Anticipate team needs
As a real estate leader, we have to serve as a role model for our tenants, regardless of the circumstances. As soon as COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, we quickly made the necessary decisions to ensure our employees’ health, safety and physical integrity. We also began preparing for a return to the workplace, aiming to balance compliance with health measures and the experience we offer employees. Moreover, to maintain the Company’s sustainability, we sought to minimize the adverse effects of this exceptional situation on all members of our teams.
Reduce transmission risk
At the outset of the pandemic, we decided to eliminate all non-essential travel, in line with international efforts to limit its spread.
When possible and in compliance with government directives and health rules, we allowed employees to return to the workplace at their discretion. This hybrid office/telecommuting model continues to evolve in an agile way.
Monitor presumed and confirmed cases
The process we have put in place is designed to ensure the health and safety of our employees and their families, while respecting our obligations to keep such situations confidential. Our employees have all been informed of how to report suspected or confirmed cases of infection and have been made aware of the importance of complying with the procedures.
Identify new cases
If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, in conjunction with the public health authorities, we immediately investigate to determine whom the employee has been in contact with in the course of his or her work. As necessary, the person receives the appropriate instructions.
Manage transmission risks
If an employee is confirmed positive, protocols are in place to limit the spread of the virus, while protecting the identity of the affected person. Each case is evaluated and treated in accordance with public health guidelines.
Treat affected spaces
Our COVID-19 case management protocols cover a number of specific scenarios. If an employee infected with COVID-19 worked on the premises of a property managed by Ivanhoé Cambridge, the workplace is promptly disinfected thoroughly. In addition, notices are sent to the employees and stakeholders concerned.
Prevention of new cases
Any employees who have been in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 must follow public health directives, self-isolate and monitor their symptoms.
Oversee deconfinement and a gradual return to work
A rigorously planned and supervised return to the workplace will take place once local public health authorities give the green light. A protocol developed by a multidisciplinary committee in accordance with government guidelines has been implemented.
Managers have been given training and support for the planned return to the workplace. Employees are responsible for respecting physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, as well as wearing a procedural mask. To access the workplace, they must also submit a daily statement confirming that they have no symptoms. They undertake to comply with the employer’s COVID-19 prevention and symptom-identification measures and to notify their manager of any changes in their health during the day. No individual considered at risk according to public health criteria is allowed to go to the workplace.
In line with our business continuity approach and with a view to a return to work, managers are responsible for assessing their team’s level of resilience to a scenario involving a loss of key personnel; they must ensure that they have sufficient measures in place. In addition, a directive has been adopted to determine the percentage of a team’s employees who can be in the workplace simultaneously, in accordance with the team’s level of resilience. Finally, as business functions permit, rotating groups and schedules have been determined to limit the maximum occupancy rate per week in the workplace. This will ensure business continuity and prevent widespread transmission to employees.
Safe and healthy environment at head office
Hygiene and housekeeping measures have been stepped up in common areas. Workspaces have been reconfigured to meet the recommended physical distancing. Plexiglas screens and other zero-contact barriers have been installed, and traffic is determined by posted signage. At the same time, the plumbing systems have been checked, the frequency of air changes has been increased and high-quality MERV13 filters have been installed to ensure compliance with ASHRAE standards. Hand-sanitizing stations and mask dispensers have also been added at strategic points.