Top tips for returning to the workplace
30 April 2020
As the government looks to ease current restrictions, it will be important for businesses to start to think carefully about how to safely manage the process of returning to the workplace. Our top tips cover some of the key aspects to consider.
1. Daily health management and self assessment
Before travelling to work, take a daily self-assessment against COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature of 37.5C or more, continuous cough). If you have any of the symptoms (however mild) do not travel to work and remain away from the office for 14 days.
If a member of your household or a person you have been in proximity with develops any of the COVID-19 symptoms, do not travel to work and self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days.
If you are unable to attend work please contact HR and your line manager. If you are well enough to do so, and your job allows, we would expect you to work from home. If you are unable to work from home (or you are not well enough for work), you will be entitled to SSP.
2. Attending meetings
Please don’t arrange meetings in small rooms or with a large number of people. Aim to keep distance of 2 metres when attending meetings and wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser before and after attending meetings.
Avoid meetings with clients or customers, unless it is business critical. If such meetings are necessary, ensure that you comply with the social distancing rules (i.e. no physical greetings and distance of 2 metres).
3. Office area management
Avoid common areas as much as possible.
When using office equipment or kitchen, please wipe the surfaces with the anti-bacterial wipes we have made available before and after use. Wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser after touching common touch points and shared equipment.
Follow social distancing rules when in the office and try to keep distance of 2 metres. Avoid face-to-face work and sitting at a desk adjacent to a colleague’s (where possible).
Try to avoid hand-to-hand post and other office paperwork and minimise handling of physical documents and paperwork as much as possible.
4. Travel to and from
If you can, avoid public transport and car shares or taxis. Where possible, try should walk or cycle all or part of your journey (for example, if you arrive at a mainline station, work consider whether you could walk instead of taking the tube). We are willing to be flexible eabout your working hours if this results in a longer commute, so please discuss this with us.
If you can’t avoid public transport, we will discuss your working hours with you and try to avoid you needing to travel during peak time. When on public transport, you should wear a face mask and protective gloves, if possible. You should try to keep 2m from other passengers. If that’s not possible, avoid sitting next to or standing close to other passengers.
Carry a hand sanitiser and use it as often as needed (especially before touching your face). Wash your hands before and after your journey.
5. Continue to follow social distancing rules in line with government advice
Avoid crowds and keep distance of at least 2 metres apart when in public. Avoid physical greetings (e.g. handshakes) when in the workplace and try to limit the number of in-person meetings (personal or business-related); opting for phone or video calls where you can.
6. Follow basic hygiene rules
Ensure that you wash your hands upon your arrival at work, after visiting any other places and before you touch your food. Carry a hand sanitiser and use it throughout the day. Avoid touching your face (particularly your eyes, nose and mouth) as much as possible. Catch coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue and wash your hands/use a hand sanitiser afterwards.
7. Follow instructions that we give you
We will give instructions to help everyone reduce the amount of contact. This might involve instructing you to use a particular entrance, stairwell or lift. We may also ask you to arrive and leave work at a particular time or to use hand sanitiser before entering the building. Please listen to and follow these instructions, they are for your safety and the
safety of others.
Health & Safety and reintegration
Although many Coivd-19 restrictions have now been lifted, including the requirement to work from home, employers still need to think carefully about how to manage the health and safety implications of reopening workplaces and minimising the spread of infection.