Skanska has established several rules and adapted workplaces in Central and Eastern Europe to support its tenants returning to offices. The new offer called Care for Life Office Concept includes recommendations and consultancy regarding new hygiene and safety protocols, adjustment of existing technologies in Skanska’s buildings and reorganization of office areas. The concept is being developed for Skanska buildings in CEE in cooperation with external experts.
Skanska commercial development business unit in CEE is an office real estate market leader that operates on ten city markets in four countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Poland. In March 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak, Skanska implemented several safety precautions for its employees and business partners , as well as on project sites to ensure safety of its people and mitigate the spread of coronavirus. This approach enabled the company to continue construction of the projects despite the challenges caused by the outbreak. Skanska office buildings are being delivered without significant delays. This was possible thanks to efficient cooperation between the investor and general contractor within the Skanska Group.
Skanska was able to adapt to this new situation so quickly mainly due to flexibility in terms of working hours and home office rules, which already existed in the company. It would not have been possible without an extensive use of digital tools that greatly facilitate virtual meetings and everyday tasks. After nearly two months of working remotely, some employees are now coming back to offices. To provide employees with clear guidelines and information on the new set up, Skanska offices have been equipped with specially designed Visual Identifications that help follow social-distancing policies. All the pandemic related interior communication is standardized and made from sustainable materials. It includes posters and floor markings with recommendations for every area or room in the office and general rules to follow.
- The global remote-working test is now becoming a return-to-the-office exercise and learning new ways of mixed way of working both in the office and at home. It demands setting up new rules for the offices, but also specific adaptation of our workplaces as business needs continuity. Safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, partners and communities are Skanska’s top priority and goes hand in hand with one of our core values – Care for Life. An office has three important roles to play: integrating, culture-making and supporting team building. We have created the new offer called Care for Life Office Concept so offices can still fulfill their purpose in the new normal - said Katarzyna Zawodna-Bijoch, President and CEO of Skanska commercial development unit in CEE.
Skanska put a lot of effort into developing new and adjusting core attributes and characteristics of its office buildings, by taking advantage of WELL certification and our new technology solutions like Connected by Skanska, which enables touchless way of moving around in an office building.
In addition to actions that have already been taken by Skanska within its own office space, knowledge and new safety standards are also shared with the company’s clients – especially those who have decided to return to the ‘new normal’. Skanska thus is launching a ‘Care for Life Office Concept’ that is designed to meet the current needs of workplaces and its users. It will help identify areas that will balance safety, sustainability and feasibility and to rethink the design of modern office spaces with regards to possible future pandemic risks. Skanska shares good practices by providing tenants with professional advisory in the matter of office safety. With that the company actively responds to the client’s ongoing needs, or even helps to adjust existing and future fit-outs to new safety requirements. Cooperation between the owner, property managers and tenants is crucial to organize the return to offices process safely.
- Nowadays even more attention will be paid to the issues of safety, from the quality of the work environment or to even easy access to hand sanitizing solutions. Free movement around office buildings will be limited for the next months. That is why we adjusted our own offices and help tenants and clients to do so as well. For this reason, we advise on how to adapt to the new situation, how to set up the office or even adjust the fit-out in newly delivered offices to current rules and regulations. We work closely with our own architects and an epidemiologist to provide the best suited workplaces to our clients.– said Andrei Ivan, Sustainovation Director at Skanska commercial development unit in CEE.
Safety-supporting implementations in Skanska office buildings
Skanska pays attention to the air quality in each building in the CEE region:
- Ventilation is in operation 24/7
- At nights and weekends ventilation is turned on, but the system keeps it running at a lower speed
- Air handling units provide 100% fresh air
- Humidity is controlled
Touch-free solutions and Connected by Skanska:
- Buildings are equipped with automatically opening doors and turnstiles
- Contactless elevators can be ordered with a smartphone or QR code
- Motion and occupant sensors improve building’s management
- Applications for smartphones allow electronic registration of guests with no need to get a building badge
Sanitizing plan for office space:
- Disinfection of workplaces and common areas is a standard
- Technical and operational measures against spread of the coronavirus are carried out by the building manager’s team
- Building rules posters and floor markings are in place.
Touchless way of work in Skanska office buildings
Connected by Skanska operating system uses all its functions to let everyone experience the company’s buildings in a contactless and safe way – for example all people visiting the Skanska office in Warsaw, both employees and external guests, can enter the building using their smartphone or a proper QR code, which is sent along with the invitation to a meeting. After passing the contactless gates in the lobby, the elevator is ordered automatically with no need to press any button in order to get to your destination. The same applies to the underground park, created in accordance with the concept of Activity Based Working (ABW), which can be accessed thanks to an automated system that recognizes cars’ registration plates.
Connected by Skanska is the most integrated operating system for office buildings on the market in CEE. As an open platform it connects smart technologies in a building, but more importantly it integrates people in the workplace. The software includes a mobile application for everyday users and a web portal for tenant and building administration.
The solution, which was previously mostly a space management tool, today is also a great way of managing the flow of employees and adapting the way we work to the ‘new normal’. It will be additionally adjusted and used widely in Skanska’s investments throughout the region at this exceptional time of the pandemic as it helps adapt office buildings to new sanitary requirements in an easy and smart way.
Good practices for providing safety in offices due to pandemic requirements
Safety measures include designated workstations and separate zones for people in offices, decreased capacity of shared spaces and conference rooms, rooms designated only for meetings with external clients and implementing the national regulations of several countries regarding protective equipment. Rigorous cleaning and hygiene rules are also in place. That is why disinfectants are available in the offices and a new strict clean desk policy has been implemented.
Skanska employees are returning to their offices gradually, in strict accordance with a previously prepared schedule and all the necessary safety precautions. In order to keep the above mentioned social distancing rules – only half of the total workforce will be coming into the office each day, which is managed via Microsoft’s Teams feature called Shifts. All precautions and ongoing updates on the situation are widely announced via available communication channels so employees are informed quickly and directly. Skanska has also launched a dedicated website on the Intranet in order to provide its employees with easy and continuous access to up-to-date information about the most recent developments and changes in guidelines.