These 2 years, a global pandemic in the form of Covid-19 just struck the globe like nothing anyone has ever seen. Shutting down multiple sectors, killing dozens of job opportunities, and overall just kills off businesses around the world. Not only does it hampers the economy worldwide, but it also greatly slows down the growth of the most business markets. However, as some would say, there is always the faintest light in the darkest of times. Although forced, most sectors are still up and running when they are able to shift over to a more online-based operation formula.
Covid-19 is never a thing to look down on however, the speed and infectious nature of it makes even the slightest human interaction seems dangerous. Needless to say, when people are working under the same roof every day, basically being packed in an enclosed area, you are sure to have some of the highest risks of exposing yourself to the sickness. It makes traditional office work-life questionable, especially so when the lives of all the staff are being put at risk.
This is when the coworking model is the new light, so to say, in modern working culture. The concept of coworking space or even a coworking culture seems to fix most, if not all the problems of traditional office space. To transform a current workplace into a coworking place requires some planning, however, there are some important points to keep in mind when designing a coworking space. The ultimate motive is still, to make sure the workplace is safer, more effective and healthier for all the employees.
Below are some of the things to keep in mind when preparing or creating a coworking space:
The Coworking Concept
A coworking space should be a space for people of different projects or work, even from different companies to work together under the same roof. Coworkers in this space should have more freedom, yet be able to work on their own tasks respectively without restrictions.
Most coworking spaces are readied with a wide variety of services such as separated rentals of office desks, bundled office space rentals, or some session-based services such as meeting room or an event room. There are also coworking offices with private room for rental, giving more privacy to some jobs that requires it.
All and all, working in a coworking space should feel more or less like a traditional office, but it should also offer more flexibility, an employer’s perspective, as it shouldn’t bind you into a long-term commitment to owning a space. As a good and proper coworking space should, basic inventories such as office tools, WiFi, snacks and coffee and so on are provided for everyone to enjoy.
1. Technologically Sound
Being a coworking space, the space itself should be prepared to face possible problems in terms of technologies. Technologies can help in granting access to the space to specific people, keeping the coworking space safe from strangers.
With current pandemic, it is best if the technology in a space can be flexible and help in reducing the requirements of touching in the space. An example would be the entrance, automated door and a ranged access card scanner would reduce the requirement to touch in the space.
2. Enabling Social Distancing
As of the current requirement, a proper coworking space should keep in mind the proximity of coworkers. People should have the space to properly social distance themselves from one another during work, this is certainly a must in reducing Covid-19’s spread. A safe distance by standard should be 6 feet distance from one another, make sure your coworking space allows that distance among one another!
3. Prioritize Cleanliness
This is needless to say, a well cleaned and properly sanitized workplace is nothing to joke about, and a proper coworking space must provide at least a safe level of service to all the people working in it. It is ideal to keep the touch-points in the space well sanitized and to have disinfection sessions a few times a day is a good place to start.
4. Be Prepared
Coworking space should have all the precaution in safety and regulations, that is a given, but that is not enough. It is better to expect the unexpected in most of the times, as an example, if a coworker is to be tested positive to have contracted Covid-19, it is best to have a standby plan that can spring into action immediately, as an example, sanitizing the place to make sure it is safe for the others.
Besides that, as above mention, technical issues often comes out of nowhere, it is also best to have a standby IT specialist or technician to solve should anything more technical happens.
Coworking as the New Normal
Coworking spaces should be able to cater to current situations, getting along with the pandemic, helping smaller businesses and so on. This is, however, not the end of a coworking space as it is still a workspace and should require long-term viability even after the pandemic has gone. The culture of coworking should still be carried forward as the norm. Who doesn’t want a more relaxing and modern feeling workspace?
Businesses or employers that took refuge with a coworking space should consider the future of their workers as well. It is a great thing to look forward to and have your own proper, more traditional office space, don’t get me wrong. However, should anything of similar nature as the pandemic hits again, is it safe to continue working in that office? Will the office be able to cope with that situation in the future? Is it worth giving up coworking culture entirely?
