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October 25, 2020
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How flex workspace provider Mindspace is rethinking the office during COVID-19

A visual project released by the company interprets results from a survey which explored users’ takeaways about the pandemic reshaping the physical workplace.

Mindspace, the global flex space provider, reveals ‘Can’t Touch This’, a photography project interpreting the responses of 1,000 members across Europe and the US about their take on the future of the physical workspace. With locations all around the world, from San Francisco to Tel Aviv, Mindspace has been uniquely positioned to see the COVID-19 crisis’ global impact on work firsthand.

In the ‘Back to the Office’ poll, whose results have been published this summer, Mindspace found that users’ top concern about COVID-19 in the workplace is going to the toilets, followed by the worry that colleagues will not take social distancing seriously and the ability to social distance at all. In Romania, while the bathroom issue is also high on the list (35,3%), it is joined by commuting (35,3%) as the most feared factors when it comes to going back to the office.

Based on these findings and others alike, the company implemented several safety measures, while also getting creative, thus coming up with ‘Can’t Touch This’, a project that reflects the simultaneous feelings of anxiety and yearning that people expressed about returning to the office.

The image series presents a variety of themes which have arisen surrounding the pandemic-era workplace. ‘Welcome to the New Normal’ is a visualization of how we’re affected when our every move must be monitored and done with caution. ‘Come Together-ish’ comments on the psychological toll that social distancing has on humans, while ‘The Evergreen Office’ is a reminder of the huge benefit that biophilic design principles and lush greenery have on the user experience in the workplace. In ‘Distant Reflections’, two colleagues sit across from each other, staring into a paneled mirror divider – it considers whether our ‘digital representations’ are truly enough to keep strong relationships going. As such, the namesake capture ‘Can’t Touch This’ highlights the integral importance of that now restricted sense.

Aiming to ease these concerns and restrictions, Mindspace joined two major industry initiatives – WORC, a global council for workplace operators, and Safe Spaces – which both aim to provide education and support to ensure health and safety in offices. In addition, based on each country’s regulations, the company also devised a new operations standard for its 31 locations.

‘Operating in markets that have already opened up, we know that these practices have instilled a sense of safety among our members and played a key role in aiding a faster return to the office,’ says Mindspace CEO Dan Zakai. ‘We believe this approach will garner similar results for our sites in markets returning to the office in the weeks ahead.’

It is Mindspace’s very flexibility that will help the company intuitively tend to the needs of today’s workers and face these new challenges. Helping businesses figure out what is best for their goals, Mindspace poses solutions ranging from the casual daily entry with the ‘Mindpass’ to private offices or floors tailored to an enterprise’s playbook. ‘We’re also discovering that offering total flexibility of workplaces both physically and financially is proving particularly favorable among our members, enabling us to create solutions for those companies who wish to return to work on a more gradual basis,’ continued Zakai. ‘This level of flexibility will be critical to ensure business continuity in the months ahead.’

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