Coworking spaces play a crucial role in remote employees' productivity.
But because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, coworking space owners and managers have to be extra careful with maintaining their place. This means that they need to find a balance between cleanliness and productivity.
The disease that's plaguing everyone from around the world isn't going to disappear anytime soon. That's why coworking spaces need to adapt and practice many health protocols.
With that said, the usual cleaning and hygiene maintenance habits will not be enough. Coworking spaces need to go above and beyond to ensure that no lapses lead to unfortunate health issues for their members.
On that note, here are ten ideas on how one can ensure a clean and hygienic coworking space for your members:
First, it is imperative to establish health and sanitation rules in your coworking space. Otherwise, it will be challenging to make your members follow the minimum health protocols.
It would be best if you took the time to pause and think about how you want your approach to cleanliness within your vicinity is.
You can start by requiring members to book before visiting instead of accepting walk-in visitors. Doing so could help you manage the flow of incoming and outgoing members. Your record can also play a role in contact tracing in case someone got infected.
Once you have established house rules, it will be easier to enforce it. That's because there's something that you can reference for each particular case.
Remember to make your rules as straightforward as possible so that people in your coworking space understand. You can remind people of the rules by setting up signs in the correct places.
For example, you can put up signs around areas like the pantry and remind people not to leave food debris on the table.
It will help if you encourage your members to practice good hygiene, especially in common areas. After all, there's only so much you can do to regulate everyone when they don't practice good personal hygiene.
It's easy for infections and germs to accumulate over time and even faster to spread from one person to another. Coworking spaces make it especially easy. That's why you want to encourage everyone to keep an eye out and maintain their hygiene.
You want to create a hygienic and clean environment to make people wary of their responsibility in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
You can do this by posting signs that will remind them to wear their face mask at all times. It would also make sense to place a large pump bottle of hand sanitizer on a couple of tables. This is to encourage your members to sanitize their hands whenever needed.
Even if you have rules in place and encourage everyone to be responsible for their cleanliness, it will not make sense if you do not foster it. That's why you have to ensure that you also provide sanitary and cleaning supplies wherever it's most applicable.
For example, your coworking space should have a steady supply of hand soap. Remember to check on it regularly, especially the supplies in the bathroom.
Aside from the cleaning supplies inside the bathroom, there are other things you need to keep on hand. You need to keep hand sanitizers around the coworking space, especially around entranceways and exits.
Closed trash bins are another crucial part of any coworking space. While you're at it, you might also want to keep a supply of face masks readily available.
Usually, places can get away with disinfecting their spaces less frequently. However, this is no longer acceptable given the current situation we're all in at the moment.
We must disinfect more than usual. However, you should not overdo it as germs and bacteria also develop resistance against cleaning agents.
Plus, if you use strong chemicals too often, it can decrease air quality inside your coworking space. That's why there has to be a healthy balance between disinfecting.
High-traffic places will benefit the most from more frequent disinfection. Regular cleaning can do well in the best of times, but there's been more traffic that day. You might want to disinfect more during those times.
The places that people touch the most when they're working will probably be their desktop accessories or the items around their desks. Even though these are the ones people touch most often, we often neglect cleaning them.
That's why it's even more vital that you don't forget to sanitize all the desktop accessories.
You have to clean everything from the screen, the keyboard, and the mouse. Aside from that, other parts of it deserve attention as well. For example, the mouse pad will undoubtedly be harboring all sorts of germs and bacteria.
Remember to be careful when cleaning desktop accessories. That's because you don't want to damage them after pursuing hygiene and cleanliness.
Instead of leaving trash bins right by people's desks, it may be better to have a centralized waste bin for each space's key area.
Centralized waste bins will be a lot easier to pick up than having to go to each desk one-by-one to get them. Aside from that, it will have the effect of reducing the waste that people produce individually.
Putting the trash bin beside a desk might make your members careless about the amount of waste they produce.
It's a minor inconvenience if you place them someplace away from their desks. However, if you put these waste bins in the right place, it shouldn't be a far walk.
Of course, if you want to keep a clean and hygienic coworking space for your members, you must keep the communal areas clean.
Cleaning your joint regions is something that you should do on the regular. However, it would help if you also focused on parts that people forget to clean, but people often use it either way.
For example, door and cabinet handles are something that people always touch. Hence, ensure that you pay special attention to these areas.
While you're at it, make sure to clean the office equipment that people use together as well in your coworking space.
Pro tip: Integrate your main coworking software with an access control system that allows unlocking doors with a smartphone. This will bring a touch of a hi-tech futuristic experience to your workspace and free your members from unnecessary contact with people and surfaces.
Aside from the surfaces, you also need to clean your indoor air quality. After all, germs and bacteria also spread through there.
Not to mention, dust and dirt will also be spreading all over the air. It can trigger people's allergic reactions as well, so you need to improve indoor air quality no matter what.
Improving air quality doesn't mean that you're supposed to start spraying air freshener all over the place. Doing that can even worsen things.
Instead, it's about proper air filters. Remember to check up on your air filtration system or your air conditioning system to ensure that it works. You might also want to invest in some indoor plants to help freshen up the space.
If you are opening up your coworking space, you shouldn't leave it to its old layout.
As per the World Health Organization recommendations, it is imperative to maintain at least one-meter distance. You should also follow your city's guidelines about the maximum capacity allowed in every space.
Doing so ensures that your members will not crowd in a single table. This reduces the risk of people spreading the disease.
Another option is to limit the number of people who can use your meeting and conference rooms. It is also ideal to hire someone who can clean and sanitize these rooms before and after a meeting.
That said, it would make sense to require members to book the meeting rooms at least a day before using it.
Pro tip: If you are using andcards, coworking space software will give you some time for room preparation and service by reserving 15 minutes between bookings.
Besides, andcards Zapier integration can be used to alert a manager that a room needs cleaning when the booking is finished.
The new conditions that we live and operate in right now can be tricky, especially when you have to juggle so many things at once.
If you need some help to maintain a clean and hygienic coworking space, you can hire professional commercial space cleaners who will give you cleaning business tips.
You can express your health and safety concerns, and a good cleaning company will take that into account and change their cleaning style. They'll also have all the products and equipment they need to thoroughly sanitize and deep clean your coworking space for everyone's safety.
Not only will they help clean your coworking space, but they're also going to be more efficient with how they do it.
Maintaining a coworking space while keeping cleanliness and sanitation in mind can be challenging. But that does not mean that you cannot do something about it.
What's important is that you follow the minimum safety protocols recommended by WHO and your health department. This includes requiring members to wear face masks and reducing the capacity of your coworking space.
Doing so ensures that remote employees remain productive without compromising their health and safety. And if you do not know where to begin, consider using the ten tips on this post as a guide.