‘It’s Easy To Do This Safely’: LMHQ’s Alexandra Montalbano On Sharing Workspaces In The Age Of Covid

Our sister organization and workspace LMHQ, at 150 Broadway, did some rearranging at their 20th floor space, as soon as they reopened back in the summer, to accommodate working in the age of Covid. To get social distancing in place, they’ve moved around a ton of furniture and greatly reduced capacity. They’re not hosting events in the event space, moving standouts like the Women’s Breakfast series online. They’ve increased cleaning and air flow. 

As LMHQ’s Director of Membership (and performer, aspiring ceramic artist and keeper-of-all-things) Alexandra Montalbano can attest, “We have sanitizers freaking everywhere.” LMHQ is prepared.

We (virtually) sat down with Montalbano and chatted about safety protocols and maintaining community in the social-distance era.  

You Often Hear Anecdotes About Individuals In The Workforce That Aren’t Taking Covid Seriously — Some Even Mock Others Over Taking Precautions. Have You Run Into That Issue With Any Members Or Colleagues At LMHQ?

Honestly we’ve been so unbelievably lucky. I was thinking about this earlier, because I’m aware of those stories in general — you know you see people trying to get around the mask mandates and you get scared it’s going to happen in your space. But it’s been so nice to come back here and know it’s never a problem. 

What Does The Crowd At LMHQ Look Like These Days? 

We have a fluctuating group of people. It’s not necessarily the same people all the time, but all of them are so unbelievably good about obeying the rules. The other day I had a member who was the only person in the back workspace for the entire day. It’s like 6,000 square feet back there, they were still wearing their mask.

This Is Cliche, But It Sounds Like You’re Describing A Situation Where Everyone Understands They’re All In This Together. 

Yeah, everyone is being super-overly-cautious, because I think people know we really try to communicate as much as possible what our rules and regulations are, and people are really working within that. They realize, Oh, it’s easy to do this safely. Like, It’s easy for me to go into work and be safe at work if I follow these rules.

This Is A Little Personal, But How Is Your Anxiety Holding Up In All Of This?  

I’ve honestly been very lucky throughout Covid with my friends and loved ones — knock on wood — not getting ill. I’ve been coming back to the office since June, so I’ve adjusted to where I can experience a little normalcy. The first time you ride the subway back to work it’s terrible, but once you realize, Oh, I can do this safely, it becomes easier every time. And that’s the thing, where now, I feel really comfortable and safe. I feel as normal as anyone can in these super-abnormal-insane times, trying to take it day by day. 

How Can Someone Try Out The LMHQ Space?

We give free day passes. Use the promo code ONEDAY when you sign up. There’s also the Membership page on our website that has all the information anyone needs, but if anyone has questions they can always email me

photo: LMHQ