Getting your – and our – business ready for the return

Car Dealership

So many businesses have returned to work which is a fantastic boost after what has been such a difficult time. But it’s a slow process and not all businesses will be back yet.

There are a lot of issues to consider before opening the doors, and it’s something we’re working through at the IMI too. At Fanshaws, a Grade II listed building with a mix of old and new office space, it isn’t the simplest place to rework, but we have adequate space so it works for the new normal. Our experiences may help you to navigate getting your business back up and firing again.

Five steps to working safely

The government has a huge range of advice for businesses looking to restart safely and covers topics including: carrying out COVID-19 risk assessments, hygiene procedures, working from home, maintaining social distancing and what to do if that isn’t possible.

Getting offices and contact centres ready

We’ve been conducting risk assessments on our site over the last week or so and will risk assess individual roles/people when we know who wants to return. Again, we’ve followed the advice and guidance on website, but we’ve also looked at the Health and Safety Executive’s information too. It’s been useful for us, it could be for you too.

There’s a whole host of things you can look at, the below are just some of the areas we’ve considered as part of developing our Return to Office Working Protocols:

  • We’ve devised a one-way system of movement throughout the building
  • We’ve identified which offices will be open and will be available to be occupied and which areas of the building will be out of use.
  • We’ve assessed the maximum occupancy of each office with staff members at least two metres apart, sitting back-to-back or side-to-side (not face-to-face)
  • We’ve invested in appropriate signage for the one-way system, reminders of personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette, two metre wall signs and floor markings
  • We’ve enhanced the cleaning schedule for the building and the facilities team will have a rota schedule to disinfect hard surfaces in common areas at regular intervals throughout the day

But it’s important to understand what staff think, and we’ll survey our staff to understand their views on returning to work once they’ve received the Protocols and had time to digest them.

The IMI will continue to help our members in whatever way we can and we’ll continue to keep you updated on the support available and how to access it. If any of you are interested to see the questions that we’ve asked in our own staff survey, please let me know and I’ll share them with you.

If you have any questions that you need answering or want to discuss the IMI’s plans, please contact us on +44 (0)1992 519025, send emails to, or drop us a message on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. And for all the latest updates head to our dedicated COVID-19 website.

Look after yourselves and your families, and do let us know if the IMI can help you.

With our very best wishes

Sally-Anne Hodder