Industrious, a large workplace provider in the U.S., announced in late April the formation of the Workplace Operator Readiness Council (WORC), a global coalition of 14 workplace operator members and over 20 advisors who together will develop new guidelines to help minimize the risk of Covid-19 spread in the workplace. The council was established in partnership with international workplace operators that together with Industrious include IWG globally, Convene, Hana and IOS Offices in North America, Mindspace and Talent Garden in Europe, Ikigai in Africa and Awfis and JustCo in Asia, who together serve hundreds of thousands of member companies and millions of employees worldwide.
WORC is supported by advisors that include Former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Seth Harris, Esq. along with companies from the architecture, engineering, design, and real estate sectors that include CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Gensler and Hines. The Council will be advised on public health by Arthur Reingold, MD, Division Head of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at University of California, Berkeley, and Scott P. Layne, MD, FACP, FIDSA, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health.
“As workers across the world begin returning to the office, there’s one thing that unites every country, every city, every company: what matters most is health and safety. No company can act as an island in a moment like this. Collaborating to share information and coordinate will almost certainly produce a better, safer outcome than companies going at it alone, so our industry has come together to do exactly that,” said Jamie Hodari, Co-Founder and CEO of Industrious. “This is a global effort. We’re collectively learning what’s working—and what’s not—in places like Singapore, Germany, etc to work through these challenges and put together best practices. And because we’re all workplace operators, those practices will be practical and human-centered, rather than simply architectural in nature.”
“The safe and healthy transition back to the workplace is a top priority for workers and businesses of all kinds. Defining and implementing the protections that will make that return possible given each workplace’s particular circumstances will involve a collaborative, comprehensive approach that brings our collective expertise to bear,” said Former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Seth Harris. “Shared and flexible workplace operators have grown to include millions of members worldwide over the last several years. I look forward to working with leading providers in the space to develop the most effective possible protections for the workers they serve.”
Workplace operators around the world are identifying solutions to welcome employees back to the office if and when local health officials declare it safe. Some health and hygiene guidelines identified to-date have been geared toward establishing safe distance between employees, sanitization of common shared spaces and additional measures that include improved control of airflow.
WORC will harness these and other solutions to ensure basic new protocols are actionable and, together with the Council’s advisors, develop leading new guidelines for workplace operators to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread at work.
WORC as announced in April includes:
Industrious provides productive and engaging workplaces for companies of all sizes and stages. Around the country, past and present Industrious members include: Cisco, Lyft, Spotify, Heineken, Chipotle, Pinterest, and Salesforce.