ConnexionWorks, a coworking operator in Saint John, was forced to uproot everything about their business to keep their members safe when New Brunswick enacted its state of emergency in March.
The 17,000 square foot space was easily able to transition to a physically distanced workspace and implemented strict cleaning protocols. Despite this, they still had to close its doors for certain members.
“We did not close our doors completely. We immediately put in certain rules,” said Doug Jenkins, co-founder of ConnextionWork. “We allowed members with full-time membership because they had equipment here and computers here. But the number of people that did that was very small.”
Now that restrictions in New Brunswick have been slowly lifted, the company has started opening its doors again. Still, Jenkins said it has been a slow process.
Just a few blocks away, USTATION has been facing similar challenges. The workspace provider immediately reconfigured its space to encourage distancing guidelines, installing hand sanitation stations and more.
“We shut down the tours which, from an impact perspective, is how we gain new members,” said Glen Hicks, USTATION co-owner. “We shut down any non-member access to rooms and guests. It was really members only. We had strict rules of less than five people in the facility in the entirety.”
Hicks added that using technology has been key in keeping their business operating, and moving forward it would be leaning into this model. The company has provided resources on managing a remote work environment, consultations on how to work from home and more.