Facilities + Office Safety – Virtual (Mar 18)

This program is intended for Facilities Directors or the top manager responsible for facilities and office space reintegration plans and re-entry planning. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this forum will be a chance to collaborate and share information with other utilities on how they are approaching office workspace. Part of the agenda will focus on near-term issues of using physical spaces for the workforce such as work-place planning and management tools, restructuring public space, reducing, or protecting personal workspace, as well as challenges related to testing, HVAC, PPE and janitorial/food services. As we look ahead there will also be conversation around long-term strategy and planning for how utilities will balance remote work, human resources, technology, and office/facilities space needs in the next normal.

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General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Jana Elliott, Director of Facilities, Security & Emergency Management, Seattle City Light

    • Program Location
    • Virtual Event
    • No travel required. All agenda times are in Pacific time. Instructions to access the virtual event will be provided to the attendee before the program.
    • Who Should Attend
      • Directors and top-level managers responsible for facilities and office re-integration plans.
      • Directors of Safety or Emergency Management
      • Facilities Directors
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $199 USD

    Registration includes virtual access to all agenda items and digital program materials.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • To best serve WEI members and program participants during the COVID-19 pandemic, WEI will be waiving its standard cancellation policy for this program and all virtual programs through July 2021. Registrants can now receive a full refund should they need to cancel their registration up to the day before the program begins. This applies to both new and existing registrations for virtual programs.
  • Participation Policy
  • Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public. Recording is not permitted for any portion of the event.
  • For more information contact Christopher Lee, Senior Program Manager at (971) 255-4967.


All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Virtual Help Desk + Technology Check

The room will open early with optional time for participants to get familiar with the virtual platform, test their audio and webcam, or ask questions about the agenda before we begin.

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM

Welcome + Introductions

Be prepared to introduce yourself and share:

  • Name, title, company,
  • Headcount of office workers (pre-COVID)
  • Location: urban, suburban, or rural
  • # of buildings, approximate sq. ft., how many high-density sites (office)?

9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Roundtable – Getting Back to the Office
Facilitator(s): Jana Elliott, Director of Facilities, Security & Emergency Management, Seattle City Light

What will it look like for your company to get back to the office?

  • What is your anticipated return to work date?
  • Which departments will return first?
  • When you first return, what % or how many days remote do you anticipate?
  • Will you be sharing cubes?
  • Are you making short-term changes to the space? HVAC, barriers, etc.
  • What other changes are you making?
  • Are you responsible for Testing, PPE, health screening? What will your utility require for office space access?

9:45 AM - 10:30 AM

Roundtable Discussion

Be prepared to share a brief overview of your company’s:
-Biggest current facilities challenges.
-Opportunities or successes you have had so far.

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM


10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Sharing Resources

A chance to share tools and resources that you have been using or are considering.

  • What best practices are you looking at?
  • What information sources are you utilizing?
  • What technology (hardware or software) are you considering?
  • Activity-based work. How does job role/activity affect space needs?

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Workplace Modeling
Facilitator(s): Erin Kelly, Director, Facilities & Real Estate and Special Projects, Hydro One Inc.

What model will you use long-term for your office workers?

  • Status of hybrid model adoption
    • Has your company decided to enable more remote working post COVID?
    • If so, what have been the primary drivers?
    • Did you survey employees for their input on hybrid model adoption?
      • If you are planning to adopt hybrid or pilot hybrid, what are your first steps?  What are you experimenting with? 
  • Status on COVID
    • When do you think your organization will return to normal operations?
  • Employees on site, space
    • Once employees are back on site, do you envision a changes to work stations sizes?
    • Are you planning to adopt a free address seating model where employees reserve their seats? 
    • What are your planned split for onsite, remote, hybrid?
    • Are you planning to increase collaboration space?
    • Are you planning to adopt ‘neighborhoods’ where groups/departments have designated seating areas or are you adopting 100% free address with no designated areas for different departments?       
    • Are you planning to increase or decrease space overall?
    • What technology are you using to enable hotel reservations?
    • Are you considering co-working locations for your portfolio? 

1:30 PM - 1:45 PM


1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Open Roundtable Discussion

Discuss long-term strategy for office space and how utilities will balance remote work with office space needs in the future.

  • Reducing facilities infrastructure
    • How are you assessing space needs?
    • What will the demand/use of remote work be?
    • How are you making financial decisions right now?
  • Updating Policy – what types of policy changes are you considering? Has anybody started to draft policies on remote or hybrid?

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Wrap Up + Future Planning

This was the first time for WEI to offer this program.
-Was this beneficial for your reopening?
-Is there anything you would like to see added?
-Brainstorm ideas for June program.

3:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Meeting Adjourns