With companies making significant efforts to get back to normal after they’ve dealt with the impact of COVID-19, the next step for them is to set up a plan for their employees to return to the office. But as experts say and companies confirm, this return will be a gradual one, as the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic is still unpredictable. The main focus now for both landlords and their corporate clients is to ensure a safe working environment by implementing measures and clear protocols for how everything in the office operates while managing health and safety risks for employees. BR sat down with landlords and companies and found out how they were preparing for their employees’ return to the office.
By Anda Sebesi
For Immofinanz Romania, country manager Fulga Dinu says that the company has prepared its premises to provide the safest and best working conditions for all its partners.
“We have prepared our premises to offer the safest and best working conditions for all our partners. As a responsible landlord, we have equipped all our buildings in order to ensure a healthy environment for our tenants and employees. To increase the supply of fresh air, we have overhauled the AHU systems, replaced or cleaned the filters, and supplemented the operating time by at least four hours. We have installed UV lamps and Plexiglas screens and we frequently disinfect and clean all areas and surfaces with a high risk of transmitting the virus using alcohol-based solutions. We have also stopped running hand dryers in toilets,” Dinu says.
In addition, the company has placed disinfectant mats and body temperature checking systems at the entrances of all its buildings.
“At the entrances of all our buildings we have disinfectant mats and body temperature checking systems. We have applied self-disinfecting foils on every door handle, panic bar, and elevator button, we have installed signage to remind everyone of the importance of maintaining social distance, and suspended the transportation services,” adds the country manager of Immofinanz Romania.
According to Dinu, the properties owned by Immofinanz in Romania currently have an occupancy rate of 94.6 percent.
“We have signed long-term partnerships with our tenants and do not expect significant variations in the occupancy rate. In general, recent months have accentuated the workforce mobility trend and office landlords will have to pay much more attention to their customers’ needs. The workplace is definitely evolving and more and more companies have started to recognise the fact that a thoughtful, progressive work environment can reflect brand value, while improving the health and productivity, innovativeness, and collaboration of a workforce. It is not so much about working spaces anymore, but about living spaces,” she concludes.
With an eye on retail
The Vivo! centers in Pitesti, Constanta, Cluj-Napoca and Baia Mare, developed by Immofinanz Romania, are also following the measures recommended by local and national authorities. Cleaning staff is mobilised at all times and works to sanitise and disinfect all common spaces (halls, toilets, elevators, locks, handles). The company has started general disinfection actions by nebulization on common spaces, through the ventilation & acclimatization system, and has disabled air recirculation function in the centre to ensure 100 percent fresh air. Communicating safe shopping measures and instructions for proper hand washing and sanitization throughout the visitors’ journey in audio, digital and print media, installing dispensers with hand sanitizer solutions at entrances and in the toilet and restaurant areas, establishing one-way traffic paths to ensure the two-metre distance between visitors are some of the measures that Immofinanz Romania has taken for its shopping malls.
“The safety of visitors and all employees in the shopping centers is top priority. Our VIVO! centers in Piteşti, Constanta, Cluj-Napoca and Baia Mare follow the measures recommended by the local and national authorities. Cleaning staff is mobilized at all times and work to sanitize and disinfect all common spaces (halls, toilets, elevators, locks, handles). We have started general disinfection actions by nebulization on common spaces, through the ventilation-acclimatization system. We have disabled the air recirculation function in the center for 100% fresh air.
We communicate safe shopping measures and instructions for proper hand washing and sanitization throughout our visitors’ journey on audio, digital and print media.
We have installed dispensers with hand sanitizer solution, at entrances and in the areas of toilets and restaurants. We established one-way traffic paths to ensure the 2m distance between visitors. At the same time, we are working closely with shops and restaurants to ensure safe operation. Management teams are on-site daily to respond promptly to requests from tenants and authorities. We are connected with our visitors on our social media, where they see information about the additional measures they must take in order to limit and prevent coronavirus contamination. We are also in permanent contact with authorities to promptly implement any further measures and recommendations,” Dinu explains.