COVID-19: Reopening your Workplace

Working safely in your office


What can you be doing now?

Right now, you can start to think about the team that you need, what is critical to your business, and gathering information including floorplans, building maintenance schedules whilst identifying those that benefit most from being in the office.

How can you respond quickly to changing circumstances?

Establishing a taskforce with dedicated roles and responsibilities will help to manage the flow of new information and decision making. Our framework provides the freedom to adapt and adjust the measures that are needed.

How can you engage your people and build on their trust?

Core to the Framework is your people, communicating openly about their hopes, concerns and aspirations as we reinvigorate the workplace clearly explaining the changes and support that is available to them.

Our framework sets out the key phases you should consider as part of your strategy and planning. From helping you set up your team to the preparation of your physical space, we can provide support wherever you need help.




A multi-disciplinary team can help you quickly establish your principles and appetite for the changes you want to make. Your core taskforce team, led by one of your own senior team, or one of our consultants, will need to include facilities management, health and safety, IT, human resources and communications.




Chances are you may have much of this information already, e.g. floor plans and maintenance schedules. The aim of this step is to quickly understand any constraints with your building, the way you work and how your people are feeling.




Using virtual walk throughs of your office space we can identify the measures you need to put in place to keep your people and visitors safe and reduce risk. We can tell you how many desks and meeting rooms you can occupy safely.




Together with your team, we can devise one plan, covering all the technical changes and communications needed and advise on cost.




In these times, many businesses will have a need and process to approve expenditure as costs can be a sensitive consideration for many businesses right now. Helping you prepare and present your plan for executive or governance board approval is one of the core milestones.




Our project consultants can lead your team to implement the plan so that everything is ready and communicated ahead of Day One when your people return. We also think about Day One itself and helping staff on the first morning.




We need to be agile and adaptive in the following weeks and months responding to Government advice, legislation and the way your people are feeling and responding. We can help put in place the indicators and means to keep your people safe and your business operating effectively.

We will help you plan, communicate and move back into the office with new guidelines and policies to help protect the health of your people and your organisation.

In the short video below Liz Clements, Director of Workplace Strategy and Change at Avison Young explains the key points of our framework approach:

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Rethink and reconfigure your physical workplaces

Limit the number of people in each meeting space

Maintain rigorous cleaning schedules for facilities

Temperature checks and travel histories for visitors prior to entry

Realign planned maintenance tasks to ensure building readiness

Increase physical distance between workspaces

Get in touch

Want to check your plans with us? Our experts are on hand to talk through your options and give you a steer on your next steps.

Online discussions

As we look to the future post-lockdown, the return to the workplace continues to be a highly debated topic.

In our recent session of our Evolving Markets series, this workplace webinar focused on the key challenges our clients are facing, the process of returning to a work environment, insights into our approach and experience so far and, what impact this may have upon offices in the future.

You can view a recording of the webinar below.

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We had a fantastic response to the Q&A and were unable to answer all of your questions live so our panel have reviewed them all and provided an answer here:

For more information please contact:

Tony Burchett +44 (0)20 7911 2115 +44 (0)7967 353 147 tony.burchett@avisonyoung.com

Chris Dumas +44 (0)20 7911 2285 +44 (0)7971 151 321 chris.dumas@avisonyoung.com

Liz Clements +44 (0)20 7911 2203 +44 (0)7727 272 123 liz.clements@avisonyoung.com

Cerys Jones +44 (0)20 7911 2369 +44 (0)7957 388 230 cerys.jones@avisonyoung.com

For more on the virus’ potential #CRE impacts, read the latest briefings on our @AvisonYoung Resource Centre:

This webinar and Q&A document reflects our professional opinion of the factors impacting workplace transition in the context of our role as workplace specialists. It does not constitute formal advice and we recommend engagement with specialists, including your own internal or external health and safety advisors, if you are transitioning your workplace to a 'Covid secure' standard. Please also note that the Q&A contains responses to specific questions which therefore may not be appropriate for all types of businesses or workspaces. The spread of COVID-19 and the containment policies being introduced are changing rapidly, and some of the views expressed herein may not reflect the latest opinion of Avison Young. We strongly recommend that you continue to monitor the relevant UK Government advice, and any supplementary local advice. These sources provide regularly updated information on the COVID-19 outbreak: World Health Organization, Government of Canada, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UK Government, Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Case Tracker.