You’ve been working from home, you’re eager to get back to a workspace, but you have questions about what to expect and how to be as safe as possible.
We’re in uncharted territory and things are changing every day. But as flexible office spaces begin to open up and get back to business, best practices are emerging to help people find the best space for them.
Here are five things to help you in your search for a safe, professional, flexible workspace post-COVID.
1) Transparent Health and Safety Policy
Health and safety is a top priority during this time. Anyone looking to work in a flexible office space as an alternative to working from home should ensure that any space they consider has a clear Health and Safety Protocol.
The policy should be comprehensive and include compliance with core CDC or World Health Organization guidelines:
- PPE (Personal Protective Equipment): All individuals should be required to wear face masks in common areas.
- Space managers and staff should do temperature checks of everyone entering the space with a no-touch thermometer. This is done in an effort to ensure people with symptoms of the illness do not infect others.
- De-densification of workspaces and meeting rooms in accordance with six-feet physical distancing prevents unnecessarily close contact. De-densifying includes partitioned workspaces or dedicated desks that offer additional privacy or another layer of protection.
- If the space has a reception desk, there should be a sneeze guard or plexiglass shield.
- Cleaning and sanitizing protocol should be in-place, ensuring that coworking stations, meeting rooms, common surfaces, and any high-traffic areas are disinfected several times throughout the day. Additional sanitizing measures include nanoseptic wraps on handles or any applicable surfaces.
- Food or items normally found in a shared lounge or kitchen should be wrapped in single-service packaging.
- Clear hygiene guidelines should be posted, and items promoting clean hygiene should be easily accessible. This includes hand sanitizer stations, disposable masks, and signage which promotes regular hand washing and hygiene best practices to reduce the likelihood of spreading germs.
- A clear incident reporting policy—should someone in the space be exposed to Covid-19—should be in-place.
2) Virtual Office Services
As you combine working from home and flex office services, Virtual offices (VO) can be a great compliment to your new workstyle.
Virtual offices provide remote workers a professional business address, mail receiving with digital mail services, live phone answering, access to conference rooms and private guest offices, and more.
Make sure your flexible workspace provider has a broad menu of Virtual office services
One of our most valuable VO services for work from home (WFH) professionals is the Pacific Workplaces Virtual Mail Plan with Digital Mailbox Service.
Virtual mail provides a professional business address at which to receive mail. However, with digital mail services, you don’t ever have to go into the office to pick up your mail.
As you look for a flex office post-COVID, make sure your digital mail plan includes notification of mail received. You can then communicate to your workspace provider, via a digital mail application, whether they should forward, scan, shred, or hold mail for pick-up. This is a great way to manage your business mail effectively on those days that you work from home.
3) Access to Day Offices and Meeting Rooms
If you need to host a meeting but are concerned about exposure, make sure your provider has de-densified their meeting rooms to help with physical distancing. You can always opt to reserve a private guest office if you need a break from working at the kitchen table. Your space should have real-time online booking capabilities for day offices and meeting rooms to allow you the flexibility and privacy you need to run your business.
You can also inquire about renting a full-time private office. Of course there are more costs to consider if you go that route, but we can all see the value of a private office space particularly during this Covid-19 era. Ask your flex office provider about special deals or promotions, and you can always start out with a small interior space as a more economical option.
4) Robust Workspace Technology
You need more than just a desk and wi-fi from a workspace provider. Your space should help you run your business more efficiently and effectively. Here are some technology features to look for in a flexible office space:
- Gig internet is a definite plus
- Keyless entry into the space
- Keyless entry into meeting rooms
- Video conferencing capabilities such as Zoom Rooms, or any video conferencing technology that allows for a productive and higher-level video conferencing experience.
- Fully-equipped meeting rooms with mirror displaying devices (AppleTV, Apple Airplay)
- Smart whiteboards
Photo credit: Deviaje
5) Member Portal
Your space should provide a technology platform that empowers you to easily manage your membership, your billing and your member profile.
With a few clicks, you should be able to connect with other members, pay bills, purchase services and book space.
What questions do you have about incorporating a flexible office into your work routine? Contact us to learn more about our offerings and services so you can get back to doing your best work in a safe environment.