BiKBBI HQ reopening plans announced

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A message from Damian Walters, BiKBBI CEO:

Following updated government advice published yesterday (10/5/20), I believe it is important that I lay out our plans in relation to our head office operation, which temporarily closed in March due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

As it has always, the safety and wellbeing of my team, their families and the wider community is at the top of my priorities, which I hope has been demonstrated over the past 10 weeks.

My plans therefore are initially split into three key phases.

PHASE ONE: Immediate

Whilst our work largely supports the construction and refurbishment sector, which are sectors the government are keen to get back to work, I must balance the risk versus reward of any knee jerk decision to return my team to the office environment. I must also consider the effectiveness of our support during the lockdown period – which broadly speaking has been a success.

It is therefore my decision that our head office operation will remain closed until at least Monday 1st June and my continued message to staff during this time will be to stay at home and follow government guidance.

I will continue to review the situation over the next three weeks, using the time to prepare the working environment for safe return, but will not hesitate to delay any such return if the situation changes for the worse.

I furthermore reassure members, partners and the wider industry that BiKBBI will continue to operate to a high service level, as it has since head office temporary closure began in March and I would like to take this opportunity to thank stakeholders for their support in allowing us to do so.

Safe Operating Procedures (SOP’s)

When our head office operation does return, it will do so on a phased basis, together with the introduction of new Safe Operating Procedures, otherwise known as SOP’s. These SOP’s are endorsed by The World Health Organisation (WHO) which align with UK Government guidance.

New SOP’s will include increased office cleaning, social distancing, daily non-intrusive temperature testing and the mandatory wearing of PPE provided by the organisation to its staff. These measures will feature for the foreseeable future.

Thankfully my staff do not use public transport to commute to work, which has been key to our strategy. Our existing office environment also allows for relatively easy adaption and therefore adoption of the new procedures.

The office staffing capacity will not exceed 50% at any time during Phase Two, allowing for social distancing and staff will continue to work from home, for the majority of their shifts.

PHASE TWO (planned for June)

It is planned that we will work with our staff to agree a phased return to work from June 1st, however the organisation wishes to reiterate that this will not constitute a ‘business as usual’ return in June.

Many of our staff are working parents and I must therefore balance the commercial needs of our organisation with the practical restraints faced by our people in recognition that schools will not be operating at full capacity in June.

Furthermore, those staff who have children who may be eligible for a June return, will clearly have reservations and concerns for the wellbeing of their children, which I am, of course, understating and supportive of.

However, I must clearly plan for a safe return to work to protect the future of our organisation, the jobs it has generated and the service to those stakeholders it serves – many of whom are self-employed and need us more now than ever.

We will use Phase Two office time for strategic planning, monitoring of staff welfare and to conduct duties that cannot be carried out from our homes, whilst the majority of work will continue remotely.

PHASE THREE: (July onward)

Our plans will be reviewed in June and Phase Three plans for July onward will be published thereafter, as this is clearly a fast moving situation that will require continual monitoring and adjustment based on scientific and government advice.

The office will not be open for visitors throughout the remainder of 2020 and we will continue to embrace technology to conduct meetings, conferences and updates – technology which has served us well throughout this situation.

Our planned Annual Conference in November will be postponed until 2021, which we hope will take place at The Houses of Parliament if conditions allow.

And finally

I would like to thank our stakeholders for their continued support and for the wider industry for the flood of well wishes and praise for our efforts during the Coronavirus situation.
We have worked tirelessly for the past 10 weeks, in early preparation for the temporary closure of our head office, the delivery of the high standards of processing and the communication we have consistently delivered throughout.

Whilst the world locked down, we stepped up and we did so because our members, the customers they serve and the wider kbb industry are at the very heart of everything we do.
We believe that during times of challenge, trade associations should be there at the forefront of communication and support for their respective industries and we’re proud that we’ve rose to that, overcome our own challenges and have been recognised for doing so.

Our message remains constant, albeit simple.

Together Stronger.

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