Work and sport in a healthy environment plus temperature check
Amsterdam, 21 April 2020 – On Tuesday, Tribes, the fastest growing provider of flexible workspaces, will be the first European player to introduce a Corona-proof office concept for its clients in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Within one month, Tribes will transform all its 23 branches in these countries into so-called ‘Blue Zone Offices’.
In these offices, after having one’s body temperature measured by a thermal camera at the entrance, it’s possible to work and also ‘work out’ in an environment that has been made as Corona-proof as possible. All offices are equipped with automatic dispensers for facemasks, gloves, and hand sanitiser. Strict route guidance within the buildings, limited-access workspaces, and less flexible workspaces per branch are all integrated into the new concept. The entire concept was worked out in detail in record time over the last few weeks.
The name ‘Blue Zone Office’ used by Tribes refers to the so-called Blue Zones located around the world. These are places where the locals live a longer and healthier life than elsewhere, such as the island of Sardinia in Italy and Okinawa in Japan. ‘We attach the same kind of importance to a healthy lifestyle - including food, relaxation, sleep, and sport - as the people in these places’, explains Eduard Schaepman, founder of Tribes. ‘We have to ensure that our immune system is top fit in order to minimise the risk of infection and spread of the virus as much as possible’.
On Tuesday, the Tribes branch located on the Amsterdam ‘Zuidas’ will be the first Blue Zone Office to open its doors in Europe. Within the next month, Tribes will roll out this new concept over all its branches. ‘Everyone is now looking for safe office space. We are seeing a great deal of demand from companies looking to lease office space from us for their employees. In response, we have now designed and implemented a total solution for working in a safe and healthy environment’, says Schaepman.
Tribes has modified the office complexes in various ways to meet the new requirements. Not only have special one-way routes and plexiglass partitions been created, a great deal of attention has also been focused on providing an optimum balance between work and relaxation. ‘Now that the gyms are closed, it’s even more important to be able to stay fit, which is why we have also fitted out a fitness room at every location. A smart mirror is part of the equipment, allowing you to use a virtual personal trainer to work on your fitness or do a kickboxing training. A relaxation area fitted with reclining chairs and sofas is also part of the design.’
A thermal camera is also installed at the entrance, making it possible to measure the body temperature of the members. ‘A person with a fever cannot enter. Of course, that’s not a message you want to hear, but it does help ensure that only healthy people enter, and that in turn is important to combat the spread of the virus.’
Tribes members can pick up their facemasks, gloves, hand sanitiser, and vitamin pills from automatic dispensers. ‘By providing these facilities, we are following the guidelines provided by RIVM and similar agencies in our neighbouring countries. In Germany, this is already mandatory, and it’s quite likely that it will soon also become mandatory in the Netherlands.’ In purchasing these facemasks, Tribes made sure that it was not competing with the government, which is going to great lengths to secure personal protective equipment. Schaepman: ‘The facemasks that we purchased did not meet the strict requirements for use by medical personnel, but they are excellent for our purpose.”
The climate control system has also been modified. ‘According to experts, a combination of lower temperature and higher humidity limits the spread of the virus, and we have adjusted our indoor climate accordingly.’ The introduction of the Blue Zone Offices requires an investment of some tens of thousands of euros per branch. Schaepman views the current corona crisis as ‘a great opportunity for increasing our focus on staying healthy and fit. We are all being forced to think more about our health. After all, the fitter we are, the less of a risk we pose to ourselves as well as others.’