The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world is shaking the different concerns when it comes to managing the business. As the situation is evolving day by day, many are uncertain of what may unfold in the coming days. Most establishments are closed nowadays because of the quarantine, the question comes, how can coworking spaces operate in this pandemic crisis? How can space owners cope with the crisis and support employees? This article will discuss shortly how coworking space owners can ensure a safer place for their members today and the incoming days.
What is Coronavirus?
As defined by World Health Organization (WHO), it is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans. The virus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, pneumonia. People can protect themselves by washing their hands frequently and avoiding touching their faces.
Since there is no current vaccine yet to prevent coronavirus, here are common ways to reduce the risk of being infected:
- Clean hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
- Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
- Avoid close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
Listed below are the best ways on how you can make your coworking space a safer place for your members and staff.
Raise Awareness of COVID-19
First and foremost, to be effective as a leader, you need to be well-informed of what is happening around your city and the state of the people. Through this, you will get a grasp of what are the main concerns and how you can be of help.
To avoid panics and useless rumors, make sure that your members and staff know what is COVID-19 disease and what rules they should follow to be protected. This way, they’re not ignorant and they can also share this via word-of-mouth to their families and friends and be a good contributor to the city.
Use all channels of available communication
There’s a lot of digital ways to be effective in communicating important information to your members and staff. It is expected that you should be creating awareness posts on your active social media account, send email newsletters, or via your internal communication channel. Through this, people that are involved in your coworking space are assured that you are doing what you can for them to be safe in this time of crisis. Also, they can be well-informed in recognizing a coronavirus case and ask whether a guest has visited countries with registered cases of COVID-19. This is the time to show that in your coworking space, it is a community where everyone belongs.
Sanitize the Workspace Regularly
This is the best time to be obsessive about cleanliness and hygiene. Keeping your workspace clean is the key. Besides, if the members know that you’re doing this, they will feel safe that you are doing what you can that is around your scope.
- Make sure that your space is clean and hygienic
- All types of equipment that are frequently touched by people must be disinfected regularly
- Clean all common meeting places such as conference rooms, phone booths, cafe, and mobile tablets at the reception.
- Intensify cleaning routines by hiring cleaning staff to continuously disinfect all surfaces.
- Assign someone from your staff to check the temperature using thermometers upon entering of people in your space.
- Ask everyone to use an antiseptic when entering the location.
- Equip your coworking space with sanitary equipment such as sanitizers, closed bins, surgery masks, liquid soap, paper tissues, and medicines.
- Remind everyone to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly. Provide posters that promote handwashing especially that is near the handwashing area of your space.
- Equip all popular areas with hand sanitizers and handwashing manuals.
Arrange the Workspace Properly
This means that you have to ensure that the meeting rooms and common places are not crammed with people. Properly arrange the distance of seats at your coworking space not less than one (1) meter. Limit the number of people and the bookings for your meeting rooms. All of these need adjustments to ensure the safety of health for everyone. As space owners, you need to communicate these ahead to your members so they will know what to expect around your coworking space. Also, orient the staff to be firm and well-informed of these rules so everyone is synchronized in implementing it.
Cancel Community Events
Well, this is not something new since almost all are canceling their events to prevent further outbreak. It may negatively impact your business, but this is a wise action to protect your members until the situation improves in a good way.
Wise actions on canceling community events:
- Face-to-face meetup or important gathering can be replaced by a teleconference or online meetup.
- Replace regular meetings with email communication.
- Inform members to stop for a while on inviting guests especially from foreign places.
- Stop hosting events from outside the company.
- Regularly inform members and staff about the precautions that must be followed.
Promote Remote Workstyle
It would be great to promote and educate your members on remote workstyle by showing it to them as an example.
- Encourage your members to communicate via video calls and emails instead of personal meetings
- Advice members to use a booking platform instead of making reservations at the reception.
- Instruct members and employees with a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3 C or more) must stay at home.
- Limit the number of staff and reduce working hours.
- Don’t stop communicating and create awareness for people if they need to stay at home. For your staff, you can count these as sick-leave and still be compensated.
- Advice your staff to minimize the use of public transport.
In conclusion, everyone is facing this crisis together, so it will be best to communicate transparently and implement rules firmly. If you must need to close your coworking space for this month, then know that it is the right thing to do. Be part of creating difference and make this decision together with your staff and members. To know more about what businesses must do, visit this site. We hope that this article has helped in pointing out the important action plans that you can implement to your coworking space.