Whether you are looking for ways to revamp your coworking office space or even designing an entirely new work environment, health and safety should be your number one priority. This becomes even more important in coworking areas, as they often attract a high number of workers who are constantly changing or even bringing in additional people that aren’t necessarily affiliated with the space. With that in mind, here are some essential health and personal safety tips that will help to improve your coworking space, and ultimately boost employee health and satisfaction:
Construct a specific set of rules
Preparing a detailed set of rules that includes specific guidelines and tips on how coworking space renters or permanent employees can approach health and safety in the space is the first and arguably most important step to take. Apart from detailing the safety aspects of the coworking space itself, these guidelines should also include specified, actionable tips anyone using the space must utilize to ensure health and safety.
For instance, this could mean providing proof that the coworking space meets necessary standards, identifying and controlling any potential risks, specifying where the emergency exits and firefighting equipment is located, or providing additional information in text form or even short courses on how to handle potential accidents and emergencies in the workplace.
Prioritize clean and clear spaces
As falling is among the most common accidents that happen in the office, it would be wise to take care of the causes that often lead to tripping and falling. Aim to keep any areas where employees commonly stand or walk perfectly clear, remove any loose wires and cables or misplaced items, and remind the workers to keep any doors and drawers closed, and their workspaces neat.
Similarly, cleanliness is an essential aspect of any workplace, especially a coworking space where a larger number of people might come and go. With that in mind, ensure to hire a professional staff who will clean your space regularly, while also providing items like soap, hand sanitizers, or tech-friendly wipes. Apart from making your workplace beautiful and sustainable, cleanliness will also ensure the optimal health of your workers.
Work with healthcare professionals
From hospitality to manufacturing and construction, there are many industries besides the medical field that require on-site health professionals to be present at all times and ensure the health and safety of the workers. Even if such a professional isn’t mandated by law in your specific field, having a health expert in your coworking space can be a wise health and safety decision.
For that reason, consider hiring a healthcare professional who is properly accredited with an ACLS certification that allows them to perform first aid, reanimation, intubation, and other life-saving procedures. That way, the workers in your coworking space can always be safe and sound, knowing there’s a qualified expert present to help them in case of emergencies.
Ensure accessibility and inclusivity
When planning a coworking space, it’s essential that every person feels safe and welcome in your workplace. To that end, inclusivity should be a priority when designing your coworking space, whether that means ensuring entrances are easily accessible with ramps, elevators, and automatic doors, providing special equipment like adjustable desks and accessible bathrooms, or simply encouraging a stress-free environment by focusing on frequent breaks and a healthier workspace.
There are also ways to use tech and digital aspects in an effort to make your coworking space more inclusive and accessible, such as incorporating smart devices and appliances that allow for speech recognition or making bookings and payments simpler by improving your online services.
Consider movement and ergonomics
Back and arm pain are among the most common office-related complaints, along with a number of other musculoskeletal disorders. In order to prevent long-term injuries in your coworking space, it would be best to provide ergonomic office furniture such as height-adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs that will help to reduce the potential physical strain on your workers.
If you wish to go a step further, you could also promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle in your coworking space. For instance, you might encourage frequent breaks and walks around the space, offer a free weekly yoga session in an appropriate area of the workplace, or even partner with a nearby gym to provide regular fitness classes, in an effort to ensure the optimal health of your workers.
Apart from adhering to the law-mandated guidelines, considering including these health and personal safety tips when designing a coworking space, in order to provide a healthy, secure, and accessible workplace where everyone can develop and thrive.