As the UK slowly emerges from lockdown, and the Prime Minister urges companies to start returning to their offices, many coworking managers will be faced with the challenges of reopening.

After all, coworking spaces will already have tenants in place who are eager to get staff back into the workplace, and with the increased focus on flexible work thanks to recent events, you could find yourself inundated with enquires.

If you’re eager to get your coworking property up and running again but aren’t sure where to begin, then read on, and we’ll explore all of the tasks that you will need to accomplish.

Communicate With Your Tennants

Before you even consider reopening your offices, you need to liaise with your tenants to make sure that they are comfortable returning. If they are planning to continue working remotely for the foreseeable future, and only a few companies want to return, then you might want to consider reopening only a small portion of the property or even keeping it shut until circumstances change.

However, if many tenants want to return, then you’ll need to collaborate with them to find out what they’re expecting so that you can meet their requirements. You’ll also need to keep them informed throughout the reopening process so that they understand what you’ve done to protect their staff and what they need to do when they return.

Adapt Your Property For Social Distancing

Once you know how many tenants plan on returning to your coworking offices, you can begin the process of optimising your property for social distancing, to allow employees to work safely. Many of the measures that are required to make a space safe involve removing walls or replacing doors and other touch-points with automated solutions, so you need to make sure that you get the relevant permissions and liaise with a qualified contractor.

If at any point while you’re adapting your property, you notice contaminants such as asbestos, you need to work with professionals to get rid of it and make your offices space for everyone. Oracle Asbestos Solutions are nationally accredited professionals who can help with everything from identifying asbestos to removing it safely so that you can quickly get your workplace ready for a socially distanced return to work.

Add Additional Handwashing Facilities

Washing your hands regularly is essential for anyone who wants to avoid catching and spreading the Coronavirus. As such, you need to make sure that you add extra handwashing facilities to your coworking offices.

As well as additional sinks and soap dispensers, you should also add hand sanitiser stations throughout your property, so that tenants can quickly clean their hands without having to wash and dry them. When it comes to drying hands at sinks, paper towels are safer than hand dryers, as dryers blow contained air around, while paper towels can easily be used and then disposed of, making them a safe, if an un-environmentally friendly, option.

Hire Professional Cleaners

Cleanliness is essential during this pandemic, so you need to make sure that your tenants know that they are working in a hygiene workspace. The best way to reassure them is to work with a professional cleaning service.

They will be able to save you time and ensure that your property is clean and safe for your tenants and their staff.

Introduce Contactless Payments

If your coworking space charges for any amenities for staff, be it snacks, hot drinks, parking or anything else, then you need to make sure that you provide a safe way for them to pay. While ATM providers state that cash is still safe, many consumers believe that contactless payments are safer.

As such, you should try to introduce contactless payments for your amenities wherever possible. If you have vending machines in your building, then contact the provider to see if they can provide an option that allows users to pay on their phone or even just with a card. For anything like parking, consider exploring the terminal and software options on the market, to make your tenants feel safe.

Use Clear Signage To Communicate Policies

Communicating with your tenants will help you to ensure that they understand your office’s new social distancing and cleaning policies, but they might have a lot of staff, not all of whom will read your updates. Additionally, any visitors, outsourced tradespeople or new team members entering the building need to know what they need to do to keep everyone safe.

An easy way to get the message across is to place clear signs throughout the property. Add them everywhere that requires someone to clean their hands, or touch something, as well as at the entrance and exit.

All of this might sound like a lot of hard work, but if you’re proactive and methodical, then you should be able to reopen your coworking offices quickly, efficiently, and most importantly of all, safely.

Photo credits: eOffice

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