The Safest workspace in Central London?

How Paddington Works is designing the new normal.

As an exclusive space for coworking and events, Paddington Works has invested over £100k on safety equipment and PPE to make our members feel welcome again post-lockdown.

As more people safely return to their desks here at Paddington Works, they’ve described our efforts as “exceptional” and “outstanding”. One member said they “couldn’t think of a single place which is better protected”. Another even went as far as saying Paddington Works “feels cleaner than an operating theatre”. Quite a compliment!

Naturally, being home to some of the UK’s leading Biotech and Medtech companies, we’ve turned to science and technology for the answers. But we also believe it’s essential for us to adopt a “white glove” approach to service. We need to be even more responsive than usual, making ourselves available to answer any questions.

Research shows that 49% of people feel anxious about returning to work. With pressure to get back to desks, a lot of this nervousness stems from a lack of clarity around Covid-19 policies. Simply having more conversations with our members and hearing their feedback has helped to guide many of our design decisions.

Clean air every 22 minutes

Long before the pandemic, our building was installed with integrated air circulation — a system that provides 25% more air changes than the legal requirement. That’s fresh air every 22 minutes, max.

Before reopening, we supplemented this already exceptional atmosphere system with 54 Philips HEPA Filter Air Purifiers to kill germs and viruses. Plus anti-viral Virus Doctor air conditioning units in every meeting room, editing suites and telephone booths. Plus eco-friendly SaniSwiss, the only WHO-approved air sterilising machine – usually found in environments like operating theatres. The result? 99.97% of airborne viruses and allergens are eliminated in seconds.

Open spaces by design

We already have an expansive 14,000 sq ft at Paddington Works and we’re putting further measures in place to create even safer distances between people, especially in communal areas. For instance, we’ve taken inspiration from road-signs for our directional flow system — think carefully-plotted one-way, two-way, and give-way routes. We’ve also installed mirrors on the corners of the stairs to prevent awkward collisions.

40% more cleans, daily

Unlike standard acetate screens, our toughened glass dividers are scratch-resistant and easy to clean. As well as keeping members safe, they allow energising natural light to flow through the building at all hours of the day.

Throughout the day, our circadian lighting kicks in. It’s good for the brain. And now good for the body too, as all the main lights are on movement sensors. There’s no need to touch a switch.

But even if you did, it’s nice to know we’ve upped our daily cleaning routine by 40%. Every single surface in Paddington Works is now regularly sanitised with SteriZAR sterilising mist — WHO-approved, tested to the highest standards, and effective for up to 30 days.

More coffee machines and copper surfaces

Our new traffic light system outside the toilets informs all members when they are unoccupied, prevents queues, and avoids any reason to brush past anyone. Inside, there are non-touch sinks, SteriZar hand-wash and anti-viral hand-dryers. In the kitchen, we’ve introduced a one-touch system and increased the number of coffee machines and microwaves. We’re doing everything we can to make staying safely apart simple and unobtrusive.

The same goes for sanitation. Our best-in-class bespoke hand-sanitising units provide up to six hours protection and are placed throughout the building. Each unit is designed using copper alloy. Why? The metal kills microbes in its natural form. Other hand-sanitising measures include stainless steel non-touch hot water hand-wash stations outside all toilets. And for anyone with sensitive skin or eczema, our SteriZAR moisturises whilst also protecting, which prevents skin irritation and cracking.

Safe meetings, inside and out

Our large communal garden, complete with deck-chairs, is the perfect open-air coworking space. We have fitted external WiFi boosters on the outside of the building alongside the garden for seamless broadband. For inside meetings, we’ve totally re-imagined our auditorium for large-scale events. There’s enough space to hold a socially-distanced meeting and a massive four-metre video-conference screen that’s ideal for including those working remotely.

Better yet, the auditorium has direct access from the pavement. Members and visitors (and refreshments!) can enter and exit safely without coming into contact with others or passing through the rest of the building, unless of course you need to go to the toilet!

The personal (but sanitised!) touch

All temperatures are checked automatically on the way in to ensure everyone’s healthy using our Thermal Imaging Camera.

Before leaving the building, we offer all our members personalised PPE ‘care wear’ goody-bags. Designed for peace of mind on public transport, each pack includes a face-covering snood, 4ply masks, a few pairs of gloves, and a pair of Honeywell safety glasses.

For people who prefer to give public transport a miss, we’ve also got plenty of parking spaces next door. Thanks to the generosity of our neighbours, we can offer more room than ever for bikes, scooters and cars.

The safe space for disruptive minds, built by disruptive minds

As we take our first steps into the ‘new normal’, we’re listening to our members more than ever. We’re embracing their pioneering attitudes: their willingness to ask why, to look for what’s next, to continuously research and improve.

That’s why we’ve created an “I need / we need” suggestion board in our reception area. When we next welcome you to Paddington Works, feel free to sanitise your hands, pick up a pen, and scribble an idea up there. What else can we do to make you feel more comfortable?

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