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It has been 3 weeks since the corona virus outbreak has been announced and for us in the ID field, it’s been business as usual. I am currently writing this Blog at one of the many co-working spaces in Singapore and as the city-state raised its alert level to DORSCON Orange (the second highest alert) over the weekend, things has slightly changed around the workplace. People around us has become more aware and vigilant as we are in the country with the third most number of infected cases outside of China.

Thanks to our current co-working community which is one of the top tier co-working space worldwide, we felt more safe and secure as the screening and sanitation has been of paramount importance to all its staff.

Risk vs Reward

Nevertheless, there are still few questions that linger on how we can best manage a shared environment given the diversity of the people you will be sitting and sharing tables with, and even share basic utensils like coffee cups and stirrers over the course of the day.

Unlike in a regular office environment the human resource department has control over all its staff particularly its travel and health history.

In a co-working space or shared office, thou all guest are temperature screened and declaration forms need to be filled-up before entering the premises, there is still an element of dis-trust among peers as some individuals may withhold information that will be detrimental to them. Therefore, you will still wonder whether the information provided is trustworthy for everyone’s peace of mind.

For now, there has no incident of the virus spreading in a co-working space in Singapore so there is nothing to be concerned of. But everyday, as we go to work we are always reminded to be more observant and be on a lookout for anyone that show signs of being a potential virus carrier. Call it paranoia but too much news and social media gets into our psyche that it affects our way of thinking. As what I always tell my team it will be the fear that will kill us and not the virus. Hence if people panicked there will be a chain reaction and things can turn from bad to worst really fast just like what happened over the weekend when the groceries was overwhelmed by shoppers trying to hoard goods like there is a zombie apocalypse.

Till this day, we have reaped all the benefits of being in a co-working space. Its flexibility, cost efficiency, its better equipped, well designed and more social interaction with fellow members that sometimes lead to even more business. Hence, like any other disruptive ideas in the gig economy eg. ride sharing (Grab), food deliveries (Food Panda) and shared accommodation (Airbnb) this new business idea will be tested on this type of critical situation.

Benefits of a private office

Not until the corona virus outbreak happened that we realize that there are still some advantage on having your own office. One that you can feel safe and at home and that you wish you have more control on the people you encounter on a daily basis. But what the heck, I hope that this is just temporary and things will be back to normal very soon. Besides there is also another alternative called “work from home”. Thou it’s difficult to replace face to face interaction and connection, there are still new technologies that enable meetings, discussions and cloud based collaborations that can make-up for this temporary disruption in our daily lives.

This is just my personal view, Let’s all hope and pray that this chapter in our history will end soon.

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