The COVID-19 pandemic situation has forced businesses and companies to rethink everything from workspaces to wellness policies. While many companies have encouraged their employees to work remotely, coworking spaces have been in a bit of a lurch by not being able to capitalize on this shift. Health and safety concerns over the potential spread of coronavirus among workspace members has led many offices to temporarily close their doors in keeping up with state-mandated protocols. Fortunatley, Work/Place was not one of them.
Factors putting coworking spaces at risk are: shared workspaces; people working in close proximity; shared office equipment, kitchens and bathrooms; and the viability of mask use. Throughout the pandemic, we have remained open as part of our commitment to serve the needs of the business community in a safe and effective manner. While we aren’t an essential business, our coworkers find us to be essential in helping them to maintain their businesses during this challenging time.
For coworking spaces, adjusting during COVID-19 means a commitment to:
Higher Sanitary Standard
To put the health and safety of our coworkers first, we have committed to more frequent regular cleaning and overall sanitizing of our coworking office space. This means monitoring frequently touched areas such as door handles, phones, light switches, printers, railings, kitchen surfaces and appliances, and shared spaces as well as high traffic areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, workspaces should evaluate their surfaces and materials. “Most surfaces and objects will just need normal routine cleaning. Frequently touched surfaces and objects like light switches and doorknobs will need to be cleaned and then disinfected to further reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects,” states its website.
Limit Hours or Operations
While we have maintained an open office environment, not all spaces are set up to do so. This might mean setting limit the hours of operations to ensure they can meet high sanitary standards needed to keep coworkers healthy and feeling safe.
To eliminate the uncertainty of spreading germs through shared workstations, we upgraded coworking members up to private offices for no additional fee. Other coworkers we socially distanced since we have the space to do so. Our top priority is and always has been, to put our customers needs first.
Stay in Touch
For coworking spaces who can, starting and maintaining weekly or biweekly newsletters to keep members up-to-date with what’s happening, changes in hours, hygiene standards, virtual opportunities, and more. We have put all of our social gatherings on hold, but we had held a virtual happy hour. During this time, it requires creativity to keep members engaged. It’s a small way for coworking spaces to remind members they care about their businesses whether they are working from within the space.
While Virginia has moved into its third phase, the predictability of COVID-19 looms overhead for coworking spaces and members who may have caution when seeking workspace outside of the home. What’s known is as standard business models seek to adjust and decided whether they will continue with remote employees, will coworking spaces play a larger role in sustaining these workers? It will make for an interesting case study down the road. The future of traditional office space is shifting, but one thing we can guarantee is that Work/Place will be here to serve your small office space needs.