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Co-working spaces are an essential service for modern professionals. Often, people find themselves away from home and out of the office but still in need of the conveniences of an office environment. High-speed internet and ergonomic chair are uniquely important when they aren’t available anywhere else. Maybe you need somewhere to hang your solopreneur shingle, or maybe you’re on a business trip and your hotel ‘business center’ is just a slow desktop computer in the lobby.

For whatever reason you need co-working, it’s also important that you be able to access this resource without fear of virus exposure. The pandemic brought to light some concerns about shared spaces but co-working is uniquely adapted to keeping each professional separate from each other and safe from exposure – as long as everyone knows what to do.

Fortunately, we’re dealing with well-mannered self-starter professionals who can handle a few protocols. Today, we’re diving into some practical methods to keep yourself and others COVID-safe while sharing a nice co-working space.

Know Your Co-Working Space

The first and perhaps most important step is to know the co-working space you’re planning to visit. Each brand and location is different, with unique buildings and mini internal cultures. If you know that your co-working location has widely spaced workstations and private offices for rent, then there’s you’ll likely have an easier time maintaining your own COVID safety procedures.

Wear the Right Kind of Mask

Masking is the number one way for everyone to stay safe from viral spread. Asymptomatic people and those who have to work even with a cough can avoid sharing a virus by wearing a two-layer cloth mask, while those who are well can avoid infection with the same masking procedure. This means that the best way for everyone in a co-working space to stay safe is for everyone to wear a mask whenever possible.

Be sure you’ve found a mask that is the right material and thickness, fits well, and is comfortable for all-day use. Bonus points if it matches your business casual attire.

Bring Sanitizing Wipes

The other, less prominent, way that COVID can spread is through touch and surface exposure to breath. If everyone is wearing masks, this risk is limited but it’s still a good idea to be safe. Bring a pack of sanitizing wipes with you to any public space you visit, including your co-working space. When you arrive, quickly wipe down the surfaces and equipment in your chosen office or workstation. This way, you can be certain that nothing you are handling puts you at risk. When you are finished, wipe down everything again just to be courteous. If we all do this, then surface-based infection becomes nearly impossible.

Space Yourself from Other Co-Working Professionals

Social distancing and co-working go well together because most people choose to be 6+ feet apart from their co-working colleagues. When each person is on their own business, it’s best that workstations and offices remain spaced out so that business can be conducted separately. However, if there is a shared workspace room with many desks and computers, be courteous and pick a station two or more wingspan (the length from fingertip to fingertip with your arms stretched out) from others. This might be every other desk, every three desks, or just the next well-spaced desk in an open work area.

Reserve a Private Office Ahead of Time

If you want the privacy and safety of your own airspace, rent an office before you arrive. Many co-working spaces have an array of private offices that can serve as your office-away-from-the-office for as long as you need. By booking one of these private offices ahead of time, you gain social distancing and the surety that your computer and work supplies stay 100% isolated from co-working colleagues.

Be Courteous in the Break Room

Lastly, be extremely considerate of others in shared rooms like the co-working break room. Many co-working spaces offer snacks and drinks for colleagues to share, but sharing is something we should do more carefully now. Try to stagger your lunch break so that there are never too many people in the break room at once. Don’t share drinks or snacks out of the same container and distance yourself when it becomes necessary to remove your mask for eating.

Working from home doesn’t always have the resources you need – or the focusing business atmosphere. If remote work isn’t quite doing it for you, try some time in a co-working space. Just remember to keep a respectful and covid-safe distance from your fellow remote co-workers in the space. Contact us for more remote work insights.

This article is for general information purposes only.   It is not insurance, tax, legal, business, or other advice. For specific insurance questions related to you or your business, please contact our office.