A coworking space is a place where employees from different companies can share spaces to work and be productive. It may seem like a risky venture in a time when we’re battling an infectious and dangerous disease, but experts say that coworking spaces can survive even during a pandemic and a recession because people who work from home may want to escape their home offices from time to time, and they may want to find a different place to spend a workday.
Our world will have to go back to normal at some point, and employees who work remotely may want to find an alternative to the makeshift work stations in their homes.
At the same time, now more than ever there is a desire in people to connect and build a sense of community, and opening a coworking space may just be the thing that provides people with a semblance of normalcy during this difficult time. If you are someone who loves coffee, meeting new people, and providing them with spaces where could be productive, a coworking space business might be for you. Here are some tips and pointers for making sure it’s a fun and safe space for people to work.
Prioritize health and safety.
Even before COVID-19 changed the world as we knew it, offices across the United States were already transitioning to an open floor plan to accommodate collaboration and socialization in the workplace. Bloomberg also said that not even the pandemic will be able to kill the open floor plan trend. This is good for those who want to launch this kind of business because the nature of coworking spaces is that they have to be open to allow people to roam freely and collaborate.
As long as you abide by your state’s gathering capacity recommendations and enforce physical distancing and mask-wearing in your space, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to prevent infections from happening.
Focus on community-building.
Studies show that the pandemic has taken a major toll on many people’s mental health. People have felt isolated and incredibly fearful of the idea of being infected by the virus. Fear and isolation is not a good combination for people trying to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Since coworking spaces are considered an essential service in many states, opening one might be a good opportunity to provide customers with a chance to touch base with people they know, and at the same time meet new friends in a space where physical distancing and mask-wearing are enforced.
The best part is that when it comes to starting a coworking space, you can start small. It can even begin with finding a convenient space for you and your small group of friends to work outside of your home or your office, and you can eventually grow it into something that can positively impact more people later on.
Make ergonomics and good design a priority.
Even if it’s not a traditional office, your coworking space should be designed in a way that prevents body and muscle pain in people who will be spending a lot of hours working there. This is why basic office ergonomics should be followed; the tables and chairs should allow customers to sit and work in a comfortable position throughout the day.
At the same time, if the property you found makes room for a lot of sunlight, consider having the commercial windows tinted to protect you and your customers from harmful UV rays.
Decide if it’s for-profit or for inspiration.
Across the U.S., coworking spaces have a reputation for being contemporary and having an “artisan” atmosphere. They are usually known as environments that inspire creativity, productivity, and energy, so it will come as no surprise that building a coworking space, no matter how simple, will come at a cost.
Before you start, you need to decide if you’re starting the coworking space to turn a profit or simply to inspire and encourage work-from-home employees. Do you mind just breaking even Knowing what the coworking space’s goals are will help you decide on the kind of decor you should go for. It will also help you streamline and prioritize the essentials.
If you find that your mental health has taken a dip because of the intermittent quarantines and being cooped up the past year, consider finding a spacious location where you and your community can safely gather together even just to work and be with each other at a safe distance. You never know; your friends might need an escape like this, too.