6 steps to safely reopen your workplace, from Cushman & Wakefield

by Brianna Crandall — April 24, 2020 — In its quest to lead the development of best practices, products and partnerships to prepare clients for post-pandemic recovery and the eventual return to the workplace, global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has just released Recovery Readiness: A How-to Guide for Reopening your Workplace, a comprehensive guide for real estate tenants and landlords on reopening workplaces as COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions are lifted.

The new guide follows the creation of the firm’s Recovery Readiness Task Force (RRTF) and the launch of its new social distancing product, Six Feet Office, and is accompanied by a Recovery Readiness webinar.

John Forrester, president of Cushman & Wakefield and executive chair of the RRTF, stated:

It is extremely important to the health and safety of people around the world that organizations take well-thought-through precautions when introducing their employees back to the workplace. Our workplace experts, in conjunction with our top researchers, have created this guide to make this monumental migration from home more approachable — with quick and customizable solutions that are cost-effective to implement.

In creating the Recovery Readiness guide, the firm leveraged insights and best practices from its recent experience moving 10,000 companies and nearly a million workers back into 800 million square feet of buildings it manages in China through a joint venture with Vanke Service, as well as best practices and strategies the firm’s more than 53,000 professionals have compiled across the globe and with the help of insights from partners.

The guide outlines “The Safe Six” workplace readiness essentials:

  1. Prepare the Building — Implement cleaning plans, pre-return inspections, and HVAC and mechanical checks
  2. Prepare the Workforce — Create policies for deciding who returns, shift/schedule management and employee communications
  3. Control Access — Enforce protocols for safety and health checks, building reception, shipping/receiving, elevators and visitor policies
  4. Create a Social Distancing Plan — Follow guidelines for decreasing density, schedule management and office traffic patterns
  5. Reduce Touch Points & Increase Cleaning — Implement open doors, clean-desk policy, food plans and regular cleaning of common areas
  6. Communicate for Confidence — Recognize the fear employees may feel in returning, communicate transparently, and listen/survey regularly

Despina Katsikakis, head of Workplace Business Performance at Cushman & Wakefield, concluded:

The migration back to places of business will look different for every organization, but the principles outlined in this guide are applicable to nearly every real estate owner and occupier. As we navigate the complexity of this unprecedented situation together, our experts will continue to provide general guidance as well as bespoke solutions to our clients at every step of the way.

Recovery Readiness: A How-to Guide for Reopening your Workplace is available to download from the Cushman & Wakefield website. Also see The Six Feet Office concept, and watch the replay of the Recovery Readiness webinar and download slides.

For updates and information on the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the economy, the workplace, investments, “Newcommerce,” industries and sustainability, and to find out more about Cushman & Wakefield’s real estate services, visit the firm’s Recovery Readiness page.