What You Need to Know About Returning to Work in a Shared Office Space


If you’ve spent the last few months working from home, you may be wondering what office life will look like when you return. We asked David Chisholm from Creative Cubes, a shared office space company based in Melbourne, how Creative Cubes are keeping their shared spaces safe to give you an idea of what to expect, and what you can do as an employee.

Keeping up the COVID-19 safety measures

David says that while Creative Cubes kept their doors open to those who are well and observed social distancing, they adopted the government recommended steps early on – asking members to stay home if they have any symptoms or have been overseas in the last two weeks, and to seek medical advice (and if relevant, a written clearance before returning.) They’ve also clearly outlined their heavily ramped up cleaning measures at their offices.

As the situation has evolved and more people are returning to work, David says they are continuing to enforce social distancing within their spaces.
“From the day we launched, our buildings have provided enough space to ensure everyone is comfortable with generously spaced offices, meeting rooms, event space and co-working.” He says their space will continue to be monitored closely, additional cleaning remains in place, and a key component to keeping members and staff available in their shared office spaces, as well making extra hygiene and disinfecting products available.

How will shared spaces such as bathrooms and lunchrooms be handled?

David says they’ve put a number of measures in place to ensure staff and member safety, including:

  • Signage indicating the maximum number of people allowed in the kitchen at any one time.
  • Signage and floor markings to direct foot traffic and ensure safe social distancing of 1.5 metres.
  • Replacing tea, coffee, sugar, salt and pepper with individually wrapped items.
  • Disposable gloves are available for those who would like them.
  • Disinfecting wipes for surfaces are available to use in each kitchen.
  • Hand sanitiser is available before entering the kitchen.
  • Increasing hours for cleaners each night to thoroughly clean and sanitise all appliances and touch surfaces.
  • Hand Wash gel is located at each basin.

“We’ll continue to supply cutlery and crockery as normal and wash them in the dishwasher at the end of each day. The dishwasher will be unpacked with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). We’re recommending people who do not feel comfortable using these communal items bring along their own from home,” David says.

Likewise, communal water bottles and glasses will be available and continue to be washed thoroughly and regularly. Boiling, chilled and sparkling water will be available on tap in all kitchens, however it is encouraged that members bring their own water bottles when possible.

If you’re returning to the office after a lengthy work from home period and you’re feeling apprehensive, chat to your office manager or HR department to find out what steps your office is taking to keep staff safe. Some people may also feel anxious about their return to the office, here are some tips to help you make a seamless transition back to the workplace while keeping those healthy habits that you’ve developed while working from home.