Our Response to COVID-19: Re-Entering the Office - Workhaus
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Our Response to COVID-19: Re-Entering the Office

By July 7, 2020 No Comments

Now that offices are beginning to reopen and teams are returning to work, ensuring a safe workplace environment is absolutely critical to the continued fight against COVID-19. 

As a Canadian flexible office leader, our leadership team has thoughtfully considered how Workhaus can support companies of all sizes with their office space needs in today’s climate. The pandemic has forced us to change the way that we as a society function, and the workplace as we knew it has undergone a major shift. Despite having the ability to adapt and adjust to working from home through modern technology and software, the need for community, collaboration, and human connection has never been stronger and more important to our professional and personal lives.

That’s why we are introducing new operational protocols that go above and beyond the recommended practices, as the health and safety of our community has always been our top priority.

Below we have detailed some of these changes so that you know what to expect when entering one of our spaces. For additional details, or to request a copy of our “Return to the Office” guide, please get in touch with us.

Request a Copy of Our Guide

Physical Changes

We are increasing the amount of personal space for each member to maintain appropriate physical distancing. Staggered seating, buffer zones, and updated capacities have been implemented across all Workhaus locations. These physical changes affect all areas of the office, including:

Hallways – Directional signage has been posted to enforce one-way traffic flow wherever possible. 

Elevators – In partnership with building management, behavioral signage has been posted to encourage physical distancing in and around elevator banks, along with reduced capacities in elevators. 

Reception – Floor decals have been placed 6ft away as a reminder for physical distancing. 

Printing Stations – Behavioural signage is posted in all printing areas stating the new capacity per the available spacing at each location. 

Lounges and Common Areas – Lounges will now have reduced capacities and alternate seating only. New seating arrangements will be
clearly marked, accompanied by signage stating the maximum capacity and promoting physical disancing. 

Meeting Rooms – All meeting room capacities have been reduced by 50%. Alternate seating has created 6 ft buffer zones between seats. The new capacities will be listed near the entrance to each room and through our booking app.

Kitchens  – Seating has also been removed and signage has been added clearly stating the new capacity for each kitchen and kitchenette. Floor decals are in place to promote physical distancing.

Dedicated Desks – Our dedicated desk areas have been adjusted with a staggered seating arrangement. Members will not be permitted to use
any desks adjacent to occupied desks, per the posted signage.

Offices – We are reducing the capacity of private offices to maintain proper social distancing. If a team has more staff on-site than their temporary office capacity allows for, team members will be able to use designated overflow space. We are also introducing a new space management software for teams to schedule shifts by booking desks within their dedicated offices, should they wish to do so. 

Sanitation Standards

As part of our ongoing effort to keep everyone safe and healthy, we have updated our sanitation standards to include: 

  • Hand sanitizer stations that are available in the lobby upon entering/exiting the building.
  • Sanitizer spray for the use in common areas for members to sanitize surfaces before and after use. Ex: coffee machine touch screen.
  • Sanitizer will be supplied in the lounges, common spaces, and kitchens. 
  • In addition to the washrooms, antibacterial hand soap is available in all kitchen areas.

We have also done our best to remove, reduce, and/or regularly sanitize as many shared objects and common touch points as possible, including but not limited to: 

  • All communal Workhaus utensils and dishware have been removed from kitchen areas to mitigate the spread of bacteria.
  • Where possible, doors in common spaces and high traffic areas have been propped open, and will remain that way at all times, to eliminate cross contamination on door handles. 
  • Members are allowed to bring in their own dishware, but are not permitted to store them in any common space, including the kitchen. Dishes brought in must be for personal use only and stored at the member’s desk.
  • Elevator buttons, touch screens, microwaves,fridges, and door handles, and other shared objects/devices are disinfected multiple times daily.

Finally, we will be increasing the frequency of cleaning intervals for all common spaces and high traffic areas, including elevators, washrooms, breakout areas, phone booths, kitchens, and meeting rooms. 

Face Masks

Face masks must be worn in common areas where physical distancing is not possible (i.e. going to the washroom, getting a cup of coffee, etc.). We strongly recommend all members continue to do so in public spaces outside of the office (elevators, the building lobby, local coffee shop, etc.).

New Behavioural Signage 

Detailed signage is posted in visible areas across all Workhaus locations, outlining new operational standards and recommended health and safety practices.

  • Hygiene: Signage will be promoting the best hygienic practices. Signs examples include proper hand washing techniques, reminders to wear a mask, hand sanitizer use, boardroom and meeting room disinfecting spray instructions, and coffee machines before and after use.
  • Limited Capacity: This signage will instruct members to stay within the maximum capacity of all areas, including but not limited to meeting rooms, kitchens, offices, dedicated desk areas, elevators, phone rooms, and breakout spaces.
  • Social Distancing: Signage will be posted reminding members to stay a minimum 6 ft. away from each other at all times. These will be placed in all areas of the office, including but not limited to the front desk, lounges, meeting rooms, offices, kitchens, and hallways.

Sign In Policy 

As part of our COVID-19 response policies, ALL MEMBERS, STAFF, AND VISITORS WILL BE REQUIRED TO SIGN IN upon entering any of our spaces. This is to ensure we are aware of who was in each space in the event that a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed. 

In the unfortunate event where a member, guest, or employee has tested positive for COVID-19, they must report it to Workhaus HR by emailing hr@workhaus.ca or calling 416-219-6962 within 1-business day. We will disclose a positive test to all relevant parties in a timely manner and as required by law while strictly following all privacy regulations, including withholding personal details. 

What You Can Do

We certainly cannot fight COVID-19 alone. It requires the collective effort of every single person making conscious decisions to keep each other safe and healthy. That’s why we are asking our members and their guests to bring the following items to the office:

  • Personal hand sanitizer
  • A face mask
  • Sanitizer spray or wipes for your personal desk
  • Personal dishware (cutlery, coffee mug, etc) 

If you have any questions regarding our COVID-19 response, please get in touch with us.