We’re all reading and watching the news right now and seeing headlines covering the “reopening” beaches, shopping malls, businesses and states. There is a very lively debate about the time to start this transition and we imagine this discussion will continue for a while.
Irrespective of your feelings on when the country will be reopened again, we are sure everybody eventually would like to see things opened and a return to some degree of normality. However as per some industry experts, we have a lot of work to do before we can resume operations.
While uncertainty looms across Australian businesses, the best thing we can do for the economy is be well-prepared to re-open. Here are some of questions that senior management teams should be asking themselves as they prepare to re-open operations:
Q. Are we ready to open?
The company wants an accurate evaluation of the situation at the workplace. It may be that, as much as the company wants to open in the next thirty days, it makes more sense to do so in ninety days, to ensure the supply chain has time to recover. Or maybe the company will be better off with a staggered strategy over a longer period.
Q. What is our workforce plan for the next 3/6 months?
The answers to # 1 will decide how many workers are needed and in what positions. If the company does not have the roles filled, what is the plan? Organisations will also need to determine if there are capabilities that they can develop internally or whether there is a need for a contingent workforce to supplement their staffing needs.
Q. Do I reorganise my floorplan?
What can you do to your workspace that will maximize 1.5 metre distance between workers, customers and visitors? Can you stagger workspaces? Adjust desks to point towards walls or office partitions?
You may need to redesign the layout of your office space and workflows to allow staff to remain at least 1.5 meters apart to continue performing their duties. This can be achieved by restricting workers and others to certain pathways or areas and distributing furniture or plants to increase distance.
Consider floor and/or wall markings and signs for the recognition of distance specifications of 1.5 meters.
If you alter the physical layout of the office room, the layout will allow employees to enter, leave, eat lunch and travel around the workplace, both under normal working conditions and in an emergency, without risk to their health and safety.
Q. What do we need to keep our employees safe?
We are not only talking about personal protective equipment (PPE) here, we are talking about companies doing stuff like measuring workplace temperatures. And what is the company policy if the employee shows symptoms or positive results in the workplace? Let us hope no one will have to deal with this case, but it is time to discuss it before it happens.
Q. Is my office thoroughly disinfected?
Companies must consult the employees, assess, and risk and look for ways to minimise the spread of the virus. This can be started by:
- Reviewing the air-conditioning and ventilation systems
- Increasing cleaning and disinfection of high traffic areas or shared surfaces
- Providing cleaning products and instructions for cleaning of the workplace
- Creating barriers between workstations, seated areas, etc.
Q. Do we have the right technology?
Companies will also need to invest in a new range of contact-less technologies to eliminate disease transmission. Some technologies currently being implemented include, auto-open office doors using motion sensors or facial recognition, while lifts can operate using smart phones.
Coraggio Board meetings are held at Dexus Place in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The team at Dexus Place are focused on ensuring that their clients health and safety is their top priority and adheres to all Government regulations.
Are you considering opening your office soon? Disinfecting and retrofitting your office space to achieve the recommended physical distancing is important. Keep it in the community. Contact our Members who specialise in Office Fit-out and design to be your partners. The Coraggio family are here to help.
- Andrew Scanton
Director, Client Based Solutions.
- Ben Lloyd
Director, Trinity Quality Interiors.
- Efim Elski
Managing Director, Grafton Projects.
- Keith Sheppard
- Richard De Vries
Director, DCI Partnership.