Our response to COVID-19
Our response to COVID-19
The safety of our people comes first.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, keeping our people safe has been at the forefront of all our minds. We reacted quickly, making the relevant changes to the way we work. With many of our colleagues working from home through this time, we’ve been able to follow all Government guidelines at Think Park to provide a COVID-secure workplace for those at the office.
We’re proud to say our thinkers continue to follow the advice and guidelines we provide, making this a real team effort.
Here you’ll find some useful documents showing what we’ve done to keep Think Park safe. We’ve also put together a list of answers to the more common questions people might have.
Think Park COVID-19 FAQs
Q How does Think Park and our office continue to remain a safe place?
A We have undertaken a full Risk Assessment and review this regularly to ensure the safety of those working at Think Park. You will also see we have our display of attestation both in Think Park Building 1 and also online which confirms our standards. The full risk assessment will be accessible on the intranet.
Q How can we get to and from Think Park during this situation?
A As per government guidelines, we encourage all colleagues who need to travel to Think Park, to do so via their own vehicle, or by walking or cycling. Due to the lower number of colleagues on site currently, we have extended on-site parking facilities to all colleagues currently working on site. Please speak to your Team Leader or HR to arrange this.
Q Will we need to wear masks and gloves at work?
A No, the Government has confirmed that minimising contact, social distancing, increased hand and surface washing, remain the best ways of managing risk in the workplace. For those of you travelling on public transport or the WaWa, the latest Government advice is ‘If you can, wear a face covering if you need to use public transport’. Wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by the law.
Q Is the thinkmoney shuttle bus still running?
A Yes, the thinkmoney shuttle bus service is still in place, providing services to and from Cornbrook Metrolink station. The timetable is largely unchanged despite a reduced passenger demand. The latest timetable can be found on the bubble.
Q Is the thinkmoney shuttle bus clean?
A Yes, it is thoroughly cleaned every morning and wiped down after every journey. We have also installed hand sanitiser for the passengers to use.
Q Should I cover my face on the thinkmoney shuttle bus?
A The latest Government advice is, ‘If you can, wear a face covering if you need to use public transport’. As the evidence suggests wearing a face covering may help to protect others if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas. Wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by the law. If you choose to wear one, it is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and after taking them off. We have also made sanitiser available and we are doing our best to ensure the seating available is socially distant where practicable.
Q How can we social distance on the thinkmoney shuttle bus?
A We have marked out the best seating options to maximise distance between passengers. However, there may be situations where you cannot keep a suitable distance from people, for example, when boarding or alighting, on busier services, at busier times of day and when walking through interchanges. In these cases you should avoid physical contact, try to face away from other people, and keep the time you spend near others as short as possible.
Q Are face masks the same as surgical masks / respirators?
A No. A face covering is not the same as those used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment (PPE). These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risk in the workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards.
Q Is there a limit to how many people will be allowed into the office?
A Yes, there will be due to the need to maintain social distancing. At the moment this isn’t an issue as there are only a few colleagues on site performing essential tasks.
However, we are assessing the maximum capacity of all Think Park buildings on a floor by floor basis. This will then be fed back to each department to determine how many colleagues from each area may be able to safely return to site and still keep in line with the Governments recommendations.
For the foreseeable future, remote working will continue and we will continue to review this approach.
The overriding point is that we will be taking actions to keep Think Park a safe environment, and therefore, keep colleagues safe.
Q If the canteen is closed, how can I get my lunch?
A Currently, we are providing a pre-packed lunch to all colleagues working on site, which is being delivered to the floors for you. When Think Park starts to welcomes more colleagues back to the site, the provision from Think Central may change but it will be in line with Government Guidelines and will most likely be on the basis of a take-away service only. The microwaves are still accessible should you wish to bring in your own food in – just please look out for the floor markings to maintain your distancing.
Q Is the office clean?
A Yes. Our cleaners have been undertaking a dedicated cleaning programme while the offices have been emptier than usual. Also, the frequency of cleaning has increased during this time with more cleaning activity, such as cleaning door handles and surfaces during office hours.
We would ask that all colleagues help out with this, ensuring that your personal belongings are kept in your locker and the wardrobes during your shift, and taken with you when you finish. We have had a long standing clear desk policy that we need you all to help maintain, which will in turn allow the cleaners to complete their work more efficiently and to the highest standard.
Q There are lots of new signs around – should I be concerned?
A No, the signage is designed to help and inform. The signage will change to reflect any updates or changes to the information we receive, particularly from the Government. The recommendations to social distance are unusual for us all, and as such we want to help you maintain them with some reminders.
