It’s been a pretty interesting 21 days since South Africa has been in lockdown, and the phrases ‘social distancing’, ‘remote working’ and ‘work from home’ are the new buzz words. I find all of these phrases very interesting as they promote separating us from personal social interaction. Don’t get me wrong – we as South Africans have absolutely done the correct thing to ensure the virus is contained. My concern is that many publications and viewpoints are telling us that this “Work from Home” working will be the new way of life well into the future.
Distributed Working After Lockdown
There is no doubt that over this period we have learnt how technology can make our lives easier. This will certainly allow people to work from home, do exercise at home and various other activities, but we as humans are social and we do need social interaction. In fact, the need to belong and bond with other human beings is documented in the “Social Needs” sector in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Personally, I am a sports fan. Nothing beats going to a sports stadium to watch sport, because there is a vibe and energy that can only be created and felt when you are in the company of other people. I couldn’t have imagined watching the Springboks winning the World Cup sitting in my own living room, without friends, or any extended family and loyal supporters. TV can only give you so much atmosphere, the rest needs to come from your surroundings and the people in these surroundings. Creating surroundings and environments that are hygienic and safe, without jeopardising the excitement, positivity and vibe that come with being with other people is going to be a key factor. This is not only to build people’s confidence to venture out into public places again but to ensure that we are prepared into the future. We need to ensure that we do whatever we can do to protect ourselves and others from being infected by germs and we need processes in place. So what does this all have to do with co-working hubs that are created for people to collaborate, share ideas, grow businesses and communities and improve the general well being of the local community and businesses in and around the community? It’s pretty simple. These hubs have to promote the safety of their premises and make innovators, freelancers, consultants and businesses feel safe in these environments. Here are some of the ways that this can be done:
- Sanitisers strategically placed in areas that are easily accessible and encourage the community to regularly sanitise.
- Correct space planning to ensure sufficient distance between each person sitting in the Hot Desk space, so that our community members feel comfortable that their personal space is not invaded.
- Correct circulation and filters of air in the temperature control facilities, and the use of systems that cleanse the air in the best way possible.
- Card access control at the points of entry, to eliminate people having to use door handles to open and close doors.
- Comprehensive office cleaning and sanitising process to ensure that cleaning staff regularly clean high contact surfaces, such as desks and chairs.
The Co.Unity community feels very strongly about putting hygiene and members of the communities well being at the forefront of anything that we do. Because we are still starting out, we can build our co-working space to factor in hygiene as a core service. We are also determined to create a hub where ideas can be shared, businesses can thrive, and people can feel a vibe that only comes through interaction with other community members. We are determined to reignite business growth and innovation and we are extremely excited about growing our local economy. Let’s get started on creating the new normal together through a vibrant and enthusiastic working community that helps you grow your business, grow the community and reignite the economy.