We have had a challenging couple of months dealing with all that Covid-19 has thrown at us, We have had our teams in quarantine, working from home or some not working at all. We had to reinvent our businesses to keep our teams and customers safe, and our entire process & procedures have been thrown out the door to make way for safer conditions for everyone while we embrace a new world of social distancing. As we come out on the other side of this pandemic, how do we support our team and customers?
With most countries around the world starting to lift Covid-19 restrictions we are heading back to our regular offices. However, things are far from ordinary. We talk about handshaking and hugging as if they are a distant memory. Social distancing and contact tracing will be with us for a long time yet, and we need to consider this when our team is going about there day-to-day.
Here are some of my suggestions to ensure that your team stays safe and can ‘contact trace’ should they need to in the event someone has been exposed to the Coronavirus.
Our team needs to ensure they are practising social distancing when in the office and out at properties. Social distancing will protect your team and your customers from potential exposure to the Coronavirus.
Create a social distancing manual for your team. Each office will have a unique set of guidelines for their particular situation; however, this list may get you started.
Create a social distancing checklist of questions your team can ask before entering a tenanted property.
Has anyone in the house been exposed to someone with Covid-19?
Is anyone in the house under self-quarantine?
Has anyone in the house returned from overseas in the last 14 days?
Is anyone in the house showing signs of illness, coughing, or fever
Limit the number of people that can enter your reception area at any one time. Especially if you have a small reception. Place clear signage at the front door, on the floor as they enter and on the reception desk.
Ensure your team can work at a safe distance from each other when in the office. This may mean moving some desks around or even rostering your team to work from home on different days to keep staff numbers if the office to a minimum.
When conducting open homes, keep numbers appropriate for the property size. E.g. When showing a 1 bedroom unit only let in one group at a time. For larger homes, two to three groups may be appropriate.
Create a manual for your tradespeople to make it very clear on what their social distancing obligations are when attending tenanted properties. Ensure they seek tenant approval to enter first and have a copy of the office social distancing checklist.
Contract Tracing is essential to ensure any individual can trace all the people they have been in contact with for the last 21 days. It is also vital that if you or one of your team happen to appear on someone else Contact Trace, that you can identify when you were exposed to them.
- Create a contact tracing manual for your team. Each office will have a unique set of guidelines for their particular situation however, this list may get you started.
- Keep a register at the reception desk to record everyone that enters the office each day, including employees. Keep approximate times next to each person. If any person has been exposed to Covid-19 and contact tracing leads them to your office, it is important that you can identify when they entered.
- Keep a list of names and contact details of all people attending a property inspection or open home, not just one person from the group. Do not rely on one person’s memory on who may or may not have attended an open home with them three weeks earlier.
- Keep a daily diary of all the locations and properties you attended during each day. Keep a record of the names and contact details of individuals you encountered along the way. If they are not clients, this may be a little tricky.
- If entering a tenanted property, keep a list of all occupants in the property at the time. Again, don’t rely on the tenant to remember who was their three weeks ago.
I’m sure there are more items you can add to this list. Schedule a team meeting to build out your social distancing and contact tracing guidelines. Both will be with us for some time, so taking a proactive approach will ensure the safety of your team and clients.