Bergman Real Estate Group CEO and President Michael Bergman (left) and Robin Ann Juron, a senior property manager, display a sign with health and safety guidelines for tenants returning to the office after the COVID-19 pandemic. — Courtesy: Bergman Real Estate Group
By Joshua Burd
Bergman Real Estate Group has unveiled its plans for helping tenants return safely and confidently to its portfolio of office space across New Jersey.
The real estate investment and management firm said Thursday that it’s been preparing building guidelines and comprehensive signage throughout its 23 New Jersey office buildings, as workers begin to go back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic. That process includes the launch of Bergman Cares, a set of safety policies recommended by the Centers for Disease Control focused on building cleanliness, proper hygiene and social distancing in all of its properties.
“As New Jersey reopens, worker safety comes first,” said Michael Bergman, CEO and president of Bergman Real Estate Group. “Our new policies and building enhancements will give our tenant’s and their employees peace of mind as many return to their office for the first time since this crisis began.”
Through the Bergman Cares program, the firm is placing colorful, informative signage across its properties to remind tenants on best practices in staying healthy and to solicit their help in reducing the spread of coronavirus. The campaign encourages workers to take five key steps: wash hands often, wear masks in public areas, practice social distancing, take the stairs when possible and stay home if they feel sick.
The “Work and Thrive: Follow These Five” signage has been installed throughout all the common areas of every building, according to a news release, including the main entrances, lobbies, elevators, stairways, restrooms, cafes, fitness centers, lounges and conference rooms and corridors.
Along with the signage, Bergman is implementing several building-wide enhancements to help reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission. These include:
- HVAC improvements to allow higher rates of outside air ventilation for better inside air circulation and installing HVAC filters with higher MERV ratings;
- Upgrading restroom fixtures to provide hands-free toilets, faucets, soap and towel dispensers;
- Adding more hand sanitizer stations throughout the buildings in addition to the lobbies;
- Increasing the daytime janitorial staff to clean the common areas and all high-touch surfaces more often throughout the day.
Bergman added that on-site amenities will reopen gradually in accordance with guidelines set by the CDC, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and state and local authorities.
“While we know tenants are eager to use our cafés, lounges, gyms and other shared amenities, workplace safety will remain our first priority,” Bergman said.
The company is also asking each tenant to implement its own COVID-19 company policies in accordance with state and local guidelines, the news release said. Tenants are requested to urge employees to follow CDC guidelines, the firm said, adding that they should consider measures to encourage social distancing, such as staggered shifts or physically separating employees in their office space.
Additionally, tenants should limit deliveries and guest visits where possible.
“Our entire staff has worked very hard over the past three months to help ensure the health and safety of our tenants,” Bergman said. “By putting these detailed building guidelines and procedures in place, our tenants, and hopeful future tenants, will have comfort working in our buildings knowing their employees can go about their days safely as we all do our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”