If you thought that coworking was a non-starter during a pandemic, think again. Eureka Coworking is a Brazilian-based startup bringing people back to their offices with a commitment to safety, flexibility, and sustainability.
Headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, Eureka Coworking has offices in the city and its environs, as well branches in Portugal. Location has become even more important during the pandemic.
“This is the perfect moment for us because most people lack sufficient space to work at home in a professional manner, and our locations, nearby bike lanes and within walking distance of neighborhoods, help people who want to ride bicycles or walk to work,” said Daniel Moral, co-founder and CEO of Eureka Coworking. “We talked with our clients and decided to open together using safety measures.”
Hackathon Surfaced Innovation Amid Pandemic
Among those safety measures will be a graphical space management tool designed to help better manage Eureka’s coworking spaces in the wake of the pandemic.
It was the winning entry in a hackathon sponsored by SAP and Intel to co-innovate solutions on top of SAP Business One for a post-pandemic office. Moral expects the tool would help its clients meet social distancing regulations, dynamically adjusting desk locations and meeting room configurations as worker capacity changes. The hackathon attracted two Intel partners that iterated Internet of Things (IoT)-based examples – most notably a hacked coffee machine, cameras for monitoring social distance, and a totem thermometer for real-time temperature measurement.
“SAP and Intel have a long history of co-innovation, partnering with a diverse ecosystem, as well as customers, to create disruptive solutions together,” said Gisselle Ruiz Lanza, country manager at Intel Brazil. “We’re excited about this incredible opportunity to help drive partner innovation that will meet fast-changing market demands.”
In other ideas developed as part of the hackathon, onsite workers could use a mobile app to order coffee from a machine with IoT-based sensors. The app would send an alert when the brew was ready for pickup at the in-office coffee station. Another prototype would use cameras to monitor communal spaces, reminding people with alerts on their mobile devices to maintain social distancing.
Fast Post-Pandemic Response
Early on, Eureka began using world-class social distancing protocols and developed a website to share back-to-work safety best practices with clients and the general public. Everyday safety measures in coworking spaces included a 50 percent reduction in meeting room capacity, desks spaced much further apart than before, more frequent sanitized cleaning protocols, and readily available personal protection equipment, such as masks and face shields. In every office, signs and posters remind people to socially distance, watch for symptoms of COVID-19, and stay home if they feel ill.
Scaling Up for International Growth
When asked why Eureka selected SAP Business One, Moral credited SAP Services and Support along with the company’s partner ecosystem, which helped them make the most of the software capabilities.
“We needed a scalable, centralized solution that would grow with us internationally,” Moral said. “We’re looking forward to making process improvements, as well as innovations, and applying them to help drive our growth across different countries. Connecting our business processes will help provide the transparency we need for better decision-making, supporting our journey to become an intelligent enterprise.”
Intelligent Innovation Stokes Workspace Safety
Eureka’s clients range from small entrepreneurs to large organizations across many business sectors, including real estate, marketing, legal, and other professional services.
Like many companies, Eureka faced revenue slowdowns when the pandemic first hit, but some clients have begun to slowly return.
“We are committed to bringing communities in Brazil and Portugal the kind of hybrid experience that workers and companies worldwide have long accepted,” Moral said. “As the business environment remains unpredictable, we will continue exploring ways to manage our coworking spaces intelligently and efficiently.”
Follow me: @smgaler
This article originally appeared on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.