A co-working space risk and contingency plan is a course of action that is expected to be taken if an unexpected event occurs that could disrupt the space. It is more or less a backup plan that guarantees the co-working space can continue to serve the needs of members despite an adverse event.

A risk and contingency plan for a co-working space is like a “plan B” or blueprint for how to keep your co-working space running in the event of a natural disaster, major technical issue, or other unforeseen disruption. A risk and contingency plan is used to identify potential risks to a co-working space and explicitly state steps the management team and workers can utilize when faced with one of those risks.

According to experts, it helps protect the health and safety of space workers after an event has occurred, while also minimizing business interruptions that can warrant financial losses. Note that a detailed risk and contingency plan can mean the difference between a co-working space staying in business and shutting down.

In this modern age, especially after the widespread effect of the ongoing pandemic, co-working spaces must have an easy-to-navigate plan even before reopening. For instance: a person on-site is showing symptoms, a recent visitor is now confirmed to have COVID, or your community manager starts exhibiting signs of flu.

It is also necessary to carry out a risk assessment to identify significant hazards and analyze the best way to reasonably prevent harm to members. Your contingency plan should note any aspects of the co-working space that could lead to an accident or ill health, analyze what is being done to prevent this, and check whether further action is required.

Although the process of preparing a risk and contingency plan for a co-working space is pretty straightforward, it is necessary that the person carrying it out is competent enough to identify hazards, and know about the relevant legislation for health and safety in co-working spaces.

How to Prepare a Risk and Contingency Plan for a Co-working Space

Putting together a detailed risk and contingency plan for your co-working space and considering all the possible risks to your space can be quite challenging. However, you can reduce that daunting process by leveraging the steps mentioned below.

  1. Perform Your Risk Assessment

To be able to prepare for a disaster, you have to first understand what disasters you’re preparing for. Therefore, you need to think about all the possible risks to your co-working space, including natural disasters, sudden changes to revenue or personnel, or security threats. While you’re brainstorming, consider involving members of your team and even external experts to ensure you’re preparing for risks to your entire space and not being single-eyed.

  1. Prioritize The Risks

It is also important you spend your time and resources getting your co-working space prepared for events that have a high chance of occurring as you put together your contingency plan. For instance, you may have noted wildfires or earthquakes as a possible risk.

Howbeit, if your area doesn’t experience many wildfires or earthquakes, then it won’t be advisable to spend your time preparing for this event. If your area is prone to flooding, you should invest more of your resources in preparing for floods. To know the exact risks that are more likely to occur, use a risk impact scale. These charts will help you to estimate the likelihood that an event will occur and determine where to focus your efforts.

  1. Develop Contingency Plans

After you must have carefully created a prioritized list, now will be the best time to put together a plan to mitigate those risks. When developing this risk and contingency plan, endeavor to inculcate visuals or a step-by-step guide that notes what to do once the event has occurred and how to ensure your co-working space keeps running.

Remember to include a list of everyone, both inside and outside of the space, who needs to be contacted should the event occur, along with up-to-date contact information. You can also create a list of ways to minimize the risk of these events now and start acting on it.

  1. Maintain The Plan

Even after you have developed a contingency plan, the planning and execution process doesn’t stop there. You need to communicate the plan to everyone who can in any way be affected. Endeavor to critically describe what their roles and responsibilities are during a time of crisis. Do not forget to review your plan frequently. Personnel, operational, and technological changes can make the plan inefficient, and this entails that you need to make some changes.

A Sample Co-working Space Risk and Contingency Plan Template

Wok Zone is an Oakland, California co-working space that is established to create an entirely new marketplace of products & services that fill the gap that employers are leaving behind. We at Wok Zone are worried that our business could be severely impacted if a catastrophe occurs at our facility.

Owing to that, we have considered the design, health, safety, and accessibility of our co-working space to enable us to provide thriving places for our members to work and develop while reducing any negative events and poor feedback. All of which we believe will support Wok Zone business and membership growth and increase employee satisfaction.

After extensive research and deliberations with our space advisors and experts in risk management, here is the highlight of our well-detailed risk and contingency plan at Wok Zone.

Fire     
  • Impact: Closed facility, lost revenues, increased expenses
  • Immediate Action: Install a sprinkler system, access temporary alternate locations.
  • Post-Event Action: Report the incident to the insurer. If a site isn’t usable after 3 working days, move to an alternate location.
Windstorm
  • Impact: Closed facility, lost revenues, increased expenses
  • Immediate Action: Invest in making our more wind resistant, find temporary alternate locations
  • Post-Event Action: Report the incident to an insurer. If the site remains usable within 3 working days, move to an alternate location.
Breakdown of equipment
  • Impact: Lost and unhappy client, lost revenues, increased expenses
  • Immediate Action: Obtain equipment breakdown insurance and sources resources to repair, replace or rent equipment.
  • Post-Event Action: Swiftly contact a repair shop. Rent or buy new equipment if repairs will take longer than 3 working days.
Power Outage
  • Impact: Lost and unhappy client, lost revenues.
  • Immediate Action: Obtain business interruption insurance. Acquire generator.
  • Post-Event Action: Start operating with a generator if an outage lasts longer than 24 hours.

Conclusion

Just because a risk or hazard does not have a likely chance of happening does not mean it won’t. A contingency plan is like insurance—it guarantees you have what you need in the event of a worst-case scenario. Have it in mind that systems change as information technology advances, therefore review your plan as needed and ensure that it stays up to date.