UMC Architects continue to monitor evolving Government guidelines and developments around the spread of COVID-19.

Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our staff, clients and industry partners is our primary focus and our business continuity planning has provided us with a basis from which to adapt accordingly to the current situation.

On the 23rd March 2020, The Directors confirmed all UMC Architects offices would temporarily close and all staff were instructed to work remotely to restrict travel and encourage social distancing.

During this time, UMC Architects remained fully operational with staff collaboratively working from home via secure VPN connections and benefitting from access to our office resources via remote desktops.

Our resilient IT systems and communication solutions allowed the practice to continue to provide a fully uninterrupted and high-quality service whilst effectively connecting remotely to our colleagues, clients, and industry partners. We remained fully committed on live projects and were able to continue exploring new project opportunities.

In June 2020, UMC Architects began to take practical steps to prepare our offices for a phased return of staff and ensure compliance with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19.

To help us decide which actions to take, we carried out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment which identifies the control measures required to mitigate risk and inform staff of the responsibilities we all have, to action the ongoing requirements when returning to the office.

We have exercised caution in testing these necessary policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that our offices are sufficiently safe and returning staff feel comfortable with the measures which are in place.

These measures included adapting and increasing our space to ensure 2m social distancing, adhering to enhanced cleaning and hygiene supply protocols, posting instructional signage, and encouraging representation at external meetings is undertaken remotely where possible.

Following the release of the revised Government guidance for ‘working safely during coronavirus’ specific to offices and contact centres, and in accordance with our COVID-19 risk assessment, UMC Architects implemented the reopening of all offices on 1st September 2020 under strict mitigation and social distancing protocols.

We continue to monitor these protocols alongside our COVID-19 risk assessment and regularly consult with our staff regarding the ongoing responsibilities. Currently, our offices remain closed to external visitors.

Individuals who are advised to stay at home under existing government guidance to stop infection spreading, are instructed not to physically come into the office. This includes individuals who have symptoms of Covid-19, those who live in a household or are in a support bubble with someone who has symptoms and those who are advised to self-isolate as part of the government’s test and trace service.

Our staff continue to impress with their resilience, empathy and understanding for colleagues and the situation we currently face. Their adaptability to an ever-changing environment has underscored our success in ensuring effective business continuity during these uncertain times.

UMC Architects continue to monitor government advice and are committed to working intelligently together to overcome the challenges ahead.