Back to normal? Returning to the regular work environment – webinars for VCSE organisations - 12th and 15th June

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CAN is hosting two Zoom webinars discussing the practical issues to consider when returning to offices and other working environments.

The first, on Friday 12th June, is aimed at voluntary organisations and community groups based and operating in West Norfolk. The webinar will be repeated on Monday 15th June for those organisations in North Norfolk.  Jackie Cushing, our Locality Manager (West) and Sally Thornton, our Community Development Officer (North) will be looking at some of the practical matters that may need to be thought through before and when re-opening the workplace to staff.

It’s an opportunity to share ideas around a practical framework for returning to work and is for guidance rather than formal direction. Plans will vary depending on the nature of your own workplace of course but the aim of the session is to help you translate that guidance into specific actions for your organisation.

It doesn’t supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities.

Some points to consider:

  • Changes are likely to be slow and gradual
  • Approaches may need to be flexible and adapt to further guidance
  • New solutions support solutions may emerge – medication, vaccine for example.
  • Do you need short, medium and long term plans?


Preparation of the physical environment for:

  • Managing employee /volunteer return to work
  • Social distancing
  • Hygiene
  • Visitors


Risk Assessment is of course essential. Identifying the level of risk and its management should involve understanding who is most at risk. Owners and tenants should work together to agree any changes, with the focus on worker safety. If the building has been shut down, fire alarms, heating and water supply need to be working safely and efficiently.

You’ll need to involve your team in the process and communicate with them. Depending on individual circumstance and experience during the height of the pandemic, some staff may need to continue to work from home, and some may have genuine anxieties about returning. They will need to have clear information on new policies and procedures. Managers may need to consider staggered working or shift patterns anyway, to maintain social distancing.

It’s not just about the workplace either. Travelling to and from work needs to be considered. Public transport carries a higher risk of transmission, and car sharing, whilst commendable in conventional circumstances, may need to be discouraged.

So, in terms of social distancing and personal safety, some creative thinking may be required. It’s when movement around the premises is considered that the list gets longer! Think about desks, meeting rooms, kitchen areas, toilets, corridors, reception, lifts, entry and exit points – the car park if you have one – light switches, telephones, windows. And how about provision for disabled access? What might you need to consider in your approach to all these physical and practical problems?

Join us on Zoom on Friday 12th June from 1.00 – 2.30 pm or Monday 15th June 1.00 – 2.30pm.  Register on Eventbrite for Friday 12th here and for Monday 15th here. Bring your ideas to share, as there will be opportunities to discuss issues or solutions and we will provide details of links to more detailed guidance that you can access.