Preparing the workplace for a return to work is challenging enough without the realisation that not only has the built environment got to be compliant with the social distancing rules (however confused these may be), but it must also feel safe for those returning to work. The risk to the individual and how employees perceive employers’ management of that risk is likely to be the number 1 reason for people not returning to the workplace, or being worried when they do return, which is a distraction.
Employers have to prove to the workforce that they have a structured and well thought out methodology for delivering FM service in the Recover phase of the Covid-19 challenge (the controlled resumption of services and reinstatement of the built environment). Never before has the built environment been subject to such employee scrutiny.
Those in any organisation who are responsible for the built environment have also been catapulted into the high profile and unforgiving view of senior management. Things to remember:
- Tell and sell. This is perception that we are dealing with, so a well-tuned communications campaign giving the workforce clear instructions for workplace occupation and selling safety, will encourage confidence.
- Occupation Risk Assessment. Compliance with legislation will force such an assessment to take place, but publishing the results will help employees appreciate how focused the employers on the safety of the employees.
- Facilitated occupation. Rules of occupation, provision of PPE, the management of individual behaviours within the workplace and the control of space (people flows etc.) will need oversight and policing. Enforced rules give comfort
- Be visible The more staff see FM services in operation the more they will believe that their interest are your priority. Be visually loud.
If you are going to reoccupy the workplace then build the FM provision well and the employee will come
Stop and Think! Has the thinking, techniques, tools and systems to aid you in preparing for and managing the working environment in the interim phase and beyond.