Workbar’s COVID-19 Readiness Plan

When stay at home restrictions are lifted and the time comes for you to re-enter your physical workplace, we know that you will face new challenges emotionally and physically. It will take great mental stamina for all of us to adhere to our new normal. 

Today we are pleased to share Workbar’s COVID-19 Remote Workplace Readiness Plan, our comprehensive standards and guidelines for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. 

Our team worked hard to develop best-in-class safety and design measures to ensure Workbar is just as safe as your home, but as productive as your office. It’s our ultimate objective to provide you with peace of mind while you’re in any Workbar, so you can worry less and focus more. 

We began making modifications to our spaces in March to include the installation of cleanliness stations, the development of touch free policies, the testing of thermo-scanners, as well as the deployment of a team of engineers to ensure our air distribution systems function at the highest levels.  We also began a comprehensive reconfiguration of our spaces to accommodate social distancing precautions. Read on for an overview of our readiness plan, which can be accessed in full here.

A leader in wellness 

Workbar’s commitment to the health of our members has been the core value that has driven the fundamental design of our spaces since day one. Workbar Back Bay, which opened in 2017, was the first and remains one of the only coworking spaces in the world to achieve WELL Certification from the International Well Building Institute. Our readiness plan is not a reinvention for us, rather a demonstration of our values at the highest level and a deepening level of commitment to your wellbeing.

Shared commitment 

Each of us has a shared obligation to maintain our own and others’ safety in the workplace. We will provide clear standards and guidelines, including visual cues, to ensure all members and guests understand what is expected of them while at Workbar. We have refreshed our community norms and etiquette and we’ll be asking each member to sign them, as an agreement of our shared commitment.  It’s up to all of us to ensure Workbar is just as safe as home. We have also set up dedicated slack channels where members can report unsafe practices to our community managers anytime they feel uncomfortable.  

Below are listed the Standard Procedures and Cleaning Policies that make up  Workbar’s COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus) Remote Readiness Plan.

Standard Procedures and Cleaning Policies

Custom Cleanliness Stations & Cleaning Protocols 

Wall mounted cleanliness stations will be placed at the entrance and around each Workbar location. Each station includes a touch less sanitizer dispenser, disinfecting wipes and 3-Ply masks. Masks will be required at Workbar.

There will also be supplies to sanitize and disinfect in close vicinity to you throughout all the spaces. We’ve got you covered in meeting rooms, bathrooms, the printer area, the kitchen, the neighborhoods, and outside the phone booths. 

Our cleaners will be coming in nightly to disinfect all touch point areas in addition to their normal regiment.  Our Community Managers will also perform touchpoint wipe downs at least twice daily. 

In an effort to reduce the frequency and number of people going in and out of each private office, professional cleanings will only occur in those spaces on Friday nights, unless otherwise requested.

Workbar Covid-19, coronavirus safety practices

Wall mounted cleanliness stations to be placed at each Workbar location

Thermo Scanners

Each member will be asked to have their temperature taken before entering Workbar. Select locations will feature touch less thermo-scanners at the entrance of each location. The device uses infrared technology to detect a person’s body temperature accurately and provides an alert for high temperatures. For locations where this technology is not available, we will require members to self check their temperature prior to heading into Workbar.

Workbar Thermo Scanner testing at Workbar

Example of touch-free thermal scanners that light up green if someone has a temperature under a certain benchmark at Workbar

Going touch less

We will provide creative ways to allow for a touch free or light touch workplace. We’ve installed automatic soap dispensers in bathrooms and the cafe and hand dryers or pull style paper towel dispensers in each bathroom. Detailed instructions will be provided for using the speakerphone feature of our handheld phones and disposable paper products will be provided throughout the space for those “need to touch” areas. 

Each Workbar member will also be a proud owner of an antimicrobial no touch tool for use in opening doors, tapping elevator keys or even activating the coffee machine. 