Here are some of the reasons why one should help the survivability of a coworking space.
1. Better and Healthier Interactions
Anyone who has worked or even been in a coworking space should feel the difference. Employees and workers are generally happier, in a lighter mood and working with more passion. This is something we almost never see in a traditional office. Why is that?
The simplest answer to that is the interactivity between workers. In a coworking space, people are actively engaged with one another, even of a different background, or from a different company entirely. This is a very healthy way of keeping the momentum of one another under the same roof. Having companionship proves to be positive towards the working attitude and mental health of employees! Who would’ve thought that!
2. A Proper Workplace
Working at home used to be the norm of freelance or smaller-scale companies. It is a good way to save money, but it comes with a cost. People are generally more stressed, lazier or easily distracted with household interactions. This is not ideal in pushing the productivity of an employee.
In a coworking space, however, albeit in a less stressed environment, it is still a proper workspace. Employees are generally much well-regulated in a space like this than their own home. From the eye of the employer, it is also more relieving to have your eyes on your employees during their work time, isn’t it?
This is something people often do not appreciate the significance until they are required to worry about it themselves. And yes, that is the cleanliness of a workplace. Taking care of a workplace is not a simple tasks, it can get really stressful when you are required to keeping track of even some of the smallest things in your office space.
In this sense, the cleanliness of a workplace spells how welcoming it is to everyone working in it. As common sense goes, who would like to work in a messy, untidy or often dirty space? This is when coworking space is a good idea. Coworking spaces don’t only cater to one group of people, so there is no such thing as having the place tailored to only a certain someone. The space has to always keep its appeal towards a massive audience, often from different backgrounds. Hence, a clean coworking space is like a basic of the most basic requirement!
That much being said, being in a coworking space, you should expect some of the cleanest working space you can find!
4. Security and Safety
Coworking spaces cater to different people at the same time. This will need some proper security to ensure the occupant’s belongings and the safety of the place itself. With that being said, a coworking space should be able to keep an eye out for itself, being able to keep those unwanted out of the place, as well as those that are working in the place safe. There is always a good security system complete with surveillance cameras, an ID system integrated into the locks of the doors, as well as having a guard in the compound for night-workers. Some of the workplace even provides lockers or personal storages for their workers, a real convenient touch.
Besides that, keeping up with the safety standards of a workplace is also required to keep an office running. So, rest assured as there are always these preventions in a coworking space.
Some coworking spaces also included services or the technological edge of having a virtual office. Where everyone can work together remotely, while being well equipped with quality tools for online meeting, presentations and more. The services of a virtual office however, doesn’t end there. Most of the time, the physical address of the office should be able to be used for mails and parcels should you wish.
We can’t deny the future of coworking space. A coworking space in Malaysia is perceived to be the new future. It has a lot of potential in it. That’s why these spaces are considered one of the most fast-growing trends in the business world, especially after the pandemic. The coworking spaces are great for community building. You can get all the work done here that you previously did in the traditional office but in a more efficient way. People meet here, do brainstorming, arrange meetings, and widen their connections and social circle. So, why not get a space with a lot more benefits than the traditional office setup?
It is certain that coworking spaces and model work as of current situations. It is a good way to keep things grinding while adhering to the safety standards of a workplace. With all the benefits mentioned above, it proves to be a good direction for offices to head towards.
There are more of what people can do with a coworking space, the setup, specified tools at disposal, professional types of equipment and so on. The untapped potential of being in a coworking space is certainly worth the exploration. And that is exactly why it is some of the fastest growing business trends in these past years.
Coworking space has the ability to do what a traditional office could, but do it better, more efficiently and provides more to both the employers and employees. Why not for once, throw away the idea of a traditional office space and let your brain and body experience the future?