Reston, VA

In an attempt to embrace the new normal, Herndon co-working space Office Evolution (205 Van Buren Street Suite) made serious changes around the facility that are intended to keep people safe as they return to an office environment.

Martin Gruszka, the location’s owner, said that he only lost around 5 percent of total revenue because of COVID-19. The remainder of his 120 customers is slowly preparing to return.

To maintain his customer base, while the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many non-essential businesses, Gruszka allowed people to freeze their memberships for three months so they wouldn’t have to pay for space they couldn’t use.

Gruszka said he worked through the last months to institute “’emergency operation” procedures to keep tenants safe.

Changes include:

  • thinning out seats in board rooms
  • getting rid of certain furniture items
  • spreading out desk
  • putting up whiteboards between workspaces that act as dividers
  • creating “sanitation stations” that offer cleaning products and hand sanitizer
  • putting up traffic direction signs
  • UV air sterilization systems

In addition to all the layout changes, Gruszka said that crews are coming in more frequently to dee-clean common areas in the space as well.

Though the co-working space didn’t host many virtual events because Gruszka said people didn’t really find value in them, he also said that the staff at the space work to create a welcoming “family” environment.

“We’ve had some networking groups that have been using our center,” he said.

As a national chain, Office Evolutions has locations around the United States and typically caters to mid-career adults who want a quiet, mature space to work, according to Gruszka.

To help its members, Office Evolution has used social media to promote things like small business loans, safety information, and other ways to help stay afloat during this crisis, Gruszka said.

Photos courtesy Office Evolution

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