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We recognise that the dynamic situation surrounding Covid-19 is a concern to everyone and our priority remains the wellbeing of our colleagues, clients and contacts.
As you would expect, Ashfords has detailed and tested business continuity arrangements in place and these are regularly reviewed so that we are prepared to respond to situations as and when they arise and able to continue providing our usual high level of service to you.
In line with Government guidance, we have taken a wide range of actions and examples of some of the measures we have in place are:
- Reduced office capacity: We have reviewed and set maximum capacity numbers for each of our offices and rearranged the offices to ensure safe access to desks and other facilities. We have appointed Covid-19 co-ordinators to take responsibility for maintaining location occupancy records.
- Risk assessments: We have carried out a firmwide Covid-19 risk assessment as well as individual office assessments and the results of these have been shared with our people and uploaded to the Covid-19 area on our intranet platform.
- Guidance for our people: We have published a wide range of guidance, advice and information on our internal intranet platform including:
- Our Covid-19 policy
- Social distancing guidance including expectations when in the office
- Location specific risk assessments including details of actions undertaken to make each office safe
- The protocol to be followed if someone becomes unwell in the office or has been in an office and subsequently suffers symptoms of Covid-19.
- How to support visitors coming into the office, including how to look after them while they are on the premises and links to our visitor health declaration form.
- Social distancing: We have clear signage with one-way systems in place where appropriate and we have reduced the capacity in our meeting rooms, break out areas, lifts, kitchens and toilets.
- Hygiene: We have introduced enhanced cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures. We have hand sanitiser stations positioned throughout our offices and ensure that objects and surfaces that are touched regularly are frequently cleaned and disinfected. Each work area also has anti-viral spray and wipes available for individual use.
- Visitors: To protect the health of both our visitors and our people, all visitors to our offices will be asked to sign a health declaration.
- Remote working: We have a large IT support team with dedicated specialists managing telecommunications, infrastructure, case management systems, accounting systems, hardware and digital apps and we have a secure Virtual Private Network ("VPN"), that enables our people to connect to those systems from anywhere they can get an Internet connection.
- Our People: We are mindful that the lock down and long-term remote working may have an impact on mental health. We send weekly wellbeing communications which include signposting to resources and guidance, provide access to a counselling service and have created a bespoke “Team Ashfords” area with an idea-sharing forum on our intranet platform.
We send out regular communications to ensure that our employees feel informed and confident about coming to the office. We also undertake regular pulse surveys to gather feedback and monitor effectiveness of our measures covering topics including thoughts around working from home, challenges and new ways of working and returning to office based working.
If you have any queries, or would like any further detail, please phone or email your Ashfords contact.