Here we all are, almost a year into the biggest crisis in our lifetime. The challenges of handling a global pandemic caused by COVID19 has been huge for everyone in the UK and across the world. None of us fully understood the effect that a coronavirus could have on our daily lives.
Unlike the first UK lockdown where everyone, other than essential workers were told to stay at home, our doors were closed and our tenants choose to work from home, apart from popping in to collect post and parcels a couple of times a week. As with so many other businesses, our own staff were furloughed and we stayed at home, abiding by the restrictions set out by the UK government.
Sadly, as the lockdown and restrictions continued, businesses were forced to furlough more staff and teams got smaller. Some business owners here at the centre chose to downsize their operation and no longer needed a formal office space to return to. Another remote worker was made redundant as all operations were taken back to the head office. So, we saw tenancy agreements being cancelled entirely or amended with huge losses of revenue for us as a business.
Much to our relief in May, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, announced the release from lockdown, so our site maintenance team jumped into action to complete a very thorough deep clean of the entire building including carpets, furniture, toilets and kitchens. The management team utilised the time to make some keys changes in the organisation of the building, supplies and archiving with a good old fashioned and much needed clear out. The communal areas and some office spaces were painted and reorganised and the reception desk was reinstated. The key to our processes of reopening the business centre was a detailed Risk Assessment which our team would then abide by and our tenants and visitors could refer to. Our main responsibility being to keep everyone safe in the building.
“It was vital to provide a safe working environment for everyone returning to the Business Centre,” explains Sarah Brooks, Wassell Grove’s new Business Centre Manager. “With so many of us being extremely wary of mixing with others outside of our own household bubbles, we decided to introduce a more thorough cleaning programme to be undertaken daily plus a quarterly deep clean.”
“During our deep clean, we spray all touched areas like door handles, bannisters, desks, chairs and light switches with an antibacterial product which protects us all for up to 90 days by making the virus inactive,” added Helen Williams, who looks after site maintenance at Wassell Grove.
Sarah added, “With the subsequent changes to the tier system and then the latest restrictions of lockdown 3.0 set out just before new year, we were worried that businesses would once again choose to work from home. However, the processes we have put in place since June 2020 have reassured our tenants and this has meant that we are able to keep Wassell Grove open for business as usual!”
In lockdown 3.0, the restrictions allow tenants to continue to work from the Business Centre. We look after the communal areas and work within the guidelines of the latest advice from government. Our tenants are asked to follow the guidance of HANDS – FACE – SPACE: sanitise hands before entering the building and whilst moving between areas of the building; wear a face mask whilst walking around the building; and maintain social distancing and respect other people’s feelings and beliefs.
All tenants are responsible for the care and safety of their own teams within their offices and some continue to mix working at the office with working from home. We provide the safe environment for everyone to continue to conduct their business with the least amount of disruption. Whilst supporting our tenants and their businesses, we are also ensuring that we remain open for business as usual and maintain consistency and income stream for ourselves.
For further information on our serviced offices for rent and our virtual office packages, please get in touch with the Business Centre Manager at Wassell Grove, Sarah Brooks.
Tel: 01562 881000
Wassell Grove Business Centre
Hagley, DY9 9JH