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Let's get back together

It's time to open up

Time 163 days ago Comments 0 comments

Since March 2020, nearly all our central office-based employees have been working from home. In that time, we’ve been supporting you via the Make Yourself at Home campaign and through materials made available online. We’ve seen a great response from people sharing handy hints and tips on how to work well from home, and we’ve heard from those who are loving it and those who are loathing it.

Following the UK Government’s announcement in July 2020 that people may return to workplaces, Sodexo’s Property and leadership teams have been working closely to plot the best course of action for re-opening our central Sodexo offices.

Sodexo offices in England will open to employees from 1 September 2020, at a reduced capacity and with Covid-secure measures in place. Offices in Scotland and Ireland are on course to open for use in the same way soon after, pending further government announcements.

There’ll be plenty of materials to support those returning to the office, including this new series in The Weekly Brief. Each week, Let’s get back together will bring you the latest updates to collateral, as well as extra information on how to make the most of your experience when venturing into the office for the first time in a long time.

This week, we take a sneak peek behind the scenes as to what’s been happening at two of our offices to make them Covid-secure and talk about what’s next.

With offices in England the first to re-open, two of our Property Managers, Tony Redmond and Richard Priestley, and their teams, have been working tirelessly at Salford, Leeds, One Southampton Row and Stevenage to ensure everything is in place for those who want to use a central space.

“It’s been incredibly challenging at times” says Richard, “but nothing is more worthwhile than knowing we’ve done everything we can to keep our people safe.”

Let's get back together posters

“For those returning to an office, it will absolutely look and feel a lot different to how it was before. But everything’s been done in a warm, engaging way, even down to our signage – there’s no bright red and yellow emergency tape to be seen, thankfully!”

“There’s everything you’d expect from a safety point of view – droplet screens in reception, one way systems that allow for social distancing throughout, certain rooms and desks out of use – we’ve even installed movement sensor pads to open some of the doors so that people don’t have to touch them.”

On top of all the physical safety measures, Tony told us about the additional materials and communication that’s been created to support those returning: “We’ve installed new screens at reception in Salford and Leeds and upgraded the systems we use to provide content to the screens in One Southampton Row and Stevenage. These will be showing important information throughout the day to remind colleagues how to stay safe.”

“There’s a welcome booklet outlining all of the behaviours we expect people to display, and site-specific one pagers to give our people the detail they need, about things like where to put their bike if they want to cycle to work, and how they can send and collect post. All of these will be made available this week, so that colleagues can see for themselves what’s in place.”

So, what are the next steps for those who were based in a central office before Covid-19?

As our Re-opening our central offices survey continues to run, we’re sending out information packs to all Heads of Department this week, so that managers and teams can start having conversations about who would like to return to the office and when.

There’s no expectation that anybody who has been successfully working from home must return to the office.

In the meantime:

  • Complete the survey if you haven’t already by 21 August 2020
  • Check out this Welcome back guide for a flavour of what you can expect
  • Keep an eye on internal communication channels like Your_Sodexo over the coming weeks for the latest information and hints and tips

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