This summer we have been busy at Quorum Park, helping our tenants get ready to welcome their staff back to the office and creating a safe place for them to work.
COVID-19 has changed so many aspects of our everyday lives, but as much as we all want life to return to normal, some aspects of the workplace have certainly changed for the foreseeable future.
Whether organisations are currently in the process of repopulating their offices, or perhaps leaving it until a later date, employers need to consider how best to ensure the safety of their employees and visitors.
Environmental & Behavioural Changes
Our Facilities Management team, led by Jamie Baldridge, has been actively working with Quorum’s occupiers to help identify the behavioural and environmental changes that need to be put into place.
Environmental changes can include physical measures such as increasing airflow levels within the workplace or putting in place enhanced cleaning regimes. Behavioural changes require the workforce to do things differently, such as applying strict clear desk policies to ensure workstations can be cleaned and social distancing within the workplace.
Environmental changes are often easier to implement as the behavioural changes can take time to develop, with the help of training and good communication.
Dealing with multi-occupied buildings
At Quorum Park, many of our occupiers share buildings with other tenants whilst some fully occupy their own building. For the multi-occupancy buildings, our Facilities Management role is more involved as the shared areas such as corridors, lifts and stairwells need to be carefully managed as well the need to put in place safety procedures for visitors, contractors and deliveries.
Some of the key issues we have been dealing with in recent months include:
Building Access: How should access arrangements change to help minimise risk?
Common Areas: How will common and shared spaces like receptions, lifts and amenity spaces be cleaned and maintained until things return to normal?
Cleaning: Are cleaning staff properly trained on safety protocols and cleaning methods? Will they wear masks and protective gear while cleaning?
Facilitating social distancing
Social distancing measures can be one of the most effective ways of minimising the risks of spreading Covid-19, however within the office environment it is essential to put effective protocols in place.
At Quorum we have installed social distancing signage throughout communal areas in multi-occupied buildings in order to politely remind occupiers and visitors of the new measures.
In some instances further action needs to be taken in order to help facilitate social distancing. For example, within WCs it can be necessary to close off some urinals, wash hand basins and hand-dryers to help ensure social distancing measures are being met.
When using a lift it may be impossible to maintain a two metre distance with other people, in which case we would suggest being patient and waiting for the next available lift, or consider taking the stairs instead.
The hard work is still to come
As the majority of UK employers are still predominantly operating via home working protocols, the measures that have been put in place within workplaces across the country are yet to be fully tested.
At Quorum we are communicating with occupiers on a regular basis and have provided Re-Occupancy Operational Guidance briefings to help maintain a high level of understanding on the actions being taken.
Now that the summer holidays are over, we are closely assessing occupancy levels so that we can adapt measures accordingly where required. By working closely with the organisations at Quorum we are confident that we can help ensure a safe return to work, whenever that may be. For any Facilities Management enquiries relating to your offices at Quorum Park, please contact Jamie Baldridge.