Recently, the BC government released its Restart Plan that lists the steps we can take together as we start to return to the “new normal” from the COVID-19 response. In this plan, we are reminded that it has been our commitment to Work From Home and the following recommendations from authorities that have allowed us to slow the growth of this pandemic. While we should congratulate ourselves on our success thus far in flattening the curve in Brtish Columbia, however, we also need to remember that we’re not out of the weeds yet.
At Tsunami Solutions (SafetyLine Lone Worker’s parent company) we deeply care about the health and safety of our customers, employees, and communities. As a leader in the safety, tech, and lone-worker industries, it is crucial that Tsunami has an effective and robust return-to-work plan for our awesome team. This plan is how we are going to create a “New Normal” for how we operate at Tsunami over the next 12 months or more. It is subject to change based on health officer recommendations and employees will be notified of any changes as they are implemented.
The goal of our comprehensive Return to Work Plan is to ensure that we continue to follow the recommendations of the health authorities and our municipal, provincial, and federal governments.
We are committed to the following:
First of all, we will follow, very closely, the Provincial Health Officer’s lead on all matters pertaining to COVID-19. All policies are subject to change and will be updated to reflect the changes and recommendations from municipal, provincial, and federal governments.
Flexible and Cautious
No employee is permitted to come to work if they show any signs of sickness. For those who wish to return to working in-office regularly, they must complete a fit-for-work report before leaving home daily. If you don’t feel well, please complete a COVID self-assessment.
Employees are encouraged to continue working from home until it is determined on a case-by-case basis that returning to work is the best solution for productivity and/or health reasons for each individual and their specific job role. Work arrangements are all upon approval of management for each individual and reviewed at a minimum annually. For those working at home, Tsunami will provide access to all necessary equipment when at home. All other expenses, for example internet and power, are the responsibility of the employee.
Those higher-risk or vulnerable employees who wish to stay home and/or are unable to return to the offices will be asked to work from home until there is a vaccine available, treatment available and/or community immunity has been reached. Accommodation of work schedules is available for these self-identified individuals.
We will also be ramping up our HR practices including increasing commitment to ongoing employee feedback and adding to our Employee Wellness Program and mental health benefits.
New Office Structure
No more than 6 employees will be permitted in an office space at any given time. The fit-for-work assessment tool will only approve for 6 employees at any given day at any office. Any employee that shares desk space or has less than a 2-meter proximity to other employees, must not work in office during the same period. Alternatively, desks can be moved to create distancing if appropriate.
Anyone not employed by Tsunami will not be permitted into the office spaces for any reason except for cleaning staff. Courier deliveries must be accepted outside of the building as per the front door signage requesting notification. No visitors or customers are permitted on site.
New Office Protocols
Handwashing or hand-sanitizing is mandatory when entering any office and physical touching will not be allowed (including hand shaking). Additionally, the kitchen and coffee stations are closed until further notice. Meal and coffee breaks are to be taken at your desk while preparing or eating food.
The use of common areas including the printer/scanner and washrooms are for individual use only. It is the responsibility of the employee that all common areas must be cleaned before and after each use with the cleaning products provided. Non-medical masks are encouraged when moving around within office spaces and will be provided by Tsunami. Adding to that, we encourage having open windows (weather permitting) to increase air ventilation.
Tsunami team members are responsible for thoroughly cleaning their office workstations at the end of their workday using the cleaning products provided. High-touch areas such as the front door handle and common-area seating and counter spaces must be wiped down daily by the first and last person entering or exiting the office with the cleaning supplies and gloves provided.
We will communicate through our internal online channels as well as physical posters will be displayed in office common areas reminding employees of COVID information as well as what compliance is expected of Tsunami employees.
Meetings of more than 6 people must be held online only, whether working in office or remotely.
Any employee who has travelled for work or pleasure out of province must self-isolate for 14 days immediately upon their return. During that time, they can either work from home or access sick or vacation time if needed. And most importantly, employees must consult national travel advice before going on all business trips or vacations.
Practice What We Preach
Like our amazing customers, Tsunami/SafetyLine Lone Worker staff must be monitored at all times by using our SafetyLine lone-working monitoring solution throughout their workday whether working at home or in office.
8-Step Guide to Reducing the COVID-19 Risk for Your Workers
As provincial governments across Canada ease months-long restrictions allowing employees to return to their offices, the new reality is that these places won’t be the same as we left them. The new normal will entail increasingly structured workplaces that are more mindful of stopping the spread of COVID-19. For the foreseeable future, there will be new routines and procedures that we will need to enforce and become accustomed to, seemingly normal ways of doing things that will need to be shifted in order to protect team members from potential infection of the notorious virus.
Download Our Helpful 8 Step Guide to Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 for Your Workers:
Resources for the Plan
Here are some resources that helped us determine our strategy for going back to work at this time. When developing this comprehensive plan, we consulted the pages and documents from the BC Government, WorkSafeBC, the Society for Human Resources Management and the World Health Organization below.
- BC’s Restart Plan: Next steps to move BC through the pandemic
- Key Steps to Safely Operating Your Business or Organization and Reducing COVID-19 Transmission
- COVID-19 and returning to safe operation
- Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19
- BC Public Service COVID-19 Response Overview
- Revise Policies to Facilitate Return to Work