Our commitment to you
Keeping You Safe | Our Commitment
Throughout this challenging period, the safety of our members and our employees has always been our priority. We understand that you need to know in some detail the measures that we have put in place to help keep you safe as you begin to come back to your workspaces. We know that you will expect innovative approaches to a difficult challenge – how to make our buildings as safe as possible while preserving the unique quality of the working environment that our members expect from us.
These measures include:
All of our own employees are being fully trained on the measures that we are putting in place and their role in implementing and maintaining them. There have been significant changes to our health and safety guidance and protocols, and every employee has been informed of these updates, and those requiring specific trained have received it. This means that the TOG teams supporting your building are fully equipped to support our members as they transition back to work.
We know from the Leesman Index member survey that cleanliness and hygiene in your TOG offices is a key concern and we have taken a number of important steps to ensure that these concerns are addressed prior to your return. We all know that the cleaning of surfaces reduces infection risk. Prior to your return to our buildings, we have ensured that all common areas and members’ offices have been deep cleaned to medical standards and our air filtration systems have been checked and serviced. On an ongoing basis we have put in place a stringent cleaning regime in all common areas in our buildings.
- Hand sanitiser stations will be available at all entrances, receptions common parts of our buildings.
- We have implemented an improved cleaning specification within high-traffic and high-risk areas, including all common areas, lift lobbies, gyms and kitchen areas.
- Shared spaces will have antibacterial wipes and cleaning materials for personal use.
- We will implement enhanced common area sanitisations (fogging) in our common areas on a regular basis.
Air quality improvements
We are upgrading the quality of our air filtration systems, increasing our fresh air intake and restricting the re-circulation of air within our buildings. We have recently changed our service providers, introduced additional maintenance visits and increased our engineering resource to deliver improved standards of air quality to our members in all our buildings.
Monitoring and reporting
We have a responsibility to keep everyone safe, and part of this means monitoring the health of our employees. All TOG building team employees will have their temperatures checked on arrival at work and before they leave. They will also report to us if they have developed any COVID-19 symptoms while away from work and will self-isolate in line with government guidance. We will pass on the news of a possible infection to those members who may have been in contact with the employee concerned and initiate any necessary cleaning procedures.
We are asking all members to report to us if they have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms so that we can include this information in our monitoring and reporting. In line with GDPR regulations, this data will be stored securely and will be destroyed as soon as it becomes unnecessary for us to keep hold of it. We will of course respect your right to anonymity in this regard and any potential COVID-19 case will not be identified by name.
We hope it goes without saying that any member who is aware they have COVID-19 symptoms or has been in close contact (for example, in the same household) with someone who is displaying symptoms should self-isolate in line with PHE guidelines, and not return to a TOG workspace until they have completed this period of isolation.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is now also becoming a part of our life – and not just in our medical facilities. An appropriate level of PPE helps reduce the risk of infection in the workplace, and we will implement the wearing of PPE by our employees in areas where it is appropriate for them to do so.
Although we are not going to require our members to wear PPE, we understand that some of you may want to provide items of PPE for your employees to wear in your offices and potentially on their journeys to and from the office. We will be offering this and other relevant consumables at cost should you wish to purchase any.
Physical distancing measures
Effective physical distancing has been vital in reducing infections so far and we know from the Leesman Index member survey that you are keen to ensure that we have the right distancing protocols in place before your return. We have worked hard to ensure that physical distancing will be possible in all TOG workspaces when they are open again and have closely followed government guidelines in this regard. There are a number of areas where physical distancing measures have been introduced:
Measures have been put in place to ensure that both our employees, and those entering or visiting our buildings are as safe as possible.
During this period, we will request that all visitors and members respect physical distancing at reception. There will be floor markings in place to indicate spacing recommendations and we will expect our members and their guests to abide by them.
We will no longer be using touch iPads for sign-in. Instead, our building team will sign you in and out using their reception laptop. It is more important than ever that lounge members and guests check in.
We will still provide postal services as normal although access to post rooms may be restricted to certain times of the day in order to protect our employees. Details of the post room operations in your buildings will be clearly communicated on your return.
In those buildings that have more than one entrance, we will be implementing a one-way system in order to ensure that physical distancing is possible at point of entry and exit.
Coworking and communal spaces
We will request that all our members respect the 2-metre physical distancing guidance while working from our shared social and workspaces. In practical terms this means some significant changes in the way they can be used.
The number of available spaces in our lounge and coworking areas will be reduced by up to half, as our members will no longer be able to sit opposite and in some cases behind each other.
We will be allocating dedicated desks to our coworking members that will be fixed in a home building. We have created additional coworking spaces within the portfolio to ensure everyone has a dedicated desk. We will be communicating the details of this directly with all coworking members in advance of your return. We have adapted our lounges, where we can, to facilitate physical distancing and will be managing this space on a first come, first served daily basis. We will be as flexible and accommodating as possible using all available space to provide you with a desk or workspace that ensures everyone’s safety.
As we are carefully managing building capacities across the network, unfortunately, we will not be offering our workplace drop-in service for virtual members until further notice.
