Adapting to Coronavirus in the workplace.
It’s no understatement that COVID-19 has devastated numerous families across the UK and indeed the world. It is a sad and sobering thought to know that thousands of families have lost loved ones to the illness. We also know that the effects of isolation through lockdown are taking their toll on many across the country and our thoughts, condolences and best wishes go out to anyone who has lost and/or suffered during this time.
Space2B at The Maltings has also seen, first hand, the devastating effects of COVID-19 on businesses in Wales. These are trying times for large and small businesses alike and in order to overcome them, businesses have needed to and must continue to improvise and adapt.
Wherever possible, businesses adhered to Government guidelines by arranging for their personnel to work from home, while others introduced strict social distancing measures to allow staff and customers to safely occupy their place of business.
Seeing so many companies adapting and rising to these unforeseen challenges, gave us a feeling of pride for the Welsh business community and its resilience in the face of adversity, which further instilled our respect for those who do what they must to survive.
Social distancing measures have proven to be effective in slowing the spread of the disease and with the daily number of new cases and COVID-19 related deaths declining, there is the hope that the light at the end of this dark tunnel is nearing.
While working from home has been an effective method for many companies looking to reduce social contact, we recognise that for many, a return to an office environment is needed for their company to get back on track and although the corridors at Space2B have been quieter than usual, we knew what our responsibilities were to make our facilities a safe place to work for when the bulk of our community is ready to return.
Long before Coronavirus hit communities across the world, we took pride in our hygiene levels throughout the building. In 2018 we introduced sensor operated doors to several of our bathroom facilities, as well as sensor operated taps, soap dispensers, hand towel dispensers and toilet flushes, drastically reducing the spread of germs via surface touching. In response to the current pandemic, we have decided to accelerate our plans to have each and every bathroom fitted with the same hygiene-boosting utilities. We are also restricting the use of our toilet facilities to every other cubicle/urinal within one room, for the time being, to help people conform with social distancing rules.
With hygiene in mind, once again, we have installed sensor operated hand sanitiser dispensers throughout the building, encouraging and allowing our staff, our tenants and our visitors to keep their hands clean as they move through the building.
We also have our cleaning team who now clean our surfaces three times daily with a sterile liquid.
So that we comply with social distancing guidelines, we are restricting the use of our lifts to one person at a time and our communal sitting areas are also limited to one person per table.
Wherever possible, we have introduced one-way systems through our corridors and where circular routes aren’t an option, we have ‘waiting points’ marked out so that staff, tenants and visitors can pass at a safe distance.
We’ve removed the tables and chairs from our communal kitchens, giving us more space to allow safe distancing when using the kitchen facilities and passing by others.
Our reception area has been fitted with Perspex screens to help keep our staff and our visitors safe in what we recognise as the busiest area of the building.
With these measures in place, we’re confident that Space2B stands as a safe and hygienic place for our tenants to return to when they are ready. We know that it will take some time for things to return to “normal” for many, but we hope that our precautions allow more of our fantastic business community return some way to being back on track.