Returning to the office safely

Our priority is to take all necessary precautions for the safety of our people and our communities.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach or a single global timetable for opening our offices due to the different status of the pandemic by location.

Leadership teams will keep you informed and you should not return to the office until specific plans for your agency and individual office have been communicated.

Reopening offices is a gradual and measured process, with all decisions made in consultation with local leadership, and communicated early to give people plenty of notice. Coming into the office continues to be voluntary at this time.

All opening plans are guided by the general principles outlined below, as well as local laws and regulations.

What we’re doing to keep offices safe

Each office opening is coordinated with local leadership and facilities managers to ensure a safe working environment.



Cleaning procedures

Office space will be regularly cleaned throughout the day and after work hours. 


Face coverings

Face coverings will be worn when people are not at their desks.


Space configuration

Offices will be reconfigured to ensure social distancing can be maintained, including safe distancing between desks.


Employee density

We’ll reduce the density of the offices by limiting capacity and phasing returns.


Temperature checking

We’ll be checking the temperature of all employees and guests where possible, and as local health guidelines and legislation permit.


Food services

If food is provided in the building, this should be individually wrapped/served, including utensils.


Personal hygiene

Hand sanitiser will be provided throughout offices for easy and frequent access. 


Visitor protocols

All guests will be required to follow health and safety protocols while visiting our buildings.


Clean desk policy

Desks must be cleared of all equipment and belongings prior to leaving for the day to ensure cleaning procedures can take place. 

What we ask of you

Coming into the office is voluntary at this time. You should not return until your leadership has informed you of specific plans for your office. When in the office we ask that you act responsibly to protect yourself and others.




If you feel unwell or have a temperature, you must stay at home and inform your manager.  



If you do not feel comfortable using public transport to travel to work, you do not need to come into the office at this time.


When you do start to commute again please discuss arrival and departure times with your manager, practise social distancing and follow the guidance of local health officials when travelling on public transportation.



The number of entrances to your building will most likely be reduced – look for signs upon arrival.


Follow protocols and guidance about using lifts.  


Wear a face covering while not at your desk, e.g. walking around the office, or when in communal areas.  


Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitiser provided around the office.


Practise social distancing at all times.


Avoid gathering in groups where social distancing cannot be maintained.


Clear desks of all equipment and belongings prior to leaving for the day to ensure cleaning can take place.


Take your laptop and charger home with you every night in case the office needs to close again.


Please speak to your People/HR team on any issues not covered here.

When is the office reopening?

Governments are relaxing restrictions at different times and therefore the timings of office re-openings will vary. Your leadership will communicate transition plans with you in advance.

Can I continue to work from home?

Yes, you can continue to work from home at this time. Ensure your manager is aware of your preference to do so.

Is there flexibility to work partly from the office and partly from home?

Please discuss this with your manager. 

If I don’t feel comfortable travelling to a client office, what should I do?

Speak with your manager and/or client lead – employees will not be forced to travel to client sites if they feel unsafe doing so.

What happens if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the office?

If through contact tracing we are aware you have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, we will notify you.

What should I do if I’m in the office and start to feel sick?

Go home and inform your manager and local People team.

Will anyone be monitoring the office to ensure people are following the guidelines?

We will rely on you and your colleagues to take individual responsibility for your actions, but team leaders/managers will also be ensuring guidelines are followed. If you see behaviour that is not compliant, speak with your local People team or manager.


Wellness resources

As always, if you experience or hear about behaviour which is at odds with the principles stated in our Codes, you can contact the Right to Speak hotline, which is free and confidential, at any time.

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