At SWBR, we are committed to putting our people first. That’s why we wanted to take a moment to let you know the proactive steps we are taking to ensure our team’s safety on our return to the office.
Though we have been successful at working from home and continuing to service our clients and projects, we are looking forward to returning to our new normal. In doing so, we are implementing several safety guidelines that will help reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, including COVID-19.
Our Operations Committee and Interior Design Department have been monitoring guidance by NY Forward NYS Department of Health and reading what the experts are saying about returning to work safely. In these guidelines you’ll find our latest thinking on how we will adapt practices in our offices to ensure that we continue to exceed our clients’ expectations, while also making decisions that prioritize the safety of our team. We wanted to share some of the things we are doing so that you might also be able to implement them.
Create a safe work environment
A place people want to come back to that provides emotional, psychological, and physical safety and comfort
- Limit occupancy in conference rooms, workstations, and common spaces
- Install barriers between workstations (that are not 6 feet apart) – consider mobile panels
- Wear acceptable face coverings except when seated at assigned workstation
- Sanitize shared surfaces after use
- Enforce no access to work areas for outside visitors
- Maintain proper HVAC conditions – humidity levels, clean filters, good air quality
Offer a hybrid workplace
A mix of remote and in-office work force
- Implement staggered shifts with a mix of remote and in-office work force
- Stagger or “checkerboard” workstations when 6 feet separation is not possible
- Continue virtual meetings
- Conduct in-person meetings only when 6 feet separation is available
Encourage trust and transparency
Create a People First Environment
- Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Self-Aware – use common sense and good judgement. Comply with newly established safety guidelines.
- Submit a daily Health Questionnaire before coming to the office
- Staff prohibited to come into the office if sick
Implement administrative policies
- Establish protocol (staff must comply with newly established safety guidelines)
- Provide signage (room capacity, common spaces, circulation, use of PPE)
- Establish cleaning procedures – daily disinfection protocol of high-contact surfaces
“Common sense is critical during this time of transition. Decisions for your work environment should be based on sound judgement. Understand the value of investing in prevention measures and be ready to adjust to a new work place regimen”, says Diana Kalvitis-Pannone, Interior Design Department Manager. “We are continuing to monitor incoming COVID-19 updates from New York State, and will update our guidelines as the situation develops. Space planning with social distancing requirements and common-sense hygiene protocols will help all of us”.
We will share information as we continue to research and learn throughout this process. In the meantime, if you have immediate needs or if there are elements of your transition back-to-work that we can assist with, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Gears, President