Knotel's Coronavirus Response Guide

Updated May 4, 2020

We've compiled our first round of Covid-era workspace strategy research into a comprehensive report. Download our findings here.

Watch our workplace strategists discuss insights from our employee survey on the impact of working from home and how it will impact future workspace design. Watch now.

We highly recommend Gusto's COVID-19 Small Business Resource Hub, a comprehensive library of content to help businesses navigate recently passed legislative financial relief and more. Check it out here.

Knotel is adopting swift and meaningful changes to meet the needs of our customers, partners, and communities, while providing continuity and recovery services. Learn more.

In the spirit of being “in this together,” we're running a series of webinars covering a range of topics to help our teams, customers, and partners stay safe, productive, and ready for whatever’s next in these uncertain times.

Dropbox Head of Real Estate Talks Site Selection and Portfolio Optimization
Friday, 5/8, 1:00 PM ET
Hosted by Amol Sarva with special guest Nasim Yalpani, Head of Real Estate and Workplace Services, Dropbox

Return to a Smarter Economy with Jack Hidary (Watch Recording)
Friday 5/1, 1:00 PM ET
Hosted by Amol Sarva, with special guest Jack Hidary
View Slides

Investor Insights: The 2020 Forecast Post COVID-19 (Watch Recording)
Friday, 4/24, 1:00 PM ET
Hosted by Amol Sarva, with special guest Devin Chen, Head of Real Estate Strategy, PIMCO

Enterprise Portfolio Planning Amid a Crisis (Watch Recording)
Friday, 4/17, 1:00 PM ET
Hosted by Amol Sarva, with special guest Mike Huaco, Global Head of Workspace and Real Estate, Uber

Lessons, Data, and Insights From A Massive WFH Experiment (Watch Recording)
Wednesday, 4/15, 1:00 PM ET
Hosted by Christina Cooper, Head of Workplace Strategy & Design, and Nathan Portlock, Workplace Strategy Manager

Ergonomics 101: A WFH Crash Course (Watch Recording)
Thursday 4/9, 2:30 PM ET
Hosted by Krystle Louie, Director of Design, and Uyum Ulgem, Workplace Strategist & Certified Ergonomics Professional

Business As Usual Is Over: What's Next for CRE?
Friday, 4/3, 1:00 PM ET
Hosted by Amol Sarva, with special guest Dave Bragg, Managing Director of Green Street Advisors

Finding Your Work From Home Style (Watch recording)
Monday 3/16, 1:30 PM ET
Hosted by Amol Sarva, CEO, and Patrick Leiser, Data Ops Director

Safety and Continuity Planning Amid a Pandemic (Watch recording)
Tuesday 3/17, 1:30 PM ET
Hosted by Eugene Lee, COO, and Ann Beemish, Head of Global People

Workplace Design After the Virus (Watch recording)
Wednesday 3/18, 1:30 PM ET
Hosted by Joseph Muscarella, Head of Product Strategy, and Mike Coons, Associate Director of Design Strategy

Planning for the Workplace Crisis in the C-Suite and Boardroom (Watch recording)
Thursday 3/19, 12:00 PM ET
Hosted by Amol Sarva, CEO

At Knotel, the health and safety of our customers and employees is important to us. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19-Coronavirus, we are encouraging Knotel employees, customers and our customers' employees to take additional health precautions and refer to the CDC guidelines for the latest updates. Here’s what we’re doing—and what your business can do—to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

What Everyone Can Do

  • Consider postponing all non-essential business travel, as well as any travel to highly affected areas, as per CDC and WHO guidelines
  • Keep supervisors and HR personnel informed of any employees who travel or have recently traveled to these areas.
  • Check in with the CDC or WHO for the latest developments.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Remain home if you are sick.
  • Reduce the number of outsiders in the office, if you can.

What Knotel is Doing

Are we banning business travel?

