Before COVID-19 took its course, and the ways that workplaces function was flipped on its head, co-working spaces were all the rage. So much so in fact that they became a staple for many modern businesses.
Now, co-working spaces are seen as one of the greatest threats to workplace safety as organisations work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their employees and visitors. But what if those organisations could still reap the benefits of their co-working space, while still keeping everyone safe?
Co-Working Spaces: The Current Situation
Co-working spaces experienced a surge in popularity before the pandemic, largely due to the fact that freelancers and remote workers have been on the rise in America over the past few years.
With freelancers and remote workers making up 33% of today’s workforce, the demand for co-working spaces has increased substantially.
Many small businesses and start-ups have also shifted to co-working spaces as they provide opportunity for collaboration with like-minded individuals. Not to mention, they are a great option for these types of businesses as there is no need to lock themselves into costly leases. They are more easily able to scale up as needed without a workspace commitment.
The impact of COVID-19 on co-working spaces
COVID-19 has taken its toll in many areas, and that leaves no exception to co-working spaces. With the current economic slowdown across many countries, the co-working industry is expected to decline from $9.27 billion in 2019 to $8.24 billion in 2020.
While this is a massive hit to co-working spaces, they are expected to recover in the coming years, which means that making co-working spaces work in the meantime is essential.
The Case for Co-working in a Post-COVID World
Co-working spaces aren’t something to reject as the world makes its long recovery. In fact, COVID-19 makes co-working spaces even more important than they were in the past.
With more people working remotely, the need for these spaces in order to increase productivity is at an all-time high. While many people are finding plenty of advantages to working from home, like everything in life – balance is key. Many studies have found evidence to show that many tasks are better performed in a dedicated work environment to maximise proximity.
Small businesses also need space to keep production going as many have taken a hit from the recession. They need resources to help them bounce back now more than ever.
Studies have even shown that past recessions found a link to increased entrepreneurship during recession times, which is something everyone wants to see encouraged in this time.
In addition to that, communities need to recover and the only real way to do so is through collaboration and finding strength in one another.
Tips for Running a Co-Working Space Post COVID-19
It’s clear that co-working spaces are important to individuals, businesses and communities, so how can we keep them running safely?
Implement cleaning and hygiene policies
Co-working spaces can use government guidelines to help implement new cleaning and hygiene policies within their spaces. Guidelines are a great way to get started on mapping out these policies, however, each co-working space should also create rules based on their unique space and its needs.
Hand sanitizer should be placed in high volume areas and near entrances, and masks should be worn whenever possible. It will be up to co-working spaces to implement proper and consistent cleaning measures for keeping the area as germ-free as possible.
Visitors and staff should have access to readily available cleaning supplies for workspaces as well, including anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer and soap.
Incorporate a co-working space software
One of the best ways to ensure your co-working space stays safe is to incorporate co-working space management software. This software can help to track those who come in and out of the space along with multiple other safety features.
Sine specifically can help co-working spaces by providing pre-screening options for COVID-19. All staff, visitors and contractors can be pre-screened before they even step into the co-working space. Sine also provides contactless sign-in and sign-out which means less risk of the spread of infection and better tracking of those who enter into a space.
You can quickly trace contacts as they move throughout the co-working space who are suspected cases with contact tracing.
Manage capacity and spacing
Co-working management system touchless sign-in and sign-out features are also great for managing the number of people allowed in the space at any given time. Capacity management tools in the Sine dashboard also work to aid in social distancing and compliance with proper guidelines.
Security is necessary more now than ever in co-working spaces in order to ensure that only those who are supposed to be there enter in the building and help to avoid overcrowding.
It will be important to ensure that limitations are placed on the number of people allowed within one workspace which is possible to manage with a co-working management system.
Use Sine to help to improve your co-working space
While it may not be an easy journey towards creating co-working spaces that are safe for all, with the proper dedication and tools it is always possible. Sine is ready to help set you up for success in re-opening or keeping your co-working space running.