Clean air

We know that the most impactful elements to your health are the ones you cannot see.  Our spaces have the highest standard when it comes to air quality.  We are also taking extra steps by working with our engineers to make sure our air distribution systems function at the highest level. We take purification, filtration and ventilation as seriously as our coffee.

Social Distancing

Keeping a safe distance while working 

We have reduced our capacity in open spaces and meeting rooms. There will be space dividers between many of the open seats and there will be more space between desks throughout each Workbar neighborhood with marked placemats that indicate which spots need to remain empty to adhere to the 6 foot social distancing guideline. 

Social Distancing As Part of Our Readiness Plan

Blue dots indicate an occupiable seat at Workbar

Keeping a safe distance while in motion 

There will be 6 foot markers placed on the floor in high traffic, queue forming areas such as the printer, the coffee maker, the Bevi machine, the front desk, and the elevators.

Existing technology is already in place to help cut down on cross traffic in the space. iPads located next to the meeting rooms light up blue when occupied and green when available so you can scan availability from afar. 

Through our proprietary technology platform, Wobbe, members can see a green circle indication next to a member’s profile when they are in the space. Checking this will help to cut back on wandering around the space looking for someone. 

Check how many people are in the space before leaving your house

Every Workbar member will have access to a density tracker powered by our proprietary technology platform, Wobbe, that allows them to see the total number of people in any Workbar in real time. Check the density in any Workbar before you leave your home and make safety decisions based on your comfort level. 

Transparent policies 

Thorough and up-to-date training 

Our entire staff will undergo training for hygiene and social distancing measures that are mandated by the government in order to stay up to date on changes and best practices. 

Our updated Community Norms include Coworking Etiquette that reflects the current pandemic. 

Community Managers will be giving reorientations to members on expectations, standards, and best practices when returning to our spaces. These are mandatory for members. Members will be given a packet containing all this information and monthly virtual trainings will be available on demand.

Saying no to stranger danger

We always want to know exactly who is in our space and we always want to be able to contact them, if necessary. Members will need to register their guests with the Community Manager with their name, email, phone number, and date/time of arrival and departure. All guests must be met and escorted by a member and meetings must take place in a private room, not in open space areas. Our doors will be locked at all times to prevent nonmembers from accessing the space uninvited. Members will be responsible for educating guests on Workbar policies and ensuring they are followed. 

Recovery readiness

We have a plan if someone that has been in our space contracts the virus. Members are required to report confirmed infections of themselves and guests to their Community Manager.  

If Workbar receives notice that an infected person has been in the space, we will use the data we have available (key card access, video) to decipher where they were in the space and we will close that space off for 24 hours to perform a thorough cleaning of the areas.  

We will also make every attempt to identify who the infected person had prolonged (10-30 minutes) contact with and inform them immediately and ask that they also quarantine for 14 days.

Staying Connected

Community, from afar

We miss seeing our members every day and we can’t wait to welcome them back. While we know that community is more important than ever before, we also know that it will look very different than it did just a few months ago. 

We will continue our virtual event program, Workbar Live, which features industry leaders and experts in live weekly Zoom conversations and a weekly interview newsletter that helps our members solve their toughest business challenges in the wake of this pandemic. 

As we always have, Workbar will facilitate connections amongst our members at a time when they need it most: ‘Members helping members’ facilitated by ‘Workbar helping members’ through Workbar Cares. 

We have also set up dedicated slack channels to maintain open lines of communication and facilitate important interactions across members, and with our Community Managers, at each location. We will continue to develop creative solutions to maintaining community during this time.

We welcome your feedback on our COVID-19 Remote Workplace Readiness Plan  – questions, concerns or requests – can be sent to readiness@workbar.com.  Please keep in mind that this is a living document that will continue to change as new information is learned.  To learn more about how to protect yourself from Coronaviris (COVID-19), please see The Center For Disease Control website.

Love,

Team Workbar

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