COVID 19 Safety Plan: London
In order to adhere to UK Government Guidance, we have assessed our workplace in order to identify places where the risk of transmission is introduced. This plan has been developed to mitigate risk and ensure the health and safety of our owls. We will continue to assess the workplace after operations resume to ensure risks are identified and managed.
This Safety Plan has been drafted to comply with the guidance provided by the government for offices, a copy of which can be found here.
The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways, including through droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, or from touching a contaminated surface before touching the face. The best way to protect owls is to remind them to wash their hands often and follow precautions to keep themselves and others safe, and encourage them to stay home if they’re unwell.
As an organization, we commit to implementing strict cleaning protocols, providing ample hand sanitizing stations and disinfecting wipes, and require owls to wear masks in the office.
A re-orientation video has been developed and will be mandatory viewing for each owl returning to the office. This video will reinforce the new normal for the office environment and the things we are doing to keep them safe.
Our New Normal
To ensure a safe and healthy work environment, we will require owls returning to the office to formally acknowledge by signing our Office Re-Entry Agreement to confirm that:
- they are not currently experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19;
- have not been exposed to anyone (that they know of) who actively has COVID-19 or has symptoms within the last 14 days;
- and they will comply with the new code of conduct.
New Code of Conduct:
- Safety first: We welcome owls back into the office, but please act responsibly to keep everyone safe. Stay home if you have any flu-like symptoms and inform your manager if you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
- Wear a mask: You are required to wear a mask while moving around in the office and encouraged to do so while commuting on public transportation.
- Maintain Physical Distance: You must maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from other owls at all times and practice physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.
- Follow directional signage: You must comply with directional signage in tea points, kitchens, hallways, elevators, meeting rooms, bathrooms and on floors.
- No visitors: Hootsuite is restricting visitors to our offices for the foreseeable future. Do not bring any customers, friends or interviewees into the office.
- Do your part to keep the office clean: You are required to disinfect your workstations and chairs at the end of every day.
In order to slowly reintroduce owls back into our offices, we have developed a phased approach. The balance of our workforce will continue to work from home for the immediate future. We will continue to review and adjust plans throughout the phases as necessary.
- Phase 1B: 15% of the workforce (16 owls) will be able to return to the London office. This offer will be open to those owls that need/want to come back into the office.
- Phase 2: 30% of the workforce (32 owls) will be able to return to the office.
- Phase 3: Full workforce is allowed to return to office.
A full overview of what LABS have done to address the UK Government's criteria for ‘Offices and Contact Centres’ can be found here.
New Cleaning Protocols:
Hootsuite has worked with LABS to provide more frequent cleaning of kitchens, bathrooms, elevator buttons, door handles, meeting room door handles and all other high touch surfaces. Cleaning crews will be sanitizing all workstations (clear desk policy required) once a day from Monday to Friday.
Additional hand sanitizing stations and disinfecting wipes will be provided around the office. Owls will be required to sanitize their workstations at the beginning and end of every day. Owls are encouraged to use a paper towel to open bathroom doors, and extensive signage has been installed to remind owls to wash their hands often and avoid touching their faces.
Shared Kitchen Equipment
Owls will be required to bring their own cutlery, dishes and mugs to work and will be responsible for cleaning their own dishes. Hand sanitizer will be provided in kitchens so that owls can sanitize their hands after touching fridge/microwave door handles.
Hootsuite has worked with LABS to rework HVAC systems so that there is an increased air flow pushing more fresh air, and all HVAC systems will be run longer every day.
There will be signage throughout the office to encourage owls to follow the code of conduct, adhere to directional signage, use hand sanitizing stations, how to put on and take off a mask etc.
Maintaining Physical Distancing
Physically distanced space plan
The London office space plans have been adjusted to reflect physical distancing requirements, ensuring there is a minimum of 2 meters between owls. Owls will be assigned a desk that they will use for all of Phase 1, regardless of how many days they are working in the office. Owls that work together regularly will be assigned seats in the same area. Departments will be limited in the size of teams able to work in the office - in order to prevent entire teams from being impacted in the event of an outbreak in the office.
LABS has installed directional signage in common hallways and (where needed), tea points, kitchens, bathrooms and stairwells, and are running elevators at a reduced capacity allowing for social distancing. At our request, they are installing signage in our workspace to ensure owls maintain physical distancing and follow other guidelines.
