A Guide to Coworking Reopening Policies

How coworking providers are keeping their members safe

coworking members in line to check in - Truss

By now, it’s clear that going to work isn’t going to look the same as it did in early 2020. As businesses establish the safest way to get their employees back to the office, coworking centers are also working to ensure their members can work in safe, healthy environments. We took a look at the updated policies of over 20 different providers, both on national and local levels, to see what businesses can expect. 

How to Use This Guide

It’s important to note that every coworking provider is handling COVID-19 precautions differently. We recommend using the below to determine what precautions are important to you. You can use these benchmarks when talking with your broker about which provider is right for your team. Remember to keep talking to all potential coworking providers about their plans as this situation evolves.

General Coworking Health and Safety

Coworking Membership/Social Policies

Most coworking providers have updated their membership policies to reduce transmission risks. These updates may include:

  • Requiring staff temperature checks and symptom monitoring, PPE to be worn at all times
  • Requiring member sign-ins, temperature checks and symptom screening forms for everyone entering the space
  • Limiting guests and vendors to those that have been pre-registered and approved
  • Requiring masks either in the entire space, throughout common areas, or everywhere but the member’s own desk
  • Requiring COVID-19 positive test disclosure
  • Reducing daily member capacities

Cleaning and Sanitizing

As expected, coworking providers are doubling down on their cleaning and sanitizing efforts. This looks like any-all of the following:

  • Increasing cleaning efforts, ranging from common area sanitizing every hour to deep cleans multiple times a week
  • Using specific CDC-recommended cleaning products
  • Expanding the availability of hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies throughout the space, including common areas, pantries, bathrooms, conference rooms, phone booths, elevator lobbies and hallways
  • Providing touch-free hand sanitizer and soap dispensers

Most coworking centers are providing these services free of charge, but it’s worth it to ask if this is the case when choosing a provider.

Air Quality and Circulation

Some coworking providers have been working to improve their air filtration and circulation systems. Below are examples of their efforts:

  • Upgrading their HVAC air filters to the highest possible filtration level
  • Optimizing HVAC circulation to draw more air in from outside
  • Promoting usage of outdoor spaces
  • Installing mobile air purification units

Shared Spaces in Coworking

Common Areas and Hot Desks

One of the most challenging components of coworking centers is their common area lounge and “hot desk” locations. However, these features are integral parts of the coworking model, and centers are taking creative measures to ensure they are still viable for use.

These measures include:

  • Installing floor decals to indicate 6’ feet of distance
  • Integrating directional signage to reduce contact
  • Removing and reconfiguring furniture to allow for social distancing
  • Staggering seating at hot desks
  • Providing disposable placemats and wipes for hot desk users
  • Allowing common areas to be reserved by companies for team-lounge areas
  • Installing physical barriers or ‘sneeze guards’ on each front desk to separate the employee behind the desk from guests or visitors

Kitchen and Dining Spaces

Coworking centers are working to minimize contact in their communal kitchen spaces. This includes:

  • Eliminating shared beverage and dining options such as “spa water” dispensers, ice machines
  • Offering single-serve beverages, snacks, condiments
  • Delivering single-serve snacks to members
  • Asking members to place dirty reusable dishes directly into the dishwasher
  • Providing single-use cups, utensils, plates
  • Cleaning out shared refrigerators nightly
  • Emphasizing hand washing and wiping down of surfaces

Conference Rooms and Events Spaces

Here’s how coworking providers are shifting conference rooms to account for exposure:

  • Limiting rentals from non-members
  • Cancelling all in-person events
  • Encouraging virtual events and meetings
  • Allowing lower number of credits to book large conference rooms
  • De-densifying and reconfiguring conference rooms
  • Repurposing unused private offices to add more meeting spaces

Other Shared Amenities

Coworking providers also have plans in place for their other amenities. These include:

  • Making work nooks and booths single-occupancy
  • Increasing phone booth cleanings
  • Closing phone booths
  • Closing nap pods
  • Installing wipe dispensers and visible guidelines near printers
  • Offering printing pick-up from the front desk

Private Offices

Coworking centers’ approach to private offices varies by provider. Here are some of their efforts:

  • Requiring companies to rotate employee schedules to de-densify offices
  • Spacing desks six feet apart to allow for social distancing
  • Asking that members clean their individual desks daily
  • Offering add-ons such as additional cleaning services, sanitation supplies, air purifiers, plexiglass desk dividers, redesign services and PPE

Get Help Finding the Right Coworking Provider for You

Truss is the only platform that lets entrepreneurs compare coworking and office, with pricing included. Our operations team updates our coworking listings in real-time with COVID-related policies, so you can compare your options in one place. Our brokers can help you evaluate your coworking options, take a tour and get you the best deal.

Get started with Truss today.