COVID-19 Response and Our Community

By Katharine 4 years agoNo Comments
Virtual Coworking

UPDATED: April 2, 2020

Alkaloid is closed temporarily as we all practice shelter-in-place.
We’ve taken the community online!
I miss you all terribly and know that we will get through this together.

Thank you for doing your part to slow the spread of the virus.

Take care of yourself.
Take care of each other.
Take care of this place.

The last few days and weeks have been…pretty surreal.

Like you, I’ve been monitoring news about the COVID-19 virus and the rapidly changing information about what’s happening locally, nationwide, and globally.

There’s been some valuable discussion amongst the coworking community globally in Slack which I have found helpful and supportive. For me, and I’m sure you, the hardest thing right now is uncertainty of not knowing exactly what happens next.

With that in mind, I want to play a proactive role in slowing the spread of this virus rather than waiting until things get to some unknown level of “worse” in the future.

No matter how things change going forward, I want us to remember that Alkaloid’s most valuable resource is each other. 

In the coming weeks, it’s likely that many of us will experience some form of anxiety and isolation. Anxiety and isolation are are precisely what I’ve aimed to curb with our community.

This is a time for us to shine as a beacon of mutual support when we need each other the most.

I’ve always operated our community along these 3 tenets, which are just as relevant now as ever:

Take care of yourself.

Take care of each other.

Take care of this place.

As you know, I’ve already implemented a number of precautionary measures to help “flatten the curve” while still preserving the elements of care and the availability of our shared space.
Most importantly, I’m enhancing our online community efforts for everybody to access some of the coworking elements from home.

The most notable and important changes right now are:
1. Alkaloid Networks is staying open and I’ve increased cleaning/sanitization efforts.
2. I’m migrating some events and other community experiences to be online-only or online-enhanced, and introducing more new ways to stay connected “virtually”.
3. I’m adding a rollover policy for memberships.

Below, you’ll find more detail about each of these changes.

1. Is Alkaloid Networks open? Yes, for now.

I’m paying close attention to the guidance from WHO and our local/federal health departments.

I’ve increased cleaning and sanitizing measures internally. 

Cleaning staff are trained to be extra vigilant about cleaning high-transmission surfaces like doorknobs, restroom faucets/sinks, paper towel dispensers, conference tablets, switches, etc.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would use disinfecting wipes on dry erase markers. Yes, I did that.

Soap and water are among the most effective ways to mitigate transmission. 

I will be disinfecting desks and tables more often as well. You can help by keeping your desk and workspace clean and disinfected using the spray cleaner available.
I would offer hand-sanitizer if I could find any. :/ 

As much as it pains me, please avoid shaking hands or giving hugs/high fives.

Let’s use this as a prompt to come up with our own contactless ways of greeting one another.
Jazz Hands?

Day passes and tours have been temporarily suspended.

And it probably goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway:

If you’re feeling unwell, please work from home.
If you are part of a vulnerable group or you are immunocompromised, or are in frequent contact with a member of vulnerable groups, please work from home.

Lastly, I’m working on how to proceed with reducing my own exposure. It may happen that I need to self-quarantine or Alkaloid may be forced to close.

Which leads me to….

2. More Community Activity Online

Many of you may understandably choose to work from Alkaloid Networks less often over the coming weeks. Odds are you chose to be a part of Alkaloid Networks because of the human connections, so we’re going to use this as an opportunity to have our online community shine.

The Alkaloid Slack channel is a place to connect with your fellow members.

This is a time for more of us to find this platform as way to get to know each other better and support each other, especially our independent freelancers and SMBs as they work to keep their businesses thriving.
YOU can create additional channels too. Start a book club, a Beltline walking channel, or a cycling channel. The options are limitless.

That said, I know that Slack is confusing and/or overwhelming for some people. If you’re interested in getting more active on Slack, but aren’t sure how or have questions, I’m happy to help you get on this very valuable online space.

More Online Events

We’re also working to change and/or reschedule as many of our upcoming events as possible to be online through video chat. If you have an event scheduled (or an event idea that might translate to video), please let me know and I’ll help with the logistics!

If we do this right and use this as a testing ground for new ways to gather online, we should be able to continue creating these more accessible online experiences long past the outbreak.

Virtual Lunchroom + Watercooler + Coworking

In addition to the moving some of the scheduled gatherings online, with your support and enthusiasm, I would like to experiment with some tools that facilitate a sense of “presence” as well as the more serendipitous conversations that really make coworking special.

During the week, there is a daily Zoom meeting from 10am to 4pm.
I have created different breakout rooms that we can use:
coffee break, lunch time and a quiet room.
AND you don’t have to miss Coffee Club, I’ll have my device there.

The important thing is that we are in this together.
Alkaloid doesn’t stop being a valuable community when you’re working from home.

No matter where you are in the world, you belong to a group of people who care deeply about your health, happiness, and well-being.

I’m going to keep doing what I know how to do, which is look out for each of you and come up with as many ways possible for people to connect and help each other out.

And no matter where you are or what’s going on, you can always reach me. I’ll also make time for 1-1 or group conversations via Zoom during this time when in-person conversations aren’t possible.

3. New Membership Rollover Policy

Starting immediately and for the duration of this unusual scenario, any unused days included in your membership will roll forward into future months.
Alkaloid runs on the honor system and I trust each of you to do what is right for you and our community.

While you may need to stay home, I want to honor your membership and hopefully reduce the need to downgrade or cancel.

For full time dedicated desk and private office members where rollover days are less useful, I’d like to come up with something that is fair and of value to offer.

I’m instituting this rollover policy in part because it’s the right thing to do.

But in the interest of transparency, I’m also doing it to make sure that Alkaloid Networks is still around on the other side of this event. A massive wave of membership changes could put Alkaloid in a precarious situation.

If you have the means to continue your membership, I’d like the chance to earn your membership through the enhanced online resources described above and a fair rollover policy that will provide more value in the future.

If you have questions or concerns about this new policy, please drop me a line.

Please keep the lines of communication open.
As I learn more and any details change, I’ll continue these communications.

If you or someone you know becomes aware of ANY individual in our community who may have been exposed to (or tests positive for) the virus, please notify me immediately. I’ll work quickly to take action however is deemed necessary.

Once again, we’re in this together and we’ll get through it together. As long as we stick to our core principles, I’m confident that we’ll come out of this experience an even stronger community.

With much gratitude,

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