Serviced Offices as Part of a Contingency Plan

Serviced Offices as Part of a Contingency Plan

As businesses plan contingency measures that respond to the threat from the Coronavirus, month-to-month rental of flexible turnkey private offices is an effective strategy to separate key personnel and maintain operations.

As the impact of the Corona Virus hits, businesses are faced with the extraordinary situation of sending staff home and trying to manage containment while running as close to "business-as-normal" as possible. The situation is developing daily and could well be in flux for months to come, so it's important to look at the short, medium, and long-term strategies for managing staff in a new remote working model.

The thinking behind remote working is to minimise contact between staff within the same team and hence reduce the risk of one case shutting down an entire team or business. Flexible office space is a practical means for physical separation and reduced contact between individuals for an extended period of time, which goes beyond working from home and can be month to month or on 6-month terms.

Many businesses have been proactive and asked employees to work from home, a good first response to handling the situation. Preparing for individuals to work remotely tests many of the systems and communication tools needed to work effectively, and is a well-spent effort in setting employees up to work from a satellite office.

With information unclear about the incubation period and time before symptoms show, it's crucial for businesses to keep isolation measures in place and avoid bringing staff back into a central office and risk cross-contamination.

What comes after working from home?

Having taken steps to have staff work from home, it is important to maintain that separation of individuals and minimise the risk of contamination. Working from home is not a long-term solution that all individuals can manage, and alternative arrangements might be to rotate staff back through the main office, cleaning the office between groups, or offering alternative locations for them to work from.

Silos of multi-functional teams

Before bringing staff back into the office, businesses should plan who will come back and even think about having colour coded groups that can work together. Assigning staff to a Green and a Blue team, for example, is a good way to indicate which groups should return to the office at any time.

The key is to reduce contact between individuals of the same team and create silos of multi-functional teams that can operate independently. There's no point separating sales from accounts teams, only for the whole sales team to get ill at the same time. Each multi-functional team might have members from accounts, operations, marketing and sales, etc so that it can function in isolation should the other team be out of action for a period.

Once the team is split - keep them split. The idea is to avoid cross-contamination between teams, so no moving between groups and no going for coffees together!

Alternative offices

When splitting teams up, businesses need physical separation, and flexible turnkey offices provide that and a professional place to work. These private offices are available to rent on short term contracts and on short notice, meaning that businesses can put a team into them this week to start working right away.

Where necessary, teams can rotate between the alternate and main office. Keep one team in the office and send the others to the backup office on a weekly rota. Before teams return to the office, do a deep clean of the office to provide a clean work environment and reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

If your business has already instructed staff to work from home then you've already been able to test the tools needed to work remotely, connect to shared systems and use communication tools such as Slack and Zoom to keep in touch. The next stage is to give your team an office to work from that minimises the risk to the business and individuals.

Rubberdesk has thousands of turnkey private offices for rent today. We have offices for individuals or bespoke solutions for hundreds of staff. Get in touch and we'll help put together a shortlist of options for your business to choose from.

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