Bureau Veritas Tells Employers to Bolster COVID-Secure Measures Amid ‘Return To Office’ Anxiety

Apr. 21 2021

With research showing almost half of UK office workers fear a return to offices, global health and safety expert Bureau Veritas is encouraging employers planning for a return to office life to revisit and strengthen their COVID-secure measures.

It comes as a recent study1 found that as many as two-fifths (40%) of UK office workers have said catching COVID-19 as a direct result of being back in contact with colleagues is what worries them the most about returning to offices.

And while most offices are expected to reopen after 21 June, when all coronavirus restrictions will be lifted, notable organisations such as investment bank Goldman Sachs has already opened up its London HQ to employees on a ‘voluntary’ basis2.

With more firms set to follow suit in the coming months, Bureau Veritas, which recently re-launched its hugely popular ‘Restart Your Business’ service, is reiterating the need for employers to revisit their existing COVID-secure measures and ensure they’re up to date with the latest best practice.

Leading by example, Bureau Veritas has safely re-opened its own offices across the UK at a reduced capacity after implementing robust COVID-secure protocols. The firm hopes to use this expertise to help other firms do the same.

Ken Smith, UK Chief Executive at Bureau Veritas UK, said: “While 21 June signals a return to offices – whether on a hybrid working model or otherwise – employers and employees are understandably anxious about creating a working environment that is safe from coronavirus transmission.  

“Having robust health, safety and hygiene standards is a fundamental part of reopening any office environment and guidelines in making businesses ‘COVID-secure’ has moved on leaps and bounds in the last 12-months. As such, we’re urging employers to revisit and bolster their existing COVID-secure measures in line with evolving best practice, with the help of our recently relaunched Restart Your Business service.”

One of the biggest areas that has changed in recent months is a firm’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing programme. According to a national survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), more than half of UK business managers believe it is their job to encourage employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination to make sure workplaces are safe for the return of employees3.

Ken adds: “While hand-washing, mask wearing and social distancing have now become the norm across society at large, a post-pandemic return to the office will see some coronavirus testing. However, the biggest question is around vaccination, with many business leaders considering a controversial approach where they would make vaccinations mandatory for staff returning to their usual place of work. This policy will eventually form the crux of any COVID-secure measure and organisations that haven’t done so already should have a clear strategy in place around how they will implement and manage this.”

With a comprehensive suite of support, the Restart Your Business solution works in partnership with organisations to develop a consistent yet tailored approach across all sites, including in different countries, helping organisations to drive competitive advantage as they reopen business premises.

Bureau Veritas also offers Biosafety Certification, a management systems approach requiring you to implement industry-compliant sanitary protocols that ensure a safe business environment for workers and customers. This solution is a long-term business commitment to managing infectious disease outbreaks similar moving forward.

To find out more about our Restart Your Business assurance solution, click here to download our free support pack, which includes a summary of essential measures to take or call our team on 0345 600 1828 to discuss your requirements.