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In The News | July 9, 2020

The Big Test: The Real World

Companies tweak their game plans as workers return to the office

Dawn Kawamoto | San Francisco Business Times

The Business Times, along with our sister papers in Sacramento and Silicon Valley, examined the office of the future in a special report. This part looks at how the return to work after Covid-19 is going in the Bay Area. Click here to read Part 1 on the initial return to work and Part 3 on how the office will look in the long run.

A new kind of office

San Francisco-based BCCI Construction, which has 335 employees, has given 129 of its workers access to 87 seats at its San Francisco office and 42 at its Mountain View office.

After government agencies gave Bay Area construction firms the green light to reopen on May 4, approximately 25% of the 129 workers went into the office, said Norma Adjmi, director of human resources for BCCI Construction Co. But over the past few weeks, those numbers have risen to the point where 70% to 80% of the 129 workers have returned to the office.

“What hit us between the eyes were a lot of people are afraid to come back into the office,” Adjmi said. “They had been sitting at home for two months and to come back was daunting.”

To ease concerns, BCCI gave workers a return-to-work pamphlet and online training of what to expect in the office before they arrive. In addition to requiring employees to wear masks, engage in social distancing and use disinfectants on their hands, the construction firm required employees to notify them if they are sick, take a Covid-19 test and report the results.

“Before Covid-19, we never got into our employees’ personal medical business but now we do because of the need to do contact tracing,” Adjmi said. A positive test result will lead to every employee who has been within 6 feet of contact or spent 15 minutes with that person to get a mandatory Covid-19 test.

Cynthia Gage, director of marketing for BCCI, said the company has taken several measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19, such as having one-way corridors, adding HEPA filters to certain work areas, keeping the patio door open for outside air to flow in to increase ventilation and requiring employees to disinfect their hands before reaching into the snack drawer for an individually package goodie...

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