Social distancing may be here to stay. With that, rethinking how we use our spaces is crucial and that includes rethinking how we use the very labs in which COVID-19 research takes place.

Scientific research must continue both in response to and in spite of the pandemic. Working together when we have to work apart, however, doesn’t always feel straightforward.

Labs around the world have already implemented shift work and other distancing measures – a new way of doing things is taking shape. But how do we ensure collaboration doesn’t get lost in this new landscape? LabArchives Scheduler and LabArchives Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) can help.

At its core, LabArchives Scheduler is a simple product. Scientists use it to reserve lab equipment and resources. Customizable features and functions make it a game changer for labs of all sizes and disciplines. Once scientists have gathered data using said equipment they can document, secure and share that data with collaborators near and far via LabArchives ELN.

LabCentral is a launchpad for high potential, life science startups based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They host 90 companies and 500 researchers under one roof – nearly all of their resources, equipment and spaces are shared. They make it work with Scheduler.

A few ways your lab can use Scheduler to navigate this new normal sans stress:

Capacity Limits: Scheduler isn’t just for equipment. It can be used for microscopes and centrifuges, yes, but also for things like conference rooms or even entire labs. And because every lab/department is laid out differently, Scheduler is completely customizable. Lab managers can define the core facilities/spaces and define capacity limits for each. Example: a lab’s capacity limit can be set to satisfy distancing requirements.

Recurring Bookings: Scheduler allows for recurring bookings which makes it easy to align shift work. Reservation invitations keep everyone on the same page and only take a few clicks to send out. Use this tool to keep down time low and work rates high even if the whole team can’t be in the lab at the same time. On the flip side of things, lab managers can also set out maximum reservation times so that facilities are shared equally…

Max/Min Reservation Times: Even before the pandemic hit, scheduling headaches were very real. Many labs have dealt with indefinite booking problems, ‘lost’ reservation sheets and experiments being delayed, even ruined, when equipment wasn’t available as expected. For labs working on COVID-19 research or any research for that matter, there’s no time to waste. With Scheduler lab managers can set maximum and minimum reservations times so that core facilities are put to good use across the board.

Buffer Times: For labs that work with viruses, bacterias, corrosive materials (you get the picture) ‘cleaning up’ has always been part of the process. Now there’s a need for many, possibly most, labs to disinfect equipment between users. Scheduler allows lab managers to set mandatory set up/tear down times to ensure that the time needed to safely prepare equipment is automatically built in.

To get a LabArchives Scheduler account click here!