Safety First: What Flexible Workspaces Are Doing To Be COVID-Safe
As the circuit breaker in Singapore comes to an end, many businesses are planning for their gradual return to the workspace. Split-team arrangements or a hybrid of home and office work are likely to be common as we approach the “new normal.” While businesses have approached remote work to varying levels of success, a physical workspace still occupies a key role in facilitating important meetings, building team camaraderie, and providing a conducive working environment. Flexible workspaces, in particular, offer fully-furnished environments equipped with the tools and technology necessary for productive work.
To help businesses make informed workspace decisions post-circuit breaker, we conducted an extensive survey with our flexible workspace partners in Singapore. Here are some of the measures they are taking to safeguard their spaces and prepare for a return to the office.
Of the spaces we surveyed:
- 100% have stepped up their health and sanitation measures.
- 66.7% are planning space design changes to enable safe distancing.
- 66.7% are implementing new community regulations for members.
- 50% have started enabling virtual tour solutions for clients.
In this article, we highlight a number of flexible workspaces in Singapore that have taken a proactive approach to combating COVID-19 in the “new normal.” We’ve categorized these COVID-19 response initiatives into several categories:
Health and sanitation upgrades
As mandated by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), flexible workspaces in Singapore are obligated to increase the frequency of routine cleaning to minimize the risk of infection. Operators like JustCo are working closely with building operators and third-party cleaning services to ensure optimal hygiene practices. Across its 19 centres in Singapore, JustCo has instructed cleaners to be more careful in deep cleaning spaces with high human movement and contact: hot-desking spaces, collaboration corners, breakout areas, and meeting rooms.
These initiatives aren’t limited to cleaning alone: many workspace providers have also installed hand sanitizers at multiple entry points, including the likes of UCommune, The Executive Centre, and Spacelabs, among other operators. Some workspaces are even planning to provide members with masks to use while in the workspace. Known as a tech-powered brand, UCommune is now incorporating touchless technology for members to safely access all their centres.
Sanitation upgrades also extend to office buildings like Capital Tower , which is conducting mandatory temperature checks for both tenants as well as visitors. Flexible workspace operators within these buildings or in shophouse offices are also expected to conduct their own temperature and safe entry checkpoints. Verve Offices, for example, utilizes the SafeEntry app to screen visitors for mandatory contract tracing.
Space design changes
According to safe distancing regulations, seats should be at least 1 meter apart from one another to minimize physical transmission. Many operators, especially coworking brands, have removed some seats within open areas and shared spaces to minimize space density.
These efforts are not limited to breakout areas. IWG, for example, is offering customized solutions for their private office suites under their different brands: Regus, SPACES, Signature by Regus, and No18 Singapore. Tenants can have the layout of these offices re-configured to suit safe distancing requirements. Instead of cramming an entire team in one space, businesses can house additional or expansion headcount in a neighbouring unit instead.
At ClubCo, members who originally took up hot desk or dedicated desk packages have been relocated entirely to private office units to ensure social distancing.
Community policy regulations
Especially in coworking spaces, where public gatherings and packed events were once common, operators are tightening policy regulations for their tenant communities. Apart from enforcing social distancing practices, spaces like The Hive and The Work Project require all members and guests to complete a Health and Travel Declaration form prior to arrival.
Other common practices:
- Meetings and events are either limited or restricted to no more than a gathering size of 4 people.
- Members must report to the operator any updates on their team’s health or well-being.
- Businesses are encouraged to use their workspace in staggered teams and/or hours.
- Access for guests is restricted.
- Members are encouraged to bring their own coffee mugs and cutlery to avoid sharing.
Sales workflow changes
Even prior to the end of the circuit breaker, a number of workspace operators have decided to take their tours online to minimize in-person contact. Our Space Experts at GorillaSpace have helped businesses go on Zoom virtual tours with partners like The Working Capitol, Distrii, SPACES, Regus, and The Work Project. Virtual tours enabled businesses to view spaces at a safe distance, including the reception, common areas, meeting rooms and private offices.
Prior to the start of theCircuit Breaker, Team GorillaSpace went out to take guided video walkthroughs of all flexible workspaces with availability for different headcounts. Looking for personalized recommendations? Simply tell us about your requirements here. We’ll be in touch with a customized virtual tour with video walkthroughs of relevant and available workspaces.
To support businesses during this time of uncertainty, many workspace operators are offering extra flexible lease terms, including month-to-month renewal options, in addition to generous rental discounts on longer lease terms. Check out our promotions page to see the full list of the best deals in Singapore right now.
For more advice on workspaces in this “new normal”, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly Space Experts at firstname.lastname@example.org or +65 8817 9170. Happy space searching!