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Post COVID-19 workplace re-entry

26 May 2020

COVID-19 has compounded site challenges and organisations now need to take extra care with managing a smooth and safe return to the workplace. In care facilities, particularly Aged Care, organisational leaders need to do their utmost to protect patient safety - robust visitor management is key.

The critical areas for consideration on how to best reopen your workplace will fall under the following categories: 

  • Financial 
  • Safety and wellbeing 
  • High level communications

Challenges are mainly centred on end to end site access, managing activity when on site with social distancing (6ft apart) as well as practising good hygiene and adhering to organisational restrictions in place.

A Contractor Management System when integrated with a Visitor Management System, allows organisations to not only be safe, yet also manage compliance and make the most of the data captured. In high risk industries, such as Aged Care and Health care, temperature screening is a core requirement and thermal technology can be incorporated to meet this need on a large scale. Our strategic partner, TIKS provides a temperature screening solution along with real time analytics. The thermal imaging and temperature screening detect risks before a person enters a site location with additional measures when on site to allow real time management of COVID-19 distancing in line with Government regulations.  

Re-entry Strategy and Implementation Plan

What is this?  If you don’t have a re-entry strategy, fast adoption is needed to be safe and compliant. Proactive businesses are already working hard to design and roll out their return-to-work plan. At the centre of this challenge is the workplace as it plays a significant role in the re-integration of workers into their new working environment. 

For instance, does the space need configuring to meet safe physical distance rules? Is it pertinent to incorporate a mix of remote and on site days?   Gathering direct feedback from workers on their preferences and attitude to returning to work should feed into this process as some individuals may be understandably anxious. High level communication, along with a phased or staggered return may suit your workers best.  An online training course to advise of these changes is recommended, especially when involved and complex.

Looking at practical onsite management for a sustained physically distanced new way of working will involve decisions on how to minimise worker traffic, timetable breaks to avoid a density of people where touch points increase and the risk of potential infection spread becomes greater. 

Sitepass' contractor management system acts as a personal gatekeeper, controlling who can and cannot access a work site. On sign in, Sitepass will check that contractors, employees, volunteers and other personnel have completed their onboarding and site inductions, and if they haven’t, reject their sign in access.

When workers are on site, ensure internal doors are left open to minimise touchpoints and adopt a more frequent cleaning policy in common areas. Re-visit procedures for WHS checks, reception, deliveries in and out, elevators and visitor protocols.  If your organisation is deemed high risk, temperature testing will be an aspect of the visitor management process at pre-entry stage and or on site monitoring when workers are carrying out their daily activities. 

We’ve created a checklist to help break down the complexity of workplace re-entry. 

Please note that this is merely a guide of the aspects that will need re-evaluating, as every workplace has its own set of requirements, this checklist offers a steer only.  

Re-entry considerations  

  • Communicating with workers

What are their attitudes and concerns around returning to work? Is it best to stagger a return?  A workplace and home working ratio to keep people numbers down? 

  • Training delivery

Online training will assist with informing new return to work policies and procedures.  Courses such as COVID-19 Coronavirus Prevention and Hand Hygiene will help with cultural adoption and instill a responsible ethic to practice safely around others. 

  • Remote working 

Maintaining and optimizing collaborative tools for working from home and in the event of a set back. 

  • Control access 

Not only your workplace yet access into your workplace.  Align with the landlord of the building, if applicable.

  • Prepare the workplace

Are any changes to your workspace needed along with movement patterns to alleviate density and uphold social distancing rules.

  • Cleaning frequency and minimising touchpoints

Workstation responsibility, open spaces, internal doors to be kept open if possible, strict break and food preparation, consumption consideration to minimise huddles of workers and uphold a high level of cleanliness.

In ‘Workplace Return’, McKinsey & Company consider all touchpoint stages when incorporating on site working.  This is considered further in ‘From surviving to thriving: Re-imagining the post COVID-19 return’ 

We like Cushman & Wakefield’s 6 feet office concept to help organisations prepare for workers to return to their office based workplace. 

What work re-entry gaps are there in your organisation? 

If you are experiencing gaps in your visitor or site management or would like to explore temperature reading for your organisation, please get in touch to discuss your needs, or to book a Sitepass demo.

Sally Danbury
Sally Danbury

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