The SMO #coworking Blog

Coworking Space Articles & Opinions

08.04.2020 Back to Blog articles

Coworking, Working From Home And Covid 19: How To Stay Productive And Sane

With the rise of the coronavirus, businesses and been sent into a tailspin; trying to meet government legislation while keeping their staff healthy without going bankrupt or shutting doors. Now, as the government implements lockdown procedures many people are being faced with the challenge of working from home.
Working from home is not for everyone; this can be seen in the uptake in coworking and shared offices (https://www.sharemyoffice.com/) in recent years. However, in these current circumstances, many people are being left without a choice. In this article, we are going to explore how to maintain a safe and healthy office environment; whether this is in your standard office or working from home. We will also be exploring how to ensure that you stay productive….and sane!

Maintaining A Safe Office Environment

There are some industries which can transition to working from home easily but there are also some industries that simply don’t! According to some research, only 4% of businesses have the facilities and ability to allow their entire workforce to work from home (https://www.hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/wellbeing-news/covid-19-not-all-businesses-have-the-ability-to-work-from-home/124454) There are also some businesses which have simply not had the time or capital to invest in setting up the adequate infrastructure to facilitate working from home before the lockdown was implemented.

It is worth remembering that if you are now working from home you may be sharing a workspace (https://www.sharemyoffice.com/about) with other people in your household and therefore; it is still imperative that you take steps to protect yourself and the space you are working in. However, regardless of whether you are still working in your office or working from home, there are some simple steps that you can take to protect yourself and others around you.

Regardless of what business sector you are or whether you are working from home here are some key tips to ensuring to maintain a safe and healthy office space:

  • If sharing office space with others try and maximise the space between you (minimum of 2m but preferably 4m)
  • Ensure there is plenty of cleaning and disinfectant supplies available throughout the office/coworking space including key items such as tissues, hand sanitiser, rubber gloves or even face masks.
  • Restricting access to or remove soft furnishings (which are harder to keep sterile)
  • Offer secluded areas for high-risk staff if they cannot work from home
  • Implement screening measures at the main entrance such as taking staff temperatures and sending them home if they demonstrate any of the corvid 19 symptoms including persistent cough or fever.
  • Ensure that key surfaces such as door handles, keyboards, phones etc are wiped down with disinfectant every hour.
  • Consider restricting access to key cross over areas such as kitchen or tea and coffee making facilities by implementing staggered coffee breaks and lunchtimes. If this is not possible (for example if you are working from home) ensure that there are plenty of cleaning and disinfectant supplies available, ensure no dishes or cups are left unwashed and consider a rota so that there is only one person in the kitchen at a time.

Staying Productive….And Sane!

The term coworking typically applies to shared traditional office spaces, hot-desking and more relaxed collaborative community-based office space. However, this can also apply to working from home with others (be that in your shed, at your kitchen table or in your spare room). For many people, working from home or coworking will be a reasonably new experience. Working from home comes with a range of positives and negatives in this current economic situation. Positives include:

  • The ability to easily self-isolate
  • Easily maintainable hygiene standards
  • More flexibility around working hours
  • More time around loved ones

Negatives include:

  • Additional distractions such as children (especially now the schools are closed), pets and TV
  • Lack of efficient (work-based) communication and general human interaction. Which can result in higher stress levels
  • Perceived restricted or inability to work collaboratively
  • Not always having access to required equipment or resources such as large scale printers etc

Put simply there are some people who are just not comfortable working out with a traditional office structure. For others, a compromise by splitting their working week between home and an office may be the best option. That said the coworking community (https://www.sharemyoffice.com/blog) has a range of tips and resources which can be applied to working from home and more isolated working practices to help you stay productive and sane. These would include:

Video Chatting

Using FaceTime, WhatsApp, 8x8 or generally any other form of video chatting software to allow you to see colleges while you are chatting to them. Video chats are great for brainstorming ideas, sharing quick sketches and discussing collaborative projects.

Screen Sharing

Screen Sharing offers similar benefits to video chats allowing people to clearly see drawings, designs and written content (some screen sharing software will also allow you to collaboratively work on the same document? These sort of resources can also be a godsend for training and addressing any technical issues (like when your brain is drawing a blank on how to do something on your computer software). Using screen-sharing software in conjunction with video or simple voice chat maximises the collaborative ability of remote working as well as offering key social interaction for its users.

Voice Calling

When we share an office it is very common to walk over to a colleagues desk if we need clarification or to ask a question. However, if you are working from home or in a shared office where there are only some of your colleges this is not always feasible. With that in mind; when in doubt sometimes you are just best picking up that phone and speaking to someone! Although many would say this is common sense; there are a lot of remote workers who rely on communicating via emails instead of simply picking up the phone to talk to someone. Although it can be beneficial having conversations and key points in writing, picking up a phone will often offer a quicker and clearer response while also offering valuable human and client interaction. Remember, you can always summarise your conversation in an email later.

In Summary

Using these resources will allow you to limit face to face and close contact interactions while supporting the need for self-isolation and social distancing. Utilising this technology will also help you to maintain your sanity through simple human interaction while protecting yourself and others from the risk of infection. In summary, use the technology that is available to you to maintain effective communication with colleges and clients allowing you to stay productive regardless of where you work.

Simple Pricing

Our pricing is simple and fair and explained here. We charge a fixed fee and no commission!

Map Search

Find the perfect office, in the perfect location, using our map search feature

Updates

Straight to your inbox.

Subscribe here