Q Should I be concerned about the Air Conditioning?
A All of our mechanical AC and ventilation is maintained to industry standards, and we are working closely with our Contractors who are experts in this area to ensure our systems are maintained in the best possible manner, with regular servicing to keep everything in top condition.
Q Can you install more sanitiser stations?
A Yes. Not only have all the hand soap stations throughout the buildings been upgraded, we have installed sanitising points on each office floor throughout Buildings 1 and 2. In addition to this, we have provided sanitising stations in each kitchenette and printer area to enable you to wipe down equipment before and after use in places where multiple people may come into contact.
Q The sanitiser is empty – what do I do?
A We do monitor levels on a regular basis throughout the day, but in the event of a sanitiser running out or being low, please contact Facilities and let them know as soon as possible.
Q Can I use the sprays at the printer and kitchen areas to clean my own desk?
A No – we have put these in place specifically for colleagues to use for printers and kitchens etc. Please ensure this is left there for others to use as needed.
Q Will there be one way systems in place for the office?
A No. At this time there is such a low occupancy on site, all colleagues are able to observe social distancing with a common sense approach. In addition to new and improved signage reflecting the latest Government advice being put up around the office, new 2m distancing markers will be put in the office floors to aid us all in keeping 2m apart. These measures will continue to be reviewed as colleagues begin to return to working on site to ensure they are sufficient and practicable.
Q Are you shutting down the lifts?
A No. We encourage all colleagues to use the stairs where possible – and recommend keeping to the left hand side at all times to avoid bumping into someone coming down the opposite way! We do realise that for some, this may make life difficult - even including our maintenance man carrying his tools and equipment up the stairs! What we are doing is recommending that the lifts, and other confined spaces, are restricted to single person occupancy, where it is impossible to otherwise maintain social distancing. As for the lift buttons, aside from enhanced cleaning, there will be more hand sanitising and hand washing options available to keep you at ease.
Q Can we still have meetings?
A Yes! But the world as we knew it has changed! More and more of us are becoming accustomed to Zoom meetings and video calls.
External guests can visit virtually and this all helps us maintain our social distances.
If a group does need to get together in an office, we have specified maximum recommended occupancies in each of our meeting spaces, helping us all to maintain our distance as easily as possible.
Q Will we see screens up between all the desks?
A At present – no. We have sufficient space to make sure no one is sat within 2m and wherever possible colleagues are not sitting opposite one another, so additional screens are not needed at this time. However, we are reviewing the options available to us for consideration as more colleagues start to return to Think Park.
Q Can you put paper towels in all of the toilets?
A We currently have multiple hand-dryers in each of the areas, but no paper towel facility. While we recognise there is the recommendation for paper towels to open doors on exiting the restrooms, this would also result in needing to put extra bins around the floors as well. However, while we review our options, we are installing additional sanitising points so that all colleagues can sanitise their hands on each of the floors.
Q If we have sanitiser, do I need to wash my hands?
A Yes – definitely! Sanitiser helps in situations where you are unable to wash your hands, but nothing beats washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. With an improved soap in all the dispensers around Think Park, you will find plenty of places where this can be done.
Q Will I be able to hot-desk?
A Not at present. Because of the nature of the virus, we are implementing designated workstations and attribute these to specific individuals who are working on site currently. This allows for a socially distant layout to be maintained with minimal disruption.
Q Can we use the showers and bike lockers in the gym?
A Currently we are following guidelines and the Gym is closed – this includes all facilities in the area, such as showers and bike lockers. This is under review to see how we can enable people to use these facilities and keep distance with other users, especially for those who choose to cycle or run to and from work.
Q I am a First Aider, how can I do this and Social Distance?
A First Aiders are a vital part of our team at Think Park and help to look after all colleagues who might fall ill or be injured. Safety is of the utmost importance and we appreciate that the nature of this role will bring you into close proximity and likely contact with other colleagues. In order to help you continue to do your roles to the best of your ability, we are providing you with guidance and additional PPE for both you and those you might be treating.
Q What if there is a fire?
A Social distancing recommendations are there to keep us all safe in the current climate. This should not prevent an orderly exit in the event of an evacuation being required. It is always important in any case to consider the welfare of others when evacuating the buildings, perhaps more so during this time.
Q Will the tenants be on site or considered as part of our plans?
A Yes. We have been engaged with them throughout this situation and they are keen to follow the measures we put in place for Think Park.