Business Services
Critical Measures For COVID-19 And Co-working Spaces

Content Agency

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Wed 13 May, 2020

Once the current crisis has been contained, we will all look back at 2020 as the year of the COVID-19 outbreak, but also as a time of unprecedented change. As of January, the world was thrust into a crisis with many deaths. As per sacoronavirus.co.za, in South Africa alone we have 7220 confirmed positive cases and 138 deaths. Globally, 3,671,540 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed with 253,318 deaths.


Moreover, the world has had to adapt to physical isolation efforts, confinement, remote working for some sectors and many have had to cease business operations due to lockdown policies being implemented here and many other nations. 


Nobody in the world was ready for this, and most of the population are trying to survive these hard and uncertain times. However, these radical times can be a time for reflecting on the changes needed within society, across all systems, in our habits and the overall way in which we work and live. 


Many sectors have been hit notably hard by the pandemic, and the co-working sector has suffered perhaps one of the most-significant losses due to social distancing and lockdown. Co-working space models depend entirely on providing the service of renting desks and offices, internet, supplies and maintenance. 


Several co-working places remained closed despite us being afforded some lifted restrictions, and as a result, these businesses have little to no cash-flow. Many companies had to close their doors forever in the case where they were unable to get relief from expenses such as rent. 


Several co-working spaces had to freeze their client membership payments or offer huge discounts, as much as 50 to 100% off. In addition to this, many have taken on the role of taking care of their communities by helping their members with legal advice for obtaining grants for their businesses and assisting with the organisation of online activities to keep their member connected.


Preventative measures to take against COVID-19 when the sector reopens. 

Your members' health and safety should you be your main focus when reopening your co-working space. 


Before commencing business, once lockdown levels have reached the relevant number, you need to consider the following. 


Cleaning efforts. 

Be sure to bolster the cleaning hours of your space, during opening hours to the public, and after. 

  • We recommend constant cleaning of frequently used surfaces and crowded spaces with the correct viral products supported by the government.

  • Implement cisterns with sensors in basins to diminish constant contact.

  • Ensure that you provide disposable towels in both bathrooms and kitchens and hand dryers to avoid contact. 

  • Wash dishes and kitchen utensils at 60 degrees temperature.

  • Empty and clean any fridges daily.

  • Ensure that you disinfect meeting rooms and Skype booths after every use.

  • Follow up on your cleaning efforts and area with a visible control sheet and indicate the dates and times after each clean as well as the name of the person in charge of disinfecting the area at that time.


Air conditioning. 

Air conditioning and ventilation play a crucial role in the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 


  • We recommend increasing the air renewal through air conditioning recuperators and installing mobile ones wherever necessary.

  • Increase your system maintenance and filter cleaning using proper virucides.

  • It's a good idea to introduce plants that naturally purify and regenerate the air.

  • Ensure that you ventilate all spaces efficiently and daily.


Access Control.

During the various levels of de-escalation, ensure that you employ a security check at reception. 

  • Install partitions at reception and shared desks to protect employees and members.

  • Consider gleaning the personal environment and precautions of each member by way of a confidential interview.

  • Implement access and exit control at reception to control the flow of bodies at all times.

  • With regards to packages, try asking members to limit their orders to the co-working space and advise them that any containers will be disinfected with biocide spray.

  • As for external visitors, promote the use of online meetings and the case of visitors arriving for members, ensure that you have an electronic monitor to take temperatures.


Redistribute the space.


Even at the time when we reach level 1 and beyond, we advise maintaining sufficient levels of social distancing to avoid infection. 

  • Increase the distance between your work stations to 2 meters.

  • Ensure that you clearly indicate routes with coloured signage to maintain distances.

  • Indicate any flex positions with colourful signs.

  • Implement screens or partitions for your shared tables. 

  • If you work stations capacity decreases as a result of space redistribution, move as many positions to meeting rooms or common areas temporarily. 

  • With regards to private spaces or offices, assess each case by case to ensure proper distancing and let all members know that these measures are in place for their safety. 

  • With your common areas, limit the capacity according to the de-escalating phase.

  • Regarding the use of meeting rooms, support online meetings and, if this is not possible, limit the capacity for distancing and disinfect the rooms after each use.


Additional Measures. 

  • Distribute protection kits to each member and person in the space, including a reusable mask, hand sanitiser and disposable gloves. 

  • Install disinfectant gel dispensers at reception, meeting rooms, Skype booths, the kitchen, bathroom (along with soap) and common areas.

  • Invest in an infrared thermometer to measure body temperatures. 

  • Cancel any external and community events and opt for webinars.

  • Ensure that you effectively communicate your precautionary measures to all coworkers and ensure that they're aware of your plan.


Conclusion

Lastly, we recommend not making any significant investments in any changes, especially those affecting the layout and design of your space, because they'll be temporary changes should a vaccine be found.

  • COVID19
  • Coronavirus
  • property
  • co-working
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