Covid-19 is having a huge impact on the coworking industry, with many operators shutting their doors and members cancelling their direct debits. At the moment we don’t know how long this could go on for or what further impact the lockdown is likely to have on operators over the coming months.
However, we do know that some things may have changed forever: the world of frequent handwashing, face masks and hand sanitizing gel that we now inhabit may lead to a permanent shift in how we view hygiene.
We’ve been speaking to several enterprise customers about what they’ll be looking for in a workspace after the lockdown to make their staff feel safe. Here’s six simple steps to start planning for and implementing now.
1. Implement a deep cleaning schedule
If you didn’t make cleaning a priority before, it needs to be one now. Make sure you have staff regularly doing the cleaning rounds, with both deep and routine cleaning a part of the schedule.
Ensure frequent sanitization of all high-frequency touchpoints, from desks and coffee makers to doorknobs and lift buttons.
2. Give guidance on how to stay healthy
Post signage reminding people that they should wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. All users of your space should be encouraged to wipe down touch points before and after use too.
Please print the below guidance (or any equally robust guidelines) and display throughout your building(s):
Make sure to also provide access to health and safety resources to all visitors on steps they should take and methods of reporting if they suspect they have coronavirus.
3. Provide hand washing guidance at washing stations.
You should also make hand sanitizer, like Purell, easily accessible and available throughout multiple locations in your building. You should supply sanitizing wipes to each community team.
Encourage sanitising hands before entering the building. We recommend you use a sign like this one.
Make sanitising wipes, or other sanitising products, available to community members and visitors. Encourage them to wipe touch points themselves before using them. Also encourage them to wipe down their workstation after use.
4. Wi-fi must be ironclad
The lockdown has meant that many people have been working remotely for the first time. Zoom and Google Hangouts have become a part of our office culture and they aren’t going anywhere in a hurry. Make sure that you are prepared for an uptick in video conferencing. Your space should have a strong, fast and reliable internet so people’s digital communication can continue as smoothly as possible.
5. Meeting rooms are more useful and in-demand
Even after the virus has passed, companies and their employees may believe it’s safer to work in meeting rooms where they can work in just the company of people they know and trust vs. around strangers.
Can you make meeting rooms available for this purpose? Make sure you subject them to the same rigid cleaning schedule and let clients know they can use your facilities for more uses.
As you prepare for a time when the lockdown lifts, continue engaging with your clients and community by sharing updates around what you're doing about Covid-19.
Once you have reopened, it’s important that you keep them well informed on your practices, cleaning standards, and adjustments to rules and regulations as necessary.
Please print this guidance (or any equally robust signage) and display throughout your building(s).
We’re all in this together, stay safe, stay healthy. And let's work to help businesses weather the COVID-19 storm.
Desana has been asked to develop a solution specifically for COVID-19 workspace resilience. If you’d like to help us support businesses in need of this, please contact let us know here.