RSCE Returns Staff to Office After 7 Months

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20 Oct 2020

RSCE Returns Staff to Office After 7 Months

Mark Kaheru

Entebbe, 19 October 2020: The United Nations Resident Coordinator and Designated Official for Uganda has authorized a gradual and cautious return of 20% of United Nations staff to the offices after 7 months of telecommuting brought on by the COVID19 pandemic. The Regional Service Centre Entebbe (RSCE) has also actively prepared and returned 20% of its personnel to its offices.

The UN Designated Official, Ms. Rosa Malango called on all UN entities to commence the return to their offices starting 15th October 2020 and she emphasized caution and strict adherence to the set guidelines on COVID19 prevention.

To emphasize the message for its staff to stay safe even while at the workplace, the RSCE has launched a comprehensive awareness campaign at the office by flighting posters in all areas visited by staff and visitors to the premises. A video pointing out safety procedures when returning to the RSCE has also been produced and circulated to all staff and is also available on the MS Stream.

Space markers have been placed on the ground indicating a safe distance to keep while walking on the premises and sanitation points have been installed at all entrances and in various areas within the RSCE.

The Director a.i RSCE, on 19 October distributed a pair of facemasks to all RSCE personnel who returned to office. This is in response to the global health call for each and every one to always wear protective masks when in the presence of others. Each member of staff is to receive a pair of facemasks to ensure they always have a clean mask available.

“We decided to provide2 face masks to each staff member to ensure they have protection at all times. As part of business continuity, it is important we protect each other at all times so we can continue to serve clients effectively.” said Paulin Djomo, Director a.i RSCE

The RSCE’s return to office plan also calls for physical distancing while at the workplace and measures have been put in place to achieve this. Where possible, desks have been rearranged to cater for the 2-meter distance between staff. In other spaces where staff will be in contact with clients,  plexiglass are being installed to shield the staff from the clients and minimize exposure.

The cleaning of the offices too has been beefed up with the cleaning staff required to clean and sanitize frequently visited spaces at least twice a day. Staff too are encouraged to wipe down and sanitize their workstations regularly.

Among all the negative aspects  that Covid-19 brought, it also opened an opportunity for RSCE to reshape work in a more flexible and open-minded way, with a focus on output rather than location. All the steps taken by the RSCE for the safe return of its personnel in phases, have be carefully planned while adhering to Safety rules and regulations, and ensure adequate working conditions in the New Normal for its staff.