04 September 2020

How are the lawyers at Baker McKenzie returning to the offices?

In August, we proceeded with a ‘soft’ re-opening of our office space. This has been limited to allow 20 people in to the building on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Access to the office has been limited to those whose roles cannot effectively be discharged from home, or those who feel a return to the office would have a positive impact on their mental or physical wellbeing.

Subject to the situation remaining stable, we hope to increase capacity up to 25% in the office later this month albeit on a voluntary basis. Our approach will remain agile: we will follow the developments with the virus and with government guidelines closely and may need to increase restrictions and consider closure again if the need arises. Our priority is the wellbeing of our people at all times.

Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our employees is of paramount importance to us. This requires ensuring that we have a COVID-safe office environment. To do this, we have:

- Installed perspex sheets in certain areas around the office, and reconfigured desks and meeting rooms to enable social distancing.

- Installed signage and one-way systems in corridors.

- Installed hand sanitiser dispensers by doors, lifts and around the building.

- Developed detailed information packs and video inductions to guide our people when they return to the office.

- Developed rigorous protocols should someone feel unwell, either while they’re in the office or having been to the office, including a programme of contact tracing. This includes protocols around client meetings, which will be limited to critical meetings only.

We will also be encouraging anyone coming to the office to:

- Wear a face covering in public spaces and where social distancing is not possible;

- Stagger travel times so as to avoid peak commuting hours.

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