As lockdown restrictions are eased and governments are encouraging businesses to reopen and return to a sense of “normality”, we have considered what the new ‘norm’ will be and how this looks in practical terms.
Our primary focus is the health and safety of our colleagues, we therefore want to ensure that when our office environments re-open, we are in a position to ensure that health and safety standards are adhered to, but also to ensure our colleagues feel comfortable in returning to an office environment. We also recognise the benefits of social interaction and cross working in an office environment from a health and wellbeing perspective.
When to return?
Our regional offices are currently accessible if colleagues are unable to work from home or their role requires them to attend an office location. Health and Safety and Social distancing measures are also in place.
We have considered when would be the most appropriate time to officially reopen our offices, whilst also taking into consideration how colleagues and families have been impacted in terms of childcare/caring arrangements, summer holidays, colleagues who are shielding and general concerns about social distancing.
We are therefore pleased to advise that we will be reopening our regional offices with effect from Tuesday 1st September 2020*
* Subject to Health and Safety Guidelines, social distancing requirements and operational needs.
Who will return?
All office based colleagues will be back in an Atalian Servest office, on a rota of three days a week from Tuesday 1st September 2020.
To ensure the safety of our colleagues, we will be operating a phased return aiming for 50-60% capacity at any given time with colleagues who normally work Monday to Friday broadly continuing to work from home for 2 days a week. For employees who do not normally work Monday to Friday, equivalent rota homeworking time will be discussed with them directly by the respective line-manager.
Start and finish times will also be staggered to ensure social distancing is adhered to.
This arrangement will be reviewed periodically and remain rolling until further instruction is given.
If colleagues cannot work from home (e.g. they don’t have a suitable environment, their role cannot be performed from home), they will need to be office based and each head of department will manage this.
All Senior Team members (e.g. HoDs, FCs, Team Managers) will return to the office full time to manage teams accordingly.
Non-office based employees are required to make their line manager aware and gain approval prior to attending any of the UK & Ireland offices.
Working from Home arrangements will continue to remain in place, however your compulsory office attendance will be on a rota basis at three days per week.
The Homeworking Policy supports this arrangement, and can be found by clicking here.
We have also produced working from home guidance which can be found by clicking here.
What will be different?
The Health and Safety of our colleagues is our primary concern. Risk Assessments and H&S measures have been put in place to protect you. We have consulted with our workforce health and safety representatives and have taken on board their comments. It is also YOUR responsibility to adhere to health and safety measures and hygiene guidelines whilst also setting an example to others.
How will I know the days I can return to the office?
Your Line Manager will be in contact prior to 1st September to discuss the working schedule.
Getting back to the office
The look of the offices will be different. We will be operating a ‘One Way’ system to minimise the traffic and support social distancing.
Hand Sanitisers will be located throughout the offices and placed at touchpoints that may be more heavily frequented (i.e. printers etc).
Travel between offices
For colleagues who use an Atalian Servest office, at which they are not ordinarily based, please leave at least 14 days before visiting any other offices. For example, if you visit the Bury St Edmunds office, please ensure you leave 14 days before visiting the Nottingham Office.
Any colleague who is planning to visit an Atalian Servest office is required to gain approval from an MD or Board member prior to attending.
Occupancy of desks will be spaced to accommodate social distancing and Line Managers will manage the desk space accordingly within their individual teams. The use of Hot Desks will not be permitted during this phase.
Cleaning schedules have been adjusted to accommodate more frequent wipe down of surfaces. Therefore, please ensure desks are kept tidy and our clean desk policy is adhered to.
We should continue to hold meetings with external visitors virtually and not encourage visitors to the offices. Any external visitors that require to visit an office, prior approval by a Board Member / Managing Director must be sought in advance.
Availability of meeting rooms may be limited to minimise the traffic around certain areas.
Capacity for meeting rooms will be reduced to meet social distancing guidelines. Where possible, rooms should be ventilated, and items should be cleared from rooms once the meeting has finished. Please note, it is NOT the responsibility of the cleaning teams to clear rooms after use. Please ensure the room is ready to use for the next person.
Due to reduced capacity of meeting rooms, the duration of meetings should also be limited to a maximum of 90 minutes (with the exception of meetings that normally take longer such HODs, Board meetings etc).
You should limit time spent in communal kitchen areas.
Upon entering kitchen areas, you should wash your hands prior to touching any equipment such as kettles, fridges, coffee machines etc.
If you stay indoors during lunch breaks, food should be eaten at your desk to minimise traffic in these areas.
Cleaning & hygiene guidelines
Cleaning of offices will have a more focussed approach, including more frequent cleaning of areas with high touch points (doors, access pads, printer areas, kitchen facilities, toilets etc).
You should continue to wash hands and sanitise your hands frequently. You should refrain from shaking hands with colleagues.
Frequently Asked Questions – Click Here
If you begin to show symptoms of COVID-19;
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
You must report any symptoms in line with the Special Absence Policy, which can be found by clicking here.
Any deliberate, wilful or repeated non-compliance with the safety measures that we have put in place will be considered a disciplinary matter and appropriate action will be taken so as to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all persons working in our office environments.