Wednesday, May 13, 2020
An open letter to Liberty clients from our CEO, Jamie Vine
I hope you and your families are keeping well during the COVID-19 crisis.
It seems Australia is faring well in its fight to control coronavirus, particularly when compared to other parts of the world, and Western Australia’s efforts to flatten the curve have been exceptional – Go WA!
Like most of you, I have been monitoring our progress in the battle to control the spread of the virus, and given the current announcements from State Government, I am hopeful we will see an accelerated return to some form of normality in the near future.
In preparation for our return to some normality next week, I am conscious that we have all become more aware of our surroundings, of other people, and of our hygiene in order to protect ourselves, the ones we care about, and the wider community.
As a result, I have spent some time considering what Liberty can do to provide you, our clients, with a level of comfort that will see you return to the office.
Please see below more details on how Liberty is supporting your return to the office.
Jamie Vine, CEO
The government requires all workplaces to develop and implement a COVIDSafe Plan. In line with the WA Department of Health 'Environmental cleaning in non-healthcare settings' guidelines below is a list of initiatives we are proactively undertaking within our locations:
- We have surgical masks available at each of our reception areas. If you would feel more comfortable wearing a mask in our offices, please ask the team at reception for your complimentary mask.
- Hand sanitiser will continue to be available in all Liberty reception areas.
Visitors Sign In App
- We are rolling out a ‘Visitor sign-in’ app which will be introduced to our reception areas to collect data on all visitors within our premises.
- All visitors within our buildings will be required to Sign-In and complete a questionnaire to determine their risk to you, your team, and ours.
- This sign-in process will include a COVID-19 declaration and in addition to declaring their current health status, it will oblige visitors to inform us if they become infected within 14 days of visiting our facilities.
- This will be instrumental in assisting authorities with their tracing processes in the unlikely event of an outbreak.
Offices / Coworking
- We have ordered personal hand sanitisers for each desk within our space for your personal use, these will be distributed when they arrive.
- We have ordered personal antibacterial wipes for every occupied desk to enable you to clean your computer keyboards, mouse, and telephone, again these will be distributed when they arrive.
- We will disinfect every surface, including high touch areas, in our communal spaces, and coworking spaces daily.
- Within your offices, our regular cleaning service continues, and we recommend you wipe down all surfaces regularly as an additional measure. Cleaning contractors are generally reluctant to clean occupied desks due to the perceived liabilities associated with touching your computers and paperwork, therefore we are introducing a Surface Cleaning service for those who would prefer to outsource the cleaning of the surfaces in your office, this will be undertaken by Liberty team members at a small cost of $5 per workstation. This can be done daily or weekly upon request.
- All surfaces in kitchens and utility areas will be disinfected every two hours.
- Dishes, cutlery, cups & glasses are cleaned in a domestic dishwasher using appropriate dishwasher detergent
- Dishes and cutlery etc are stored clean and dry in a cupboard to prevent potential contamination from sneezes or coughs
- Salt, pepper, tea, and coffee will also be stored in cupboards
- Prior to handling dishes and cutlery staff ensure they practice good hand hygiene (wash with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser for at least 20 seconds)
- Fridges are only to contain food required to be refrigerated for consumption that day. No long-term storage of items will be allowed. Fridges will be cleaned and disinfected weekly. Any item in the fridge on a Friday afternoon will be discarded.
- We have commissioned posters to remind people of the need for increased hygiene protocols and they will be displayed around our premises.
- The Liberators have registered to participate in the state government’s Hospitality & Tourism Hygiene Course – whilst this is not mandatory for our industry we do share some common challenges with hospitality and we want to cover all bases.
Members must self-quarantine if they have:
- Travelled overseas in the past 14 days
- Been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
- Members who need to self-quarantine should notify us and stay away from work. They should seek immediate medical attention if they become ill during the quarantine period and call ahead of arriving and mention their travel or contact history.
- Employers should make appropriate arrangements so that workers who need to self-quarantine stay away from work. Where possible, the worker should be provided with flexible work arrangements such as working from home.
- You may have noticed that our landlords have provided hand sanitiser in the public areas of the buildings we occupy, limited lift occupancy, and increased their cleaning regimes to include high touch areas being cleaned more regularly.
- We have temporarily reduced the capacities of our meeting rooms to ensure all delegates can remain 1.5m apart during their meeting. Our pricing has been reduced by 30% to reflect the reduced capacity until these restrictions are eased.
- All meeting rooms will undergo a full surface clean between meetings.
COVID-19 Return To Work Tips
We've been thinking about other ways we can help companies feel more comfortable as we transition back to normal.
1. Manage employee numbers
You may wish to plan a staggered reintroduction to the office. Establish a process such that a rotating group of employees work from the office every few days. Create these groups across functional lines, both to ensure coverage across roles and to support employee distancing.
Many businesses are splitting their teams into two (red & blue teams as an example) as they are nervous about all of the team returning to the office at once. Red team and blue teams then have alternate days when they use the office.
2. Rebuild workplace morale
The human component of returning to office life requires as much focus as the practical one. For staff who have been away from their workplaces for weeks or months, returning may feel unsettling. Much may have changed in the interim. Some of their old teammates may not be returning at all.
Successful businesses thrive on motivated workforces, so it’s important to invest efforts to rebuild workplace morale. There are many ways businesses can improve workplace culture, including promoting achievements, encouraging cross-functional collaboration, and painting a positive vision of the future. When the time is right, and regulations permit, consider a fun team-building event to lift spirits and let off some steam.
3. Manage anxiety
Consider putting in place support for workers who may be suffering from anxiety or stress. This could range from managers asking workers more often how they are, facilitating exchanges or buddying between colleagues, changes in work organisation and work tasks, to an employee assistance programme or coaching service, as well as offering contact with an occupational health service. Be aware that workers may have gone through traumatic events such as the serious illness or death of a relative or friend, or be experiencing financial difficulties or problems with their personal relationships.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions, or provide feedback, ideas, and information.
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