How Co-Working Spaces Can Fight Against Coronavirus The pandemic of the new decade is the cause of severe distress globally

By Paras Arora

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Covid-19, commonly known as coronavirus has severely affected many in India and is straining daily functions. The spread has disrupted the business, as many companies located in the alleged hotspots of the virus have issued work-from-home.

In these trying times of panic and anxiety, it is essential to take pragmatic steps to curb the spread and keep life as normal as possible. As co-working spaces witness many members daily, hence it's essential to follow some protective measures for every accommodated being and for the society at large.

Clean Hands

When talking about containing the spread, washing hands is the most prominent practice, which is widely advertised by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and launched #safehands challenge, and nominated many celebrities to promote the right way of washing hands. Co-working spaces should also constantly remind their occupants to wash hands every two hours for 20 seconds.

To take this step further, the management can provide sanitizers at desks and avoid the case of 'out of sight, out of mind.' Pump bottles of hand disinfectants should be kept in common areas, reception, and kitchen.

Disinfecting Shared Spaces

While co-working spaces can only advise unfit occupants to work from home but the management has no control over who enters the space. Therefore, shared spaces should be cleaned daily, if not every 6 hours.

The team of co-working space deserves applause as they set an example for every shared space. The management cleans the area, including door handles, tables, glasses, etc. every few hours with diluted disinfected spray.

The sprays should be provided to private cabins for occupants to help themselves.

Digital Service

Occupants should avoid in-person meetings to a great extent and rather conduct the meetings through video calls or conference calls. The co-working space management can be great assistance while providing easy to use devices and support whenever necessary.

The avoidance of personal meetings and excessive travel will not only be beneficial for the members but for the community as well. The objective is to keep everyone safe and avoid the loss of business.

Physical Distance

Physical distance is the most challenging part of the co-working spaces. However, nothing is impossible. Shared workspaces should ask people to sit a meter away.

Common Desk, a Texas-based co-working space, took the initiative and removed chairs to create a meter distance.

The management should consistently advise the occupants to work from home even if they have mild flu, as they're immunity is quite vulnerable. Co-working spaces can also offer un-booked cabins to the occupants. Here, everyone can mold their policies a bit for the sake of humanity.

Flexible Cancellation Policy

Cancellation, if witnessing illness, should be encouraged by the management. People should not feel a need to turn up in the fear of losing money. Occupants who want to work from home and rent the space on a daily basis or monthly should be met with efficient assistance by the co-working spaces. For people with leases, a mutually- beneficial solution should be discussed to balance out the lost period in the booked co-working space.

Factual Information

We live in an era where everyone is connected 24/7 through social media channels. This has proven to be beneficial in terms of the quick spread of protective measures but is a con when pseudo-facts come to the surface.

For people who choose to sit out of a co-working space, the culture of factual information should be promoted. The occupants should be asked to refrain from invalid and sensational news as the false spread of information can increase the panic.

The management should share quick inspirational updates from sound sources like WHO and Indian Medical Research Council. The facts will keep the spirits up and anxiety at bay.

Safe Culture

In the changing weather, mild flu is quite common in India. Due to general unawareness and a state of upheaval is influencing an individual's behaviors to stigmatize people even with the common cold.

The world is stressed, and hence, this is the time to stand together in solidarity and fight the situation. Co-working spaces can conduct small seminars with no more than 20 people and educate them regarding symptoms and adaptable measures.

Having said that, there hasn't been a single day when the general public hasn't heard the word coronavirus. The constant consumption of news on the virus is overwhelming. People who are serving quarantine periods can use this time to catch up with the family, reflect and do things that they usually don't have time for.

Paras Arora

Co-founder & CEO, Qdesq

Paras Arora is the Founder & CEO of Qdesq, India’s largest flexible workplace rental platform. Qdesq is a premier destination that offers a tech-enabled platform for the workforce to search and book flexible
workspaces. Offering an easy, effective, and brokerage free solution, the company serves as a true marketplace to make an informed choice for workspace seekers.

Backed by a highly creative entrepreneurial streak, Arora has a diverse set of experience that covers real estate and asset management, investor relations, digital marketing and flex space know-how. This comes in handy, as he provides strategic direction to the group and helps reach their goal in the fast-paced, constantly evolving flex real estate market.

His experience spanning over 18+ years in the industry has given him the opportunity to gather insights about bridging gap between services being delivered and customer expectations. He has demonstrated capabilities in managing businesses independently, armed with experiences in delivering optimal business results through innovative solutions, clever budget allocations and optimized production processes.

Having a strong background in flexible real estate, Arora’s vision is to make workspace search smarter and simpler. With this vision, his mission is to position Qdesq as one-stop workspace rental platform. 

Arora has won many awards and accolades, including “Indian Achievers Award” at National Leadership Summit 2019, and Qdesq won “Top 50 Companies” at InterCon Dubai 2019 and “Technology of the Year” at Realty+ Awards & Summit 2020 under his leadership recently. He holds a master’s degree in retail strategy and management from London Metropolitan University. In his free time, he enjoys travelling and has a keen interest in politics and sports.

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