Wates reveals ‘Covid-secure’ construction offices


Wates has revealed preparations to make its offices Covid-secure ahead of staff returning to work.

The contractor is applying many site-initiatives to its offices to reassure white-collar workers.

Chief Executive David Allen has confirmed offices will not be re-opening before the start of July at the earliest.

Specialist teams from Wates Facilities Management have put together a five-step plan to make premises safe with the company’s headquarters in Leatherhead used as an example in a staff video.

Allen said: “At this time, anyone who can work from home should continue to do so. I appreciate that this brings with it a number of challenges for many, but we must continue to follow the Government guidelines to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our people, which remains our top priority, both in offices and on site.

“We’ve started to discuss how we can reopen our offices safely when the time is right.

“We’ll be following the safety protocols and risk assessments the Government has introduced as well as using the five-step process devised by Wates FM to guide us.

“We’re also implementing much of the best practice that has been demonstrated across our sites, which have been operating safely during the pandemic.

“This has involved implementing social distancing measures in site offices, which can typically be quite cramped spaces, but I’ve been incredibly impressed with how they’ve approached this in-line with site operating procedures, which has shown us what’s possible as we think about our corporate offices.”

“One of the key things we’ve learnt from our site environments is that we can work safely, but only when we have fewer people in our workplaces at any one time.

“As such, whilst the requirement is to remain two metres apart, we’ll be limiting the number of people that can work from our offices at any one time and are exploring options like hot desking and shift working to support this.

“When we do open our offices, we’ll implement a phased return, initially prioritising access for those who need it most. “

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