By Liz Elam On May 6, 2020 In CoworkingSustainabilityCommunityCOVID-19

Photo of coworking space

Let’s Talk Re-entry Into Your Physical Space

It may be overwhelming to think about all the things you need to consider as you move towards reopening your coworking space. In order to help y’all out, we partnered with Upsuite to create a webinar series and Re-entry Playbook.

In the first webinar of the series, we tackled how to re-enter your physical space. Here are some of the key points:

Remember: Check your specific state and local requirements for reopening your space.

A New Lens

Take notes as you enter your space and really look at it through a new lens. What are you touching as you enter the space? How do you interact with reception? Do you need to rethink the flow? Remove furniture? Add space in between desks? What needs to change in your meeting rooms? We believe meeting rooms will be in high demand once things settle down. People will need to meet, especially if they lose their office space.

Keep It Lean

We don’t recommend that you go out and spend a bunch of money reorganizing and redesigning your space. Things are changing too fast and we get new information almost daily.

Create Space

We’re seeing lots of questions from space operators about dividers. All the major manufacturers have a line with dividers—and they’re all on backorder. Our friends at Vari (the company formerly known as Varidesk) have some new product lines coming out to address post-COVID needs.

Consider the 6 foot rule in your common areas and consider repurposing them. Operators are using plant walls, acoustic panels, bookshelves, rolling white boards and more. Get creative.

Keep It Clean

Look at your soft seating and determine if you need it. If so, how will you clean it? Think about the areas that are touched the most: doors (Can you remove them?), door knobs, coffee pots, tables, desks and chairs.

The rule of thumb is disinfect them clean. You may need to bring in your professional cleaning team more frequently.

The Air You Breathe

Don’t get me started on the importance of the air you breathe. Are you using HEPA filters? How often are they changed? Should you change the mix of fresh air to recycled air? Is your unit super old? Does it need to be replaced? Have you had the ducts cleaned? Track and make this information available to your members.

The Basics

Remind people to wash their hands. Have hand sanitizer and wipes readily available. Consider adding a Welcome Back Kit on every desk – a mask, tissues, wet wipes and some hand sanitizer would be nice. Have a mask policy. Again, check on your local government’s requirements for your location.

Now for the Kitchen

The coffee area is a potential danger zone. Consider having your staff make the coffee, or add a barista.

Here are some questions to consider: Should you switch to a single use machine? Should you add more coffee stations? Should you put 6 foot markers on the floor? Should you set a capacity for the kitchen? Maybe make it flow in just one direction?

Your staff should handle the dishes. The dishwasher should only be run on sanitize or the hottest setting. You may want to think about compostable single use cups, plates and utensils.

Communication Rules

Communicate, then over communicate.

Post your policy in your space and on your website. Talk about what you’re doing on your social channels. Letting people know what you’re doing will help them feel more comfortable with coming back.

We know this is a lot and you might be overwhelmed. Take what you need and leave the rest.

Next Up

Our next webinar, which covers sales, marketing and pricing strategies, is on May 19th. Sign up here!

The detailed Re-entry Playbook is available in GCUC Membership. Sign up here!

DISCLAIMER: GCUC and our staff are not authorized or qualified to guide or influence you in the preparation of your own business continuity or preparations plans from a health and public policy perspective. While we are making efforts to ensure we are providing an up-to-date list of publicly available resources, all details on COVID-19, as well as health, economic and public policy implications, should be addressed with the advice of an independent specialist.