THERE is currently significant panic the world over, thanks to the rapid spread of Covid-19.

As many countries take drastic steps in an attempt to reduce the impact, a number of companies have also put an array of meaningful practices in place to help employees stay ahead of the virus, avoid infection and prevent contamination of the work space.

While there is a case to be made for working remotely, combined with self-isolation for anyone who feels ill, many companies are concerned that staff who work from home will struggle without access to all the resources necessary for them to optimally do their jobs.

In addition, some industries and jobs just don’t lend themselves to remote working. Perhaps then, the solution is to separate the workforce and distribute employees among co-working spaces. I take the health and wellness of tenants of The Business Exchange (TBE), the co-working space specialist company, very seriously.

There have been more than 150 000 cases worldwide, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that our co-working spaces are clean, sanitised and that tenants are equipped with all the necessary information to keep themselves safe. Our offices are cellular and not open-plan, so the spaces also allow for isolated working where necessary.

During this time, co-working spaces are available to employers who want to separate their teams and minimise the risk of the spread of any virus among members. The majority of co-working spaces are closed offices dedicated to separate companies and work teams, so there is a lower risk of cross-infection.

At TBE we have distributed and will continue to circulate notices detailing hygiene and other tips. Below are some of the things that TBE has implemented, which can be used in other spaces, as well as in the home:

  • There are hand sanitiser machines at all entrances as well as other access points within our office spaces that everyone can make use of when entering the offices and during the day when required.
  • Additional regular cleaning of all communal areas is being carried out, while we advise anyone with private offices to take extra care and precautions.
  • If someone is identified as being ill, they will be asked to seek medical assistance.
  • Those who have returned to South Africa since March 1 are asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

There are also a number of precautions that everyone can take. This is based on the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water;
  • Maintain social distancing at least 1m from anyone who is coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if you have not washed your hands;
  • Practise respiratory hygiene, use your hands as cover if you sneeze or cough;
  • If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical care;
  • Take extra precautions if you have any underlying health issues.

As a final piece of advice, continue to monitor the situation and make decisions upon the advice of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and WHO.

David Seinker is the founder and CEO of The Business Exchange, the co-working space specialist company.

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