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Workplace Safety in Covid-19 times: new context has brought new opportunities for coworking…

Despite the initial clash and fears in shared and / or collaborative workspaces, the pandemic context (imminent or effective) – which forced renewed safety measures in the workplace in Covid-19 time – is bringing new opportunities and, in many cases, more customers to coworking spaces, all over the world. And in Mozambique too.

Pedro Ferreira, General Manager of CoWork Lab, a company that owns seven business centers in Maputo, the Mozambican capital, equipped with several services and ammenities, in line with the most current requirements of professionals looking for offices equipped to develop their activities.

“The global public health crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19 also forced Mozambique to take measures (to minimize and contain the spread of the virus), which had a profound impact on the business fabric and, in general, on society. This also took its toll on oworking spaces, but, after a period of adaptation, which forced us to put in place a contingency plan, a set of good practices and some specific rules, within the scope of the protection of people in work spaces. , the outlook has stabilized and we are feeling that the threat has brought renewed opportunities for our sector ”, explains the entrepreneur.

To what extent?

“The hybrid models of work and teleworking itself, 100% remote, are not only here to stay, but – we feel – are strengthened. More and more professionals are not willing / able to transform their homes to the requirements of teleworking. And the number of companies that prefer to direct old or new jobs to spaces outside their facilities is growing. The very forced experience of many, placed in remote work, brought new opportunities, hence we feel and envision an increase in the activity of the business centers – which knew how to adapt to the new reality, to welcome people safely in the workplace in times of need. Covid-19, continuing to promote networking and enhance talent”, explains the head of CoWork Lab.

Some good workplace safety practices in Covid-19 time

But, from now on, more and more fundamental for such consolidation of coworking spaces will be the concern and the preparation of the corresponding facilities in the scope of the protection of people (professionals and visitors) in the context of work.

And that is why, not only based on the guide created by the WHO – World Health Organization, but on other sets of good practices, and taking into account common specificities, several centers of shared and / or collaborative work have adopted a set of measures and practices.

The first one immediately points to the business card of any company, that is, the check-in (reception desk). It is becoming common that, on arrival, in addition to disinfecting hands in the alcohol-gel dispenser, the visitor is subjected to a temperature test before entering the premises.

Several businesses even offer protective masks and even an individual on recycled paper (and to discard later to be used) – in order to prevent hands and arms from touching meeting and / or work tables.

Comply with the new etiquette and occupancy limits

In addition to the warnings about the desirable hygiene label, spread over corridors, meeting areas and the like, the new “normal” – the one that puts safety in the workplace in Covid-19 time first – dictated tight routines of cleaning of surfaces (tables, walls, handles, equipment in common use, etc.), and also a greater distance between desks and partitions in acrylic, normally

Nowadays, the indication of maximum capacity and limit of spaces is normally seen, and this is equally true for meeting rooms in coworking centers, which must be cleaned as soon as they have just been used.

Air renewal is another concern to be taken into account. This implies a tighter cadence in the maintenance and cleaning of the air conditioning equipment, as well as the regular opening of windows, in order to promote ventilation. And not just in the common areas.

Always share and circulate with a sense of safety in the workplace in Covid-19 time

Speaking of common areas … In order to guarantee distance, good practices also recommend placing information about circulation directions on the floor.

In addition to this dimension, and in order make it easy to safely make use of the working spaces in Covid-19 time, extra care in the utilization of the areas and services (pantries, canteens / cafeterias, lounge …) and equipment used in a shared way by coworkers: cutlery (sanitized and / or wrapped in disposable protective film), trays , microwave, coffee machines, refrigerators, vending and many others.

Hence, many coworking spaces are establishing rotating schedules for the consumption of food and, in some cases, some equipment.

It is worth noting that the new coronavirus can survive up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel surfaces, about 24 hours on paper and approximately four hours on copper …

READ ALSO: How to work remotely: the balance of the new labor paradigm

The responsibility of one makes everyone responsible …

In any case, sometimes using some common sense also helps. And each of us has a share of responsibility. It is, at bottom, a question of attitude, which begins with seeing if we have everything we need in our workspace, in order to optimize it and keep it safe.

There are, even, several examples of coworking spaces that passed the training actions that they make available for “live training” and, others, less, with social responsibility actions in progress, with the creation of community funds to meet the momentary needs of coworkers .

The spread of the new coronavirus has forced drastic changes in the personal and professional routines of all of us and, more than ever, safety in the workplace in Covid-19 time is paramount.

And that is why we stop seeing newspapers, magazines, brochures and other reading articles in several common spaces.

The renovation of the coworking spaces required by the pandemic is, currently, incorporating new ideas and even affecting the design of future areas of work. To the point that some architects started to design buildings from scratch with new concerns and lessons in mind. But this revolution has just begun …

READ ALSO: Remote work productivity: the (high) performance wears casual

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