Buildings have a tremendous impact on our health and well-being

Now more than ever, we're focusing on the role of these spaces in our lives and determining how they can be managed amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Click here to download version 2 of our "Return to office: tenant guidebook"

Letter from our global head of real estate

Bill McPadden

As I reflect on the past few months, I can’t help but feel humbled. Humbled by the immensity of the situation and the impact it's had on our communities. Humbled by the efforts of frontline workers who have worked—and continue to do so—tirelessly to serve their communities. And humbled by each and every one of our employees who are doing their best to navigate these unprecedented times.

It's during moments of great hardship and adversity that our values are tested. It's also during these moments that I've become acutely aware of the strength of our team. Now more than ever, we've come together to focus on a common goal: to provide safer and healthier spaces for our tenants, employees, and partners.

As time elapses and preventative measures are taking effect, there's evidence that we're slowly but surely flattening the curve. As such, governments are lifting restrictions on businesses, allowing each and every one of us to determine what’s next. And more importantly to question, what is our new normal?

We've aligned ourselves with global health authorities and local government regulations to develop our return to office program. We also worked closely with Dr. Joseph Allen and his consulting company, 9 Foundations, to prepare our internal playbook, which defines our policies and procedures across our global portfolio.

Given the dynamic nature of this situation, we'll continue to regularly monitor building re-occupancy across our portfolio and identify additional ways to support our tenants and property teams.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the information we’ve provided, please don't hesitate to contact your local property management team. We're in this together.

Stay safe and be well,

Bill

What we know today

Across the world, cities and businesses have been planning for their reopening and responding to fluctuations in the COVID-19 outbreak. As the situation continues to evolve, we have been evaluating and modifying our plans for our buildings to support our customers  during  this ongoing transition. 

There's currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person.

The best way to protect yourself and others is to follow these guidelines

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer

Maintain at least six feet of physical distance between yourself and others

Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when around others

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces daily

Stay home if you're feeling sick

We’ve summarized a list of recommended measures within six key categories

Each category is designed to ensure the safe return of tenants, visitors, and contractors to our spaces.

Download version 2 of our "Return to office: tenant guidebook"

 Building common areas

All tenants, visitors, vendors and building staff are required to wear a mask or face covering while in building common areas and to maintain at least six feet of physical distance between yourselves and others.

On entry into our buildings, hand sanitizer stations will be provided as supplies are available, and on-site signage will be used to clearly indicate path of travel and queuing locations. Throughout all common areas, additional signage will be used to provide further direction and guidance to ensure that we're adhering to the most recent physical distancing guidelines.

Where local jurisdictions permit, tenant amenities will re-open and usage protocol will be communicated to tenants.  If the appropriate physical distancing cannot be maintained, some tenant amenities may remain fully or partially closed. We'll continue to monitor the situation closely and reassess our protocol as further information becomes available.

 

2   Operations and building systems

Cleaning and sanitization

We'll continue the increased cleaning and sanitization of high-density and high-frequency touchpoint areas, using additional cleaning staff and approved disinfectants recommended for COVID-19 cleaning.

Air quality and filtration

We'll be making the appropriate operational adjustments to our HVAC systems in order to maximize the fresh air intake while facilitating the removal of stale air. The installation of upgraded air filters (at a minimum MERV 13 on all recirculated air) will also be completed.

3   Tenant spaces

It's important to note that individual buildings and scenarios may vary. We're not in a position to provide our tenants with advice on how to manage their spaces during the COVID-19 outbreak. Tenants are also welcome to communicate any changes or updates to their re-entry plans via our tenant survey.

The following resources can be used when planning for your return to the office.

Global

World Health Organization: Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Resources for Businesses and Employers

Canada

Risk-informed decision-making guidelines for workplaces and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

United States

U.S. Department of Labor: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

 Tenant improvements

All general contractors and sub-trades will be asked to share their health and safety plans, inclusive of their enhanced COVID-19 protocols. In addition, all external vendors and contractors will be instructed to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (at a minimum, face coverings) while on-site. 

 

 Leasing and tour protocol

We’ve implemented new policies and guidelines in order to maintain physical distancing during the leasing tour process. In summary, we'll be limiting the number of attendees per tour, defining a predetermined path of travel, adopting a no-touch policy, and ensuring that the appropriate PPE is worn at all times. 

If you're interested in booking a tour, please reach out to your local leasing team or contact realestateleasing@manulife.com for more information.

 

6   Communications and building

     signage

We're committed to providing you with the most up-to-date information available to us at all times. As new information becomes available, key updates will be provided through tenant notices.

Additionally, throughout our buildings, you’ll notice signage that clearly indicates general guidelines and recommendations, direction on traffic flow, and notices of amenity closures.

 

Additional resources

Our return to office plan will be implemented based on each building’s requirements, location, and tenant mix. Measures will be executed as government orders are lifted and our tenants plan for their reentry to the workplace.

Our healthy building checklist provides a high-level overview of the key considerations we made when preparing our buildings for re-occupancy.

Click to download

Help us plan for your return to office by completing our return to office tenant survey.

Click to participate

The "Return to office: tenant guidebook" provides an overview of our policies and procedures as they're being implemented within the common areas of our buildings. Version 2 is now available.

Click to download

For additional information on COVID-19, please refer to the following global health authorities:

World Health Organization Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Disclaimer: The information contained here is intended for informational purposes only, as a resource for our tenants; however, tenants should seek their own specific professional advice concerning the use of their individual leased spaces. We do not warrant the accuracy or completeness of this information, and we assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of this information or for any errors or omissions herein. The COVID-19 outbreak is an ongoing, rapidly developing situation; therefore, the information here may not reflect the most current developments. Public health regulations and guidelines or requirements issued by federal, state, and local governments or agencies will supersede the information shown here. All public safety codes, building codes, applicable laws, and security requirements must continue to be followed.