Owls will be required to wear masks while in the office. When working at desks and abiding by physical distancing, they will be able to remove their masks. However, when in common areas (bathrooms, kitchens etc), owls will be required to wear their masks. Hootsuite will provide reusable masks for all owls in the office, and if they forget their reusable masks disposable ones will be available for their use. It is also recommended that they wear masks if they are using public transportation to and from work. Signage will be provided throughout the offices on how to safety put masks on and off.
Small meeting rooms will be closed, and larger meeting rooms will have their capacity reduced during Phase 1B. Phone booths will be available for use, however will need to be cleaned before and after use.
Personal Mail/Courier Delivery/Pickup
During Phase 1B, we encourage personal mail delivery to the office to be avoided to help control the amount of people entering the office during this phase of reopening, reduce handling by the LABS front desk team, and keep our returning owls safe!
One meeting room (South Wingledon) will be designated an “isolation room” in the event an owl becomes sick while working in the office. This room will be labelled and unavailable for other uses. It will have a wooden chair that is easy to disinfect, hand sanitizer, disposable masks and other materials to ensure the owl is comfortable while a ride home is coordinated. Owls who need to make use of the Isolation Room will need to follow the reporting protocol detailed below.
Feeling sick while in office
In the event of an owl feeling unwell while in a Hootsuite office, the following steps will be taken.
- Owl notifies their manager that they are feeling unwell.
- Manager will:
- Direct the owl to the designated isolation room (South Wingledon) until they can be sent home or receive medical attention.
- Send the owl home and instruct them to contact their local health authority for guidance, stay away from the office and self-monitor for 14 days
- Communicate with their People Partner if COVID-19 symptoms arise.
- People Partner will connect with Global Facilities to pull an access report and notify impacted owls, on a confidential basis, that they may have come into contact with someone feeling unwell and that they should stay home from the office and self-monitor for 14 days.
- Owl: If the owl confirms a COVID-19 case, or if the symptoms suggest a COVID-19 case, additional steps will be taken as per below.
Positive diagnosis while working in the office
In the event an owl has a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 and they have been working in a Hootsuite office, the following steps will be taken:
- Manager emails their People Partner to notify of a positive diagnosis. The manager communicates to the owl with a positive diagnosis that they will be required to stay home until 14 days have passed.
- People Partner notifies Global Facilities of the location the owl was working in and the last day they were in the office. People Partner does not disclose the name of the owl.
- Global Facilities will:
- Work with LABS to request access reports for the last 14 days. If access reports are not available, all owls that were working in the office during the 14 day period before diagnosis will be asked to work from home for a further 14 days before coming back to the office.
- Post on Workplace that all owls working in that location must go home immediately and access will be revoked for 48 hours due to a COVID-19 positive case.
- Connect with the co-working team to have building sanitization scheduled and cancel all desk bookings for the next 48 hours in that location (notifying owls of the cancellation). Other contractors / vendors that may have been exposed will also be contacted.
- People Partner will review access reports and cross reference the times the owl was in the building. People Partner will notify those that have crossed paths with the unidentified owl that they need to self-quarantine for 14 days. If the owl came into significant contact with a large number of colleagues, consider whether to voluntarily contact public health authorities to receive advice and assistance. If the owl has reason to believe that the infection occurred at the workplace or in the course of employment, work with Legal to determine whether to notify the regulator.
- Global Facilities will communicate via Workplace when access is available again.
Risk Identification and Mitigation (Guidance from Health & Safety Executive)
Areas of concern
Risk Mitigation Strategy
Adequate Hand Washing
High risk transmission / traffic areas
Meeting rooms, phone booths, kitchens, bathrooms
Workstations, communal areas, meeting rooms
Managing team risk
Interviews/meetings are being done virtually, no onsite meetings
Sales calls are being done virtually, no onsite meetings
Printers, Google Meet hardware, kitchen equipment
High touch surfaces
Door handles, elevator buttons, photocopy buttons, light switches, desks
Ongoing communications and updates
Hootsuite Executives will continue to provide frequent and transparent communications on Workplace as long as is required. This plan will be a living document and will be updated and revised as we move through phases. Hootsuite has an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) offering a wide range of confidential and voluntary support services to assist you and your family with resolving everyday challenges, complex issues, and everything in-between.