As the UK government makes plans to loosen current lockdown restrictions, many businesses are considering what action is needed to ensure their workplaces reopen safely. To help with this, Mitie has launched a comprehensive guide for facilities managers, ‘Getting Britain Back to Business’. Including four stages to prepare for a safe return to the workplace, as well as a detailed checklist, the guide is a one-stop-shop covering every aspect of the building which needs to be reviewed to ensure the safe return of colleagues. This includes everything from cleaning, engineering, security, workplace design and front of house, through to waste and landscapes, as well as energy management and sustainability.
Getting Britain Back to Business has been created to help businesses of all types and sizes navigate the incredibly challenging task of preparing for the return to the office. While including specific recommendations, such as how to use route planning and employee zoning to prepare for social distancing, it can also be easily adapted to specific property portfolios, buildings or working environments.
To ensure a safe and efficient return to the workplace, the guide recommends businesses structure their planning around four key stages:
- Stage one – Facilities and portfolio evaluation: With many workspaces currently closed or at minimal occupancy, now is the time to take a step back and review what building space the business actually needs. There may be an opportunity to reduce office footprint where there is no longer a requirement for it or alter the workplace design so it works more efficiently for employees.
- Stage two – Recommissioning the work environment: As buildings and workplaces reopen, it’s important that they’re safe and fully operational for colleagues and customers. As well as ensuring that the building is sanitised and allows social distancing, it’s crucial that employees understand the actions the business is taking through comprehensive employee communications.
- Stage three – Adjusting to the new normal: The workplace will undoubtedly be transformed due to COVID-19, but embracing that change will offer opportunities for improvement. This could include leveraging technology more widely to reduce costs and enable social distancing or the introduction of new workplace practices and policies.
- Stage four – Future-proofing: Looking further ahead, one likelihood for business is further uncertainty, and so it’s important to plan for more unexpected disruptions. Reviewing and improving current processes – such as resource contingency planning or installation of remote monitoring systems – will ensure that businesses can navigate future challenges.
Businesses that work with Mitie to put these measures in place and ensure their workplaces are safe for employees to return will be granted a ‘Mitie COVID-19 Checklist Assured’ mark. The mark demonstrates to employees, customers and other stakeholders that the business has taken steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of anyone accessing its properties.
Simon Venn, Chief Government and Strategy Officer, Mitie, said:
“As businesses prepare for the return to their workspaces, knowing where to start and ensuring that everything has been covered can be a daunting prospect. As experts in managing all types of commercial buildings safely and efficiently – from offices and manufacturing sites to retail stores and historic buildings – we’re proud to share our experience to help get Britain back to business as quickly and safely as possible.”
To find out more, read Getting Britain Back to Business here.
Notes to editors
Founded in 1987, Mitie is the UK’s leading facilities management and professional services company. It offers a range of services including Technical Services (Engineering Services, Energy, Water and Real Estate Services), Business Services (Security, Cleaning and Office Services) and Specialist Services (Care & Custody, Landscapes and Waste Management).
Mitie employs 48,900 people across the country, looking after a large, diverse, blue-chip customer base, from banks and retailers, to hospitals, schools and critical government strategic assets. It takes care of its customers’ people and buildings, by delivering the basics brilliantly and by deploying advanced technology. It is pioneering the Connected Workspace, using smart analytics to provide valuable insight and deliver efficiencies to create outstanding work environments for customers.
Find out more at www.mitie.com.