Guidance for Hosting In-person Meetings

Introduction

1.1 Purpose:

To provide guidance to Canadian Blood Services’ employees for hosting and managing in-person meetings.

1.2 Document ownership: 

Return-to-Office (RTO) team. Any requests for clarification should be directed to the RTO team.

1.3 Implementation and end dates: 

This guidance was revised by the Return-to-Office team on April 29, 2022. Document ownership has been transferred from the COVID-19 Program to the Return-to Office team on May 2, 2022. Any COVID-19 related changes will go through the Operations working group before it is brought forward to the Core working group for approval. This guidance will be reviewed and reassessed during the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidelines

Employees are able to access meeting rooms at Canadian Blood Services sites by booking meeting space through the Outlook System that interfaces smoothly with the new Condeco booking system for booking workstations. Those using Condeco for workstations can also book meeting space using Condeco. Those who are not using the Condeco app are asked to book meeting space through Outlook. If you have meeting space challenges or questions, we ask that you email Facilities for assistance at Ask.Facilities@blood.ca.

In planning for in-person meetings, consider the risks and benefits, particularly, whether the benefits of in-person meetings outweigh potential risk factors of COVID-19 transmission to employees (e.g., employee travelling from out-of-town, number of participants and size of the meeting room, duration and location of the meeting).

A cautious approach is recommended due to ongoing risks related to COVID-19, and all local public health and meeting site guidance must be followed. If it is determined that an onsite meeting is required, please refer to the guidelines below.

  1. The meeting organizer and participants to ensure that they adhere to onsite or offsite venue safety protocols and rules (proof of vaccination, gathering limit, etc). For COVID-19 safety protocols at CBS sites and other related details, please refer to the following link: https://www.blood.ca/en/employees
  2. Ensure there is a required business need, e.g., imperative for operations or to advance strategy, for in-person meetings to occur. The meeting should involve tasks, methods or subjects that cannot be completed virtually and will have negative implications for operations over the medium and long-term if not completed in a timely manner. These meetings should be undertaken when the COVID-19 risks for the participants, sites, other Canadian Blood Services staff, and communities are low.
  3. Any additional meeting guests/speakers will be fully vaccinated and will provide proof of vaccination for the meeting organizer.
  4. We continue to encourage employees who are coming onsite to participate in the CBS voluntary rapid antigen screening program (https://www.blood.ca/en/employees/rapidscreening).
  5. All meetings will provide a virtual option to ensure employees who are not yet comfortable with in-person events and/or travel are able to participate. Employees who are not yet comfortable with meeting in person or travelling should be aware that they are not compelled to attend in person at this time.
  6. The meeting organizer must select the right-size meeting room that is the smallest available space that still meets the in-person attendance. The largest meeting rooms must be left for the largest in-person meetings. Meeting room occupancy is posted at the room and on the booking system.
  7. Meeting organizers are requested to book an extra 15 minutes at the end of scheduled meetings to allow a refresh of the air. The booked buffer time will ensure the space is ready for the next use.
  8. Any travel requests relating to in-person meetings should meet the work-related travel policy requirement at the time.
  9. The meeting organizer will track in-person meeting attendance should it be required for COVID-19 case tracing purposes as well as to ensure the meeting room capacity limit is observed.
  10. Planning of any in person meeting should retain flexibility should the pandemic landscape (epidemiology) or protocols change resulting in the need to modify (e.g.- shift to virtual) or cancel the meeting.
  11. The meeting organizer must immediately release any reserved space if the space is no longer required.
  12. The meeting organizer will ensure the room is clean at the end of the meeting for the next group, technology has not been altered and anything that needs attention has been reported. Specific actions include putting away flip charts, pushing chairs back in around table(s), picking up garbage and turning out the lights. Cleaning supplies and sanitizer will be on-hand.

Where there are other specific requirements not captured in this guidance, the RTO team is to be consulted for further guidance prior to proceeding. This guidance document will be reviewed and reassessed regularly during the organization’s response to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Version history

Approval Date

Change

Author

2021-11-08

Initial release.

COVID-19 Program

2022-03-24

Revisions were made to indicate a new booking system will be available as part of the Return-to-Office rollout starting April 18, 2022.

COVID-19 Program

2022-04-04

Revision was made to reflect the revised date (April 18, 2022) for the new booking system.

COVID-19 Program

2022-05-26

Revisions include information on: transfer of the document ownership, Condeco booking system and a reminder to maintain 2m distance when refreshments are provided in the meeting room.

Ann Lagrandeur

2022-07-20

Removed the mention of masking and physical distancing requirements from the document.

COVID-19 Program