We are asking that all non-essential business travel be postponed until further notice. All essential travel can continue only with the approval of a GM or Department Head. In addition, we’re currently restricting all business travel to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Iran, and South Korea (this list may continue to grow as more cities become impacted).

What is our stance on employees working from home during this time?

Knotel is equipped with the technology (i.e. slack, zoom etc) to allow our colleagues to work from home as needed.

What is the process for an employee to inform of an illness/suspected interaction with an affected person?

All employees who are feeling sick should remain home from work. In addition, if any employee comes into contact with someone suspected of contracting coronavirus, and/or is undergoing testing for the coronavirus, they should report it to their manager and People Department immediately. We may request that the employee stays home for 14 days and we may also may need to inform the rest of the office by taking additional precautionary measures on a case-by-case basis.

How will we handle visitors on site?

To reduce exposure from non employees at our Knotel workspaces, we are minimizing on-site visits from vendors, interview candidates, and others and relying on remote meetings as much as possible.

How will we handle event and conference attendance?

To reduce exposure of “community spread,” we are requesting that employees not attend large conferences or business events, even if it does not require air travel. Similarly, we will be postponing any such events we are hosting.

What would need to happen for us to change our current approach? What happens if this gets a lot worse?

We have put in place a standing Global Crisis Planning team at HQ to review new information as it comes in. This team consists of colleagues from Legal, People, Marketing, Security, Finance, and Facilities. We will continue to keep our Knotel employees informed if/as the situation worsens and what impact that may have on our employees and customers.

What sort of cleaning standards and frequency do we have at our Knotel offices?

All Knotel workspaces are routinely cleaned to ensure that they meet a standard of cleanliness. We will conduct additional deep cleans if / as needed.

How Knotel is Helping Your Business Run Smoothly

Knotel is actively monitoring COVID-19 matters in the cities where we operate. We have prepared our teams to continue service if disruptions happen to normal business, in order to best support your workspaces safely.

If you would like to discuss any additional service level offerings, including related to cleanings, please contact us. Some of our customers have also taken the step to divide critical teams across workspaces; if you would like to explore a similar arrangement, we may be able to help as well.

If a market team gets impacted, how do we continue to service customers?

If any of our markets are specifically impacted, we will ask employees across other markets and HQ to help where possible, to support business continuity. We will also leverage our ticket management and vendor management systems to ensure we are managing issues in the fastest and safest way possible.

If a building we have customers in has an outbreak or single positive or team members of one of our customers test positive, how are we responding?

If this occurs, we will not be sending any of our Knotel employees or vendors to service these spaces until the “all clear” has been given. In addition, we will unfortunately not be in a position to relocate any of our customers to other Knotel workspaces after an infection occurs in their original workspace. If a customer chooses to split operations for contingency planning, prior to an infection occurring, we will consider this at their cost.

If a city has a major outbreak and transportation is disrupted what will be our position on service?

We will try our best to continue service for our customers where at all possible, but we will follow the local city regulations and safety precautions.

Will we continue to send our staff out in the field to perform relevant jobs?

Our Knotel employees will be expected to continue to work in the field and/or office until any local city regulations mandate otherwise.

If the city goes dark under major circumstances what is our plan to shut down workspaces and then be ready to open back up once clear?

If we have time and proper notice, we will request a voluntary workforce to support shutting down relevant Knotel workspaces. If this happens, we will provide protective gear and it will be on a voluntary basis only. We will follow the same approach once all is clear.

Best Practices from the CDC and WHO

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

Be sure to regularly seek relevant information from the CDC and WHO for the latest updates and best practices.


What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Should you ban travel to affected countries (Italy, Iran, Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea) for personal time off as well?

We suggest that you make personal travel plans with caution and follow the State Department travel advisory. For more information on COVID-19, visit and for travel advisory visit your local government website. Also please be aware that you may be required to work from home for fourteen (14) days after traveling to any of these countries for personal reasons.