Coworking space - working in a sleek, agile, and cost-effective environment alongside others from various industries and organizations - has seen a significant uptick in recent years and it is expected to continue to climb. It's not hard to see why, given all the upsides of the practice: increased worker productivity and happiness, lower overhead, and better fit into a flexible work-life balance.
However, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown a wrench into many aspects of our daily lives, including using coworking space. While it may seem that the future of this flexible work location is in question given the proximity to others, the opposite is more likely true.
"Coworking spaces are local economic engines in their own right," Dan Stangler, a Forbes contributor, writes in a recent article. "Come summer, after the emergency period of the crisis abates, city and regional leaders nationwide will be looking for ways to create jobs and fill office space. Coworking spaces can help."
Still, as the world continues to battle the coronavirus and medical and scientific leaders work to develop a vaccine against it, there are precautions everyone should be taking in any environment to keep as many people as possible healthy. Below, we discuss the top three steps those who use flexible and shared office spaces can take toward staying safe during the current crisis.
Take protective measures seriously.
Those who use coworking spaces and services can do their part to help offset this likelihood by continuing to take virus-preventive steps.
Wash your hands with warm water and soap frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds each time. Avoid touching your face as much as possible. Stay at least six feet away from other people. Whenever you are in public, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. If you must sneeze or cough, do so into the crook of your elbow. Try to avoid touching public surfaces as much as possible, but when you must touch something, use hand sanitizer as soon as you're done.
Utilize virtual office services -- at least for now.
As much as being around others is an important part of coworking and despite the many benefits of working in the office and socializing with co-workers you've missed, those who can work remotely are still encouraged to stay at home. That need not mean giving up all the perks of an office, though. At Metro Offices, we offer virtual office amenities that will help keep you feeling connected and professional as you work in your slippers from the kitchen table. These include personalized, live-human phone answering (which means that during business hours, your dedicated line never goes to voicemail); mail services with a class-A DC or Washington-area business address; and speedy virtual technical help from our professional IT team. A bonus? Our virtual services are eminently affordable.
Take care of yourself.
Sadly, many of the deaths related to COVID-19 have been in people with preexisting health conditions. These conditions include being in an immunosuppressed state and having various respiratory diseases. Another surprising commonality between many of those who have died as a result of COVID-19 or complications therefrom is obesity. Additional risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and pre-diabetes.
If you have any of these conditions, make moves starting today to get healthy. Reduction of blood-sugar levels, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can often be achieved through weight loss. Exercising more and eating better (and less) are no easy task; if they were, obesity wouldn't exist. But let the current pandemic be your impetus for real change. Here's a comprehensive list of totally free fitness apps to get you started on the path to better health.
Don't let COVID-19 stand between you and office perks! Check out Metro Offices' private, coworking and virtual office offerings today.
Some other recent articles that might be of interest: