Thank you to Fanny Caloz, co-founder of Swiss Escape, for sharing how they are responding to the COVID-19 quarantine in the Swiss Alps.
Managing the fears and anxiety of the residents, while dealing with new governmental restrictions falling into place every day. Also, dealing with uncertainty and not being able to answer some questions from the residents.
We tried to handle the crisis calmly and inform residents twice a day about the new measures and restrictions that are affecting the coliving. In times like this, transparent and constant communication is the most important tool to use.
As soon as the government put restrictions on outdoor gatherings and closure of restaurants, our community manager took a great initiative to host indoor events to keep the guests entertained, and take their “mind off” during the crisis unfolding.
We have closed our space as soon as the travel ban came into effect, therefore not an applicable question.
A. Clear communication. We immediately started communicating, once or twice a day, the official governmental measures and restrictions put in place in Switzerland. We realized that some residents were reading the news from other countries, and started creating a panic with measures that were not even put in place – and still not are – in Switzerland.
B. We made changes to our cancellation and refund policy to allow people to rebook the remainder of their stay, if they decided to leave early.
C. We did not take any new bookings because we did not want to create any fears among the residents from the new arrivals.
A. Our community manager was regularly doing personal checks with every resident to ensure there is no anxiety growing at the space.
B. We cancelled our cleaning staff services as we knew all residents had decided to leave soon and we planned to close our space.
Since our space is closed, it is not applicable.
Because we only have short stays, every guest pays in full, before check-in.
We communicated via our Whatsapp group once or twice a day. And face to face, every day.
No difficulties in communication. We used the press conference issued by the government and translated the important parts and sent that to our residents.
No operational issue since we closed the space.
Depending on how long the situation lasts, we have decided to potentially open our space to residents of Switzerland only. We are also in the process of creating another business that creates a synergy with the Coliving space, and potentially create new PR for the space.
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