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Julie Tucker
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Coronavirus: How to stay safe in a coworking environment

All over the UK, people are gradually returning to work after the government started to relax the COVID-19 lock down restrictions.

For those in coworking environments (as with all workplaces), staying safe in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic is critical.

All coworking spaces should be taking extra precautions to ensure they are abiding by the government guidelines. As an individual returning to work, it’s important to look after yourself and adhere to safety and hygiene standards.

What steps should you take?
Workers should maintain social distancing in the office, which means keeping two metres apart from colleagues wherever possible: this includes when travelling to and from work, entering and leaving the building and while at work.

The government advice states that when social distancing guidelines can’t be followed in full, mitigating actions should be taken to reduce the risks. This includes washing hands frequently and cleaning surfaces with disinfectant more often.

In addition, use barriers or screens to separate individuals who are working next to each other. Instead of sitting face-to-face, work back-to-back, or side-to-side, where possible.

Shared spaces
In the case of shared spaces such as toilets, kitchens and general rooms, make sure they are cleaned and disinfected frequently and thoroughly. Places that might not be cleaned normally, such as lift buttons and doorknobs, should also be wiped with disinfectant regularly.

Use hand-sanitiser gel to clean your hands at key places such as in reception, meeting rooms, dining areas, near escalators and lifts, in any areas where workers interact with each other, such as next to coffee machines, and where food is prepared or stored. Keep the rooms well-ventilated whenever possible.

Follow all hygiene practices
Follow all recommended hygiene procedures as well as you can. In every workspace, just remember to keep washing your hands, according to the latest government advice. If you should develop any flu-like symptoms, work from home to limit contact with other people.

Even if you’ve simply caught a common cold, it’s important not to take any risks in the current climate. If you do have to work from home, coworking spaces will have the relevant technology to enable you to keep in touch with colleagues and contacts until you’re able to return to the workplace.

Keep well-informed
Keep yourself well-informed of the latest official guidelines for best practices from the World Health Organisation and the government – their websites are updated continually. Communicate with others in the office if there are any updates you think everyone should be aware of to keep healthy.

It’s important to keep coworking spaces up and running as the lock down eases, as they serve the needs of many people such as remote workers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, self-employed people, sole proprietors and startups. For many, working from home isn’t a viable alternative.

These groups are likely to be struggling more as a result of COVID-19, as they are not staff members who can be furloughed by an employer and they may find it harder to access grants, loans or government assistance to keep their business up and running during the crisis. The sooner they can get back to normal, the better, so running their business safely from a coworking space, where social distancing and other hygiene procedures are in place, is the best option for keeping afloat.

A coworking community’s strength is vital: helping people to re-connect, network and support each other through these challenging times.

Safety measures
As the leading provider of coworking office space in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other locations across the country, Headspace Group is open for business! We promote safe working practices at our premises and aim to keep Britain’s small businesses operational.

Cleaning and the delivery of safe spaces is of paramount important to us. Our in-house cleaning division enables us to control the high standards we require with more than 150,000 hours a year devoted to cleaning our centres, including continual day and night-time schedules.

During this challenging period, our cleaners are sanitising our spaces with intensive deep cleans. A fogging service sterilises the environment for 30 days and we display cleaning schedules. We focus on key touch-points, such as door handles, toilets, coffee machines and kitchen facilities, while lift-buttons have easy-wipe plastic coverings.

We will continue to adapt and adhere to the government safety protocols and have introduced heat mapping technology at our centres, so we can alert people if they are showing a high temperature and may be at risk of COVID-19. Commercial hand sanitiser gel dispensers have also been installed in communal areas and receptions.

Your safety is our priority, as we continue to deliver the first-class service you have always enjoyed. For details of our co-working offices, contact us on 0800 953 0585.

 

Image © Deliris / Shutterstock.com

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