new business model relies on listings from property managers who are looking to switch over their listings from Airbnb.
Bamfo explained that there is an increasing demand for rentals and Globe is here to meet those demands, head-on.
"Right now there are 10 million property managers or Airbnb hosts that don't have any demand for travel. And then there are all these people that are saying, 'I need space,' so there is an organic pull that we are getting."
It’s not particularly easy to continue a home-sharing service during a global pandemic of a highly contagious virus. Still, Globe complies with local ordinances and is only available for “essential” activities like job interviews and working spaces three blocks from a guest’s home address.
"We find mental health to be an essential need and work is an essential need. Travel is 100% non-essential, but work is 100% essential. We are in a global economic crisis and we need the opportunity to work, so we find it 100% essential to have space to get work done."
Globe is looking to take advantage of bigger companies looking at remote work as a long-term solution for their employees. The startup wants to be a go-to provider for office spaces, but that means that the business model is dependent on high-density cities which are becoming less popular as residents look to move into more rural, less dense areas.
"We are trying to make homes work better for our world right now. We can't all cram into offices and we can't all cram into our homes. We need a middle ground, and that's Globe."
While other companies look to new tech to continue business as usual in the wake of the number of obstacles that the market faces due to COVID, some are working around the loopholes by tweaking their services to meet the needs of those displaced by the pandemic, needing space to continue their own work while complying with social distancing orders.