Article 16 July 2021

Returning to the workplace from 19 July

Dear colleagues,  

Monday 19 July sees England formally move to Step 4 of the Government lockdown easing roadmap. This includes the end of the Government’s instruction for employees to work from home if they can. It also means an end to the social distancing rules and limits to social contact.  

This is a welcome sign of the return to normality as our recent research shows over half of British people working from home are ready to return to the office. They feel that team collaboration and creativity have been most affected and we’d love to know what you think too.

We’ve therefore launched this short survey to get your views on returning to the office. It will only take a few minutes to complete, and your responses are anonymous.   If you’re working in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland the roadmap is a little different so please check your relevant government guidance. If you’re working overseas you should also continue to follow the government guidance of the country in which you are resident.  

As we take this positive next step, here’s a reminder of some key points for those living and working in England:

  • Now that the vaccination programme has been opened to everyone over 18, we strongly encourage you to protect yourself and others by getting fully vaccinated if you haven’t already. More information is available.
  • If you get any Covid symptoms, test positive for Covid or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, you should self-isolate immediately.
  • You must follow quarantine rules if returning from a red list country or if you’re not fully vaccinated and are returning from an amber list country.  

The Government is encouraging us to make responsible personal choices, like wearing masks in crowded areas and on public transport, and regular hand washing. Many transport operators (e.g. Transport for London) have said face coverings will still be compulsory on their services, even though it won’t be a legal requirement.  

You don’t need to wear a mask when working in our offices, but you may still be asked to wear one in areas shared with other tenants or where the landlord or client requests this. Please respect others that may wish to continue wearing masks for their own protection, either in the office or when out and about.  

As we’ve said before, our offices are safe places to be. We’ve introduced many Covid secure measures and are using technology like our Luxibel air filters and digital temperature readers as well as extra cleaning to keep you safe. If you, or any of your team members, need support in returning to the workplace or any adjustments due to health conditions, don’t forget you can make a referral to Occupational Health by raising a ticket in AskHR.  

Finally, you should by now have agreed with your line manager what your working pattern will look like and what happens if your office isn’t being re-opened. If you haven’t agreed arrangements, we would expect that you’ll return to pre-Covid working patterns no later than 31 August 2021. So, please do speak with your line manager as soon as possible especially if you are unsure about your future working arrangements.  

We do need to continue to be cautious as we emerge, but I’m excited to see our offices return to capacity over the Summer and get back to having face to face conversations and collaborations.  

Best  
Peter Dickinson | Chief of Staff and General Counsel Mitie