Make sure you familiarize yourself with the Covid safety protocols. There’ll be quite a few in place which you’ll be expected to follow, and in the end, they’ll make you feel safer too. Wearing masks is likely (although in some spaces if social distance is maintained you may be able to remove them), social distancing and spacious work areas are key, disinfection and periodic cleaning is frequent, temperature checks are taken at the door, and a general greater level of personal hygiene is required.
Concerning the latter, things like cleaning your personal items, regularly washing your hands, and disinfecting your work station prior to and after use are some of the protocols you can expect! What’s more, recent surveys found that such increased hygiene measures actually made employees feel more comfortable and safer in their office environment.
Be aware of local regulations on Covid-19. In Valencia, we have rules that limit social gatherings, restaurants and bars are closed, and retail stores close early. It’s important to get to know these regulations so: a) you don’t break them, b) you can plan your day around them, and c) you lessen the risk of Covid-19 for yourself and others.
These rules obviously affect coworking spaces and their communities. For example, some coworking offices are required to have a reduced capacity while others may stipulate rules such as mask wearing and social distancing.
Less remote workers mean more space! Many people opted to stay home instead of venture to coworking spaces in the beginning but this trend has reduced as people actually like to separate work and home life. Still, there does seem to be less people and of course less traveling professionals than previously.
As well as capacity, there are also distance rules in place. Some spaces will have a set route to walk in and out, and even around the office (one-directional). While other spaces may ask you to maintain a minimum of 2 meters between yourself and the next coworker. Cushman & Wakefield even introduced a ‘6 feet office’ which means they make sure coworkers have their own safe space. Whatever the measure, you’ll find yourself with a more spacious, and cleaner, work desk.
For those spaces able to provide outdoor areas like terraces or patios, they will be utilising them as best as they can. It’s a perfect option to enjoy the good weather (if coworking in Southern Europe) and also a way of separating people more easily and keeping things not so crowded.
Looking ahead to coworking in the future, we can definitely expect plexiglass shields between desks to be the new norm with less open work areas than we see today.
A huge pull towards working in a coworking office is the connection with others and the sense of community. Now this is much more limited, although not entirely, coworking spaces are coming up with unique ways to get around this. Some spaces provide online forums as a way to network, where as others allow conversations to be held within social distancing parameters. Spaces with outdoor facilities greatly benefit from being able to allow coworkers to go outside and have a more ventilated area to converse and network.
Keep updated on coworking life, Covid-19 updates, news in Valencia and more in our ICV Blog.