Global Workspace Providers Collaborate on Post-Shutdown Playbook

Global workspace providers, including Convene, Industrious, and iWG, teamed up to create a playbook for the return to work post-shutdown.

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Global workspace providers have teamed up to create a playbook for the return to work during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Commercial Observer has learned.

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The members of the group consist of 15 providers across four continents, including Convene, Industrious, IWG and CBRE’s Hana in the United States, Mindspace and Talent Garden in Europe, and JustCo and Awfis in Asia. Together they have locations in 120 countries. 

Called the Workspace Operator Readiness Council, the group will be advised by two epidemiologists, as well as a lineup of real estate, architecture and engineering companies, to advise on specific interventions. 

“This is a global problem that needs global coordination,” said Jamie Hodari, CEO of Industrious, which has spearheaded the effort.

The plan is to have a playbook within several weeks, which will be updated as the situation evolves and as new information becomes available, Hodari said. The playbook will address both architectural and behavioral interventions, and provide best-practices for a list of issues that will need to be addressed, such as testing, social distancing, disinfecting, airflow, and contact tracing.

“There is a pathway to delivering a safe, healthy, psychologically safe workspace experience in this period, when we return to work but before a vaccine is available,” said Hodari. “But it’s going to require learning from each other, and collaboration and coordination, to get the best outcome.”

The international collaboration provides exposure to a diverse range of methods and interventions, especially since some countries, primarily in Asia, are farther along the curve.

Overall, the way forward will demand architectural, technological and behavioral interventions, with some focusing more on tech-driven solutions, like contactless doors, and others on behavioral techniques. And while not all methods will be possible or acceptable across all cultures and geographies, the ability to share information and ideas will benefit everyone, Hodari said. 

“COVID-19 presents a once-in-a-generation challenge,” a spokesperson for Cushman & Wakefield, one of the group’s advisors, said in a statement. “We believe that working together to create an opensource set of standards in the industry is best thing we can all do right now.”