If you’re looking for a new office as your state reopens, coworking may be a safe, cost-effective option. While coworking typically evokes images of communal coworking space, the majority of providers offer private offices of all sizes. It’s important to do your research on each building or coworking provider and ensure that they are addressing COVID-19 risks. Below are the four questions you and your broker should ask each coworking provider you’re considering.
1) What are your COVID-related procedures when it comes to cleaning and layouts?
Every coworking provider will likely answer this question differently, but the CDC recommends the following precautions:
- Routinely cleaning high-touch surfaces
- Providing members with disposable wipes to clean communal surfaces
- Providing adequate handwashing supplies (i.e. no-touch hand sanitizer dispensers, water, soap, single-use paper towels)
- Adjusting furniture to fit social distancing standards
- Taking steps to increase ventilation
- Offering social distancing reminders such as signs and floor decals
This list is a baseline for coworking providers. You and your broker may want to ask about other precautions, such as those based on local recommendations.
2) How many square feet are you now allotting per person?
To keep costs down, coworking providers utilize space more efficiently, which means that the typical amount of square feet per person is low. With social distancing guidelines in place, each coworking provider would ideally give each member more room. For example, they may be offering a six- or eight-person private office as a four-person private office or helping teams occupy more one-person private offices. They may even be decreasing their member capacity. Your broker can help you understand what plans work best for your team.
3) How are you readjusting your services and amenities?
One of the selling points of coworking is not having to worry about office management. Services and amenities such as fresh coffee, printing, phone booths and meeting rooms are standard with coworking contracts. Some providers even have more unique offerings, like nap pods. All of these amenities and services are typically shared among members, so it’s important to ask your coworking provider how they are readjusting to minimize health and safety risks. For example, they may be investing in touchless coffee machines and more single-use cups. They may have one point-person dealing with the printer or have a plan to decrease meeting room capacities. Note that some coworking providers may still be figuring this out.
4) How are you communicating changes in your procedures to your members?
As with the COVID situation at large, coworking providers should be adjusting their procedures to meet CDC and local recommendations in real-time. They should also have a plan to communicate all of those changes to their members, whether by email, text or in their app.
Need help figuring out which coworking provider is right 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 narrow your search, talk to coworking providers and get you the best deal.