Health & Safety at the Flexible Office under the COVID-19 Threat: As Safe as Home or Safer?

CloudVO Partners and the Flexible Office Space industry as a whole are taking Health & Safety very seriously, just as large companies do.

As State and County regulations have allowed us to go back to the office, the office is not always ready to receive us back. For example, Facebook indicated that they did not expect to have the capacity for more than 25% of the workforce in their corporate space until the end of the year. Google’s estimate was 30%. The main driver for this is heath & safety, including de-densification of the office. See our webinar on May 28, 2020 which is part of a series on ‘Preparing your Flexible Office Space for a New Normal‘ for more information on this topic.

While very large segments of the workforce are asked to stay home, not everyone can work from home. Many do not have the infrastructure to do so efficiently, including staying away from other members in their households, when concentrated work is required and the home falls short. 

That is where Flexible Office Spaces can help, as long as they can demonstrate strong Health & Safety practices that make it a safer environment than home.

Health and Safety Policy for Flexible Workspace Operators | CloudVO

We strongly recommend that CloudVO Partners:

  1. Have a strong comprehensive Health & Safety Policy
  2. Publish their Health & Safety Policy for users to review prior to entering the space
  3. Follow though and enforce their own policy

Important aspects of the policy must include:

  1. That all employees be required to wear face masks in the open or shared areas
  2. That the office space and meeting rooms are de-densified to respect distancing guidelines of 6 feet on each side
  3. That plexiglass panels be used in areas where people may tend to get closer than 6 feet, such as the reception desk.
  4. That the high touch areas be frequently and thoroughly sanitized, including all meeting rooms, after each use.
  5. That the traffic flow inside the center be clearly indicated in a way that prevents members and guests from coming within 6 feet of each other.
Directional Floor Plan for Pacific Workplaces San Mateo | CloudVO Partner
Sample directional floor plan for Pacific Workplaces San Mateo.

These guidelines will continue to evolve over time. They may be relaxed as stronger therapeutics become available, or they may become even more stringent if we are hit by a second wave of the virus. CloudVO Venue Partners are requested to follow the regulations in their States and Counties as they evolve, and they are encouraged to exceed these guidelines when possible. In May 2020, we offered our sister company Pacific Workplaces’ Health & Safety Policy as a template for their own. 

If you are a user of a CloudVO Partner location, please let us know what your experience with Health & Safety has been.  Our goal is to make them as safe or safer than home!

Get access to a ton of resources for flexible workspace operators when you partner with CloudVO. List your space for free!

How We Support Work From Home: A Solution for Distributed Workforces

CloudTouchdown Passes for Remote Workers | CloudVO

In shaking our world, COVID-19 has shown that work from home could be very productive in certain circumstances. CloudVO has come up with a solution that maximizes the benefits of remote work while negating many of its drawbacks. We call that solution the “CloudTouchdown Pass.”

Work From Home (WFH) was a necessity during the COVID-19 confinement period, but all indications suggest that it is here to stay for a large component of the workforce. Prior to COVID-19, most large Enterprises were not keen on pursuing aggressive WFH programs because the perceived negatives (e.g. potential disconnect from strong corporate cultures, a home environment not always conducive or appropriate for work, management control) seemed to outweigh the benefits:

  • Employee control over their work-life hours; 
  • Time saved and carbon footprint reduced with the elimination of long, tedious, and stressful commutes;
  • Reduced occupancy costs;
  • Enhanced employee satisfaction.

A recent internal employee survey at Facebook reported by the New York Times and many other media on May 21, 2020, suggests that 40% of the workforce would like to either work from home permanently or a significant portion of the time. Mark Zuckerberg said in a video to employees that he would expect half of his employees to work remotely within the next five years and that Facebook “will be the most forward-leaning company on remote work.” Forty-five percent of the employees indicated that they would relocate if they had the option to work remotely.

Facebook Employee Remote Work Survey (May 2020)

Facebook Employee Remote Survey May 2020

James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley, was quoted in the press in late April 2020, “With 90% of our employees working at home, we have had almost no issues.” He later added that he expects many will continue to work remotely after the crisis is over because “we learned it can be done.” Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey told employees in an email on May 21, 2020 that they would be allowed to work from home indefinitely, even after the COVID-19 shutdown. He’s leaving the decision to either work from home or at the office in the hands of his employees.

Facebook, Twitter, Morgan Stanley, and many more large Enterprises are elaborating new work and recruiting strategies away from their cores which are typically located in expensive areas, as far as office space costs but also in terms of housing costs. These strategies respond to the desire of a majority of their current and prospective workforce, but also will reduce cost, improve retention, and diversify their recruiting opportunities.

To support this COVID-induced tectonic change, CloudVO has developed a CloudTouchdown Pass that gives remote workers access to part-time offices and meeting rooms in a professional workplace, in close proximity to their home. When the kitchen table does not do it anymore, they can check in a private office nearby for concentrated work. When they need to meet locally with other members of their team, they can use the pass to access fully equipped meeting rooms, in any of our 800+ carefully selected locations in our network.

We require our locations to have Health & Safety protocols that enforce social distancing, provide extreme sanitation, and follow or exceed CDC guidelines, for suitability with Enterprise clients. They have enterprise-grade internet connection and are fully furnished, with on-premise staff. When COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror, they will also provide an opportunity to commingle with other professionals at business events organized on the premises, and thus provide social and serendipitous opportunities that workers can’t find being home full-time or through their Zoom activities. That’s after a vaccine or strong therapeutics against COVID-19 are available of course. Meanwhile our locations are required to enforce strict social distancing and sanitation guidelines inside of their space, with a goal to make them “as safe or safer than home.”

The CloudTouchdown Passes are for part-time use of the CloudVO network. They provide access to day offices or conference rooms on a subscription basis, which means that their Enterprise sponsor knows exactly how much it will impact their budget.

CloudTouchdown Passes for Work From Home Employees | CloudVO

See more details here https://cloudvo.com/cloud-touchdown.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.