Throughout our common areas and coworking spaces we will ensure appropriate signposting is very visible, including distancing and traffic flow directional floor markings and information signage. We will be asking you to only use alternate seats to leave space between people. We will also be rearranging our furniture layouts in all shared spaces to encourage physical distancing further.
Focus and phone booths
Small spaces such as phone booths, focus booths and meditation rooms will only accommodate one person moving forward. We will sign-post and ask that all staff and members respect the 2-metre rule in all smaller and closed areas, including bike storage, post rooms, kitchens and terraces.
In addition, all our kitchen areas will have hand sanitiser, anti-bacterial wipes and cleaning products available for personal use when using the coffee machines, shared amenities and consumables.
Although the Leesman Index member survey demonstrates that 94% of members have access to video and audio-conferencing services at home, it is clear that in some cases nothing can replace physical meetings with clients and other business contacts. Our new meeting room policy aims to address this need while keeping you safe.
Until further notice we have reduced the capacity of our meeting rooms in order to allow users to observe the 2-metre distancing advice effectively.
Where possible, we will automatically upgrade our members to a larger meeting room on booking, free of charge, in order to allow them to meet together safely.
Meeting rooms will be stocked with antibacterial wipes and cleaners for personal use. We will also be allowing longer change over periods to allow our teams time to clean the room thoroughly and to ensure adequate air flow between each meeting. We will also be moving all white board pens from the rooms to avoid risk of cross contamination.
We will be significantly increasing our Zoom capabilities and rolling out Zoom video conferencing technology across all of our buildings and adding 66 new Zoom enhanced meeting rooms to our portfolio – allowing you to include more people in meetings from remote locations.
Our meeting room food services offering will be limited to a pre-packaged food offering until further notice. Further details of this will be provided by your building teams on your return.
Our cafés and coffee counters will be closed until further notice. When it is safe to reopen we recognise that on opening, our cafés need to continue to operate effectively, but we need to ensure that our users stay safely distanced. You will see that a traffic management policy and revised seating is in place, with restrictions on the number of members and employees who can be in the café areas at any one time.
We have installed Perspex screens on all our counters and all food served in our cafés will come pre-wrapped in order to reduce infection risk. In addition, our staff working in café areas will be equipped with appropriate PPE. Please note our cafés will no longer be able to accept cash payments. We have also suspended all bar services until further notice.
Showers and washrooms
In line with other common areas, our showers and washrooms will be cleaned more frequently. Antibacterial wipes will be available for members to use in order to clean surfaces before and after use. We also kindly ask that our members do not leave any personal possessions in these spaces at this time.
The good news from the Leesman Index member survey is that 76% of our members have managed to stay physically active in lockdown. Unfortunately, in line with government guidance our gyms will remain closed until further notice, however, we will open them as soon as we are able. Until such a time that we can safely reopen the gyms, we encourage people to walk or cycle to our buildings, and our bike storage and showers will be deep-cleaned and ready to use if you want to make use of them.
On opening, there will be restrictions on the number of people who can use our gym facilities at any one time. These restrictions will depend on the size of the facility in question and will be clearly signposted at point of entry. Antibacterial wipes will be available for members to use in order to clean surfaces and equipment before and after use.
We ask members to follow physical distancing measures while waiting in lift lobbies and use the stairs where they can (always keeping left). Lift limits will vary from building to building depending on the size and number of lifts available. These will be communicated clearly in your building. Note that people with disabilities will be prioritised for accessing lifts.
We have developed and implemented extensive signage for use throughout our buildings. These will give clear instructions to members, guests and our employees on the availability of hand sanitisers, traffic management and expected safe use of our common areas. Our signage will be updated and adapted as and when government advice on office working is updated. We will also display signs advising members on best practice we would like them to follow in terms of physical distancing and hygiene while they are in our buildings, as a consideration to other members and TOG building employees.
Although it is likely that not everyone will want to return to their offices immediately, we also can see that the distancing measures both within members’ offices and in the common areas may mean that capacity in our buildings is reduced.
We understand that some of the businesses we support will want to change the number of desks that are in their offices in order to follow government guidelines on physical distancing. Some may require additional space, and some may decide to change the location of their office to facilitate easy commuting and minimise reliance on public transport. Some may require advice on changing the layout of their offices or may require different furniture – for example smaller desks and partitions. We are happy to discuss all the options with you – please do get in touch with your building manager in the first instance.
We also want to ensure that where possible, members can reduce occupancy in their offices by encouraging colleagues to work safely in coworking spaces and other common areas. To reflect this, we have stopped selling all forms of coworking memberships until further notice and have applied lower capacity limits in shared spaces to all of our buildings to give priority to, and accommodate as much as possible, our existing members’ new space needs
In line with the significant changes to our buildings and the way they are going to operate we have also developed updated policies and procedures around emergencies. These will be communicated to our members on a building by building basis.
Return to Work | Supporting our members
Go back to our Return to Work page to read about the steps we’re taking.
Keeping safe | What you can do
How we’re asking you and your teams to respond to the guidelines.
Keeping safe | How we can help you
Additional ways we can help you stay safe with some bespoke services.