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Mitie devises post-lockdown guidance to help Britain back to business
07 May 2020
AS THE UK Government makes plans to loosen the current lockdown restrictions, many businesses are considering what action's needed to ensure their workplaces re-open safely. To help with this process, Mitie has launched a comprehensive guide entitled ‘Getting Britain Back to Business’ for use by facilities management professionals as well as security and fire safety-focused practitioners.
Including four stages to underpin and prepare for a safe return to the workplace, in addition to a detailed checklist, the new guide is a one-stop-shop covering every aspect of a given building which needs to be reviewed to ensure the safe return of colleagues. This encompasses everything from security provision, cleaning, engineering, workplace design and front of house through to waste and landscapes, as well as the key subjects of 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 workplace. While detailing specific recommendations, such as how to use route planning and employee zoning to prepare for social distancing, the guidance can also be easily adapted to suit specific property portfolios, buildings or working environments.
To ensure a safe and efficient return to the workplace, the guide recommends that 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's no longer a requirement for it or alter the workplace design such that it functions more efficiently for employees.
Stage Two: Recommissioning the work environment
As buildings and workplaces re-open, it’s important that they’re safe and fully operational for colleagues and customers alike. 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. On that basis, it’s important to plan for more unexpected disruptions. Reviewing and improving current processes – such as resource contingency planning or the installation of dedicated 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 key stakeholders that the host business has taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of anyone accessing its properties.
Simon Venn, chief Government and strategy officer at Mitie, told Security Matters: “As businesses prepare for the return to their workspaces, knowing where to start and ensuring that everything has been covered can seem to be a daunting prospect. As experts in managing all types of commercial buildings safely and efficiently – from offices and manufacturing sites through to retail stores and historic buildings – we’re proud to share our experience and help Britain back to business as quickly and safely as possible.”
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