In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the perks of coworking – networking, working alongside new people, free coffee, shared desk space – might suddenly seem more like hazards.
And certainly, the pandemic has changed coworking – for now. Here is everything you need to know about coworking in a pandemic.
Safety protocols in coworking
Coworking spaces can take steps to protect members by increasing protocols that help prevent the spread of the virus. This includes:
- Establishing a ‘work from home’ policy that keeps employees who are sick or at high risk of contracting the virus at home for 14 days
- Closing on-site cafes and gyms as needed at the recommendation of public health experts
- Developing cleaning protocols to ensure work surfaces are cleaned multiple times a day
- Providing employees with masks and hand sanitizer
- Offering public health information about slowing the spread of the virus and lower the risk of infection
- Enforcing social distancing practices
- Creating an action plan for if a member is infected or exhibits symptoms
At HEXA, many of our amenities are uniquely designed to support safety during this pandemic, including:
- An outdoor space that allows members to relax in the open air, allowing the common space to remain accessible
- Private meditation rooms that enable social distancing and support mental health practices
- Established cleaning services
How coworking can help now
Like any other business, coworking spaces are subject to local orders, and some may be facing temporary site closures. But even when space is operating differently, entrepreneurs can still take advantage of the stability coworking spaces can offer in an otherwise tumultuous time:
- Coworking spaces can provide a professional address. As personal and professional lives shift, having a stable business address reduces the time spent on paperwork and demonstrates stability to clients and business partners.
- Coworking spaces can provide answering services. You don’t have to miss a single call – even if you’re currently trying to wrap your head around Common Core multiplication with your, ahem, coworker.
- Meeting spaces are available. As more business transitions to remove work – maybe permanently – the ability to rent meeting space for team events, client meetings, or training sessions make coworking an attractive option.
- Technology is cutting-edge. Even if you aren’t battling your spouse or partner for bandwidth, home internet speeds tend to be sub-par, as do office setups cobbled together from past jobs or whatever you grabbed before the business went remote. Coworking spaces are fully equipped with cutting-edge technology that can help you surpass your home-based productivity.
About half of companies in a recent PwC survey said they expected productivity to take a hit because of remote work capabilities.
- Private offices are an option. While shared desks tend to be the first image that pops up when people think of coworking, coworking spaces also offer private offices and suites (for example, our can seat up to 5) that afford better distancing and are less trafficked.
- Flexible leases. For businesses trying to cut costs or uncertain about what the next 12 months hold, the flexibility a coworking space offers can help mitigate risk and provide employees with the tools they need to stay productive.
- It’s the future. Before the pandemic, just 4% of employees worked from home at least half the time, according to Vox. Now, that number is 34%, which happens to be the same number of people who can work from home, according to the University of Chicago. Global Workplace Analytics president Kate Lister told Vox she expects 30 percent of people will start to work from home multiple times per week in the next few years. The forced remote work, Lister says, helped prove a point many remote employees were trying to make: remote work does work. And, if remote work is embraced, businesses will be on the hunt for better real estate options, because not everyone can, or will, work from home a full five days.
Are you ready to upgrade your remote situation?
We have an array of membership options to offer your business the flexibility you need today, to equip your organization for a better future tomorrow. We would love to tell you more about how HEXA can support your business, and answer any other questions you have about coworking in a pandemic – or anything else. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.