COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Please consider this a living document. We will update FAQs frequently, providing new information as it becomes available. Please do not read these answers as policies or permanent measures.

Last update: 5:50 PM EST on May 7, 2020
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1. FAQ: General

a. Is there a version of our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines that can be shared publicly?

2. FAQ: Client work

a. My clients want me to come to meetings. Is it OK if I go?

  • No. All staff are asked not to attend in-person meetings at this time.
  • Please discuss any concerns with your leader.

b. Should we continue inviting external clients to our offices?

  • No. Effective, March 12, please do not schedule any new in-person visits and/or tours until directed otherwise.

c. Should we cancel any in-person client meetings already booked?

  • Yes. Please update clients with our recent policy change regarding meetings and set up a virtual meeting instead.

d. What about attending meetings at client offices, research facilities, or on location?

  • No. Effective March 12, please conduct all meetings virtually. When this is not possible, discuss with your leader.

e. What about upcoming large multi-client meetings or community consultations? If our client is still going, should I?

  • No. Effective March 12, we ask that all RWDI employees not attend any large gatherings. 

f. What should I tell clients who still want to meet in person?

  • Let them know about RWDI’s COVID-19 policy.
  • Share our company’s external email to clients from March 16, 2020.
  • Invite them to review this document available on our website.

3. FAQ: Interviews and new hires

a. Should we continue to conduct interviews with outside candidates at our office?

  • No. Effective March 12, please host interviews virtually. When this is not possible, please contact HR.

b. What should we be telling potential candidates?

  • We care about the well-being of our staff, including prospective staff. The evolving COVID-19 situation is extraordinary and we, therefore, are taking extraordinary precautions to prevent its spread and protect our communities.

c. How do I manage the onboarding of a new employee?

  • We are working to make onboarding of new employees a virtual process until the COVID-19 situation is contained. Please consult with HR.

d. What about co-op students?

  • The upcoming co-op sessions are being postponed or cancelled. We will review the program at a later date.

4. FAQ: Conferences

a. What do I do if I am presenting at a conference, or attending one?

  • If the conference isn’t cancelled, please cancel your participation.

b. My client is attending a conference or event and wants me to be there. What do I say?

  • Effective March 12, RWDI staff are not to attend any conferences until further notice. Refer them to these guidelines if they still have questions.

c. What if I am delivering a lecture or teaching?

  • Effective March 12, we ask all staff to postpone giving lectures or teaching to larger groups. Please seek options to deliver any lectures virtually.

5. FAQ: Office attendance

a. Should I still be coming to the office?

  • If you are feeling unwell, please do not come into the office and follow the protocol established by health authorities.
  • Effective March 16, 2020, staff who can effectively and efficiently work from home are encouraged to do so.

b. What if I am uncomfortable coming to work right now on public transit? Can I take a taxi or Uber?

  • Effective March 16, 2020, please do not take public transit. If possible, discuss the option of working from home with your leader.

c. Can I still travel to any of our other offices that are within driving distance?

  • No. Effective March 12, there is no inter-office travel. This includes travel between our Toronto and Guelph offices.

d. Have any RWDI employees been diagnosed with COVID-19? If so, which office was impacted?

  • As of March 16, no RWDI employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Should this change, we will follow our safety protocols and update affected employees immediately.

e. How will we receive updates on changes?

  • Emails will continue to be sent to all staff with any immediate or significant changes.
  • Please refer to the Safety Guidelines regularly.

f. What about staff social events, collaboration meetings and town halls?

  • Effective March 16, all gatherings should be conducted virtually.
  • All meetings or events with shared food are suspended.

6. FAQ: Team / In-person Meetings

a. Can I still have team or in-person meetings?

  • Effective March 16, 2020, online meetings are strongly encouraged. If necessary, small groups of people may use meeting and boardrooms, provided social distancing can be maintained and no equipment is shared.

c. We have a team-building event coming up. Can we still do it?

  • No. Please postpone all non-essential events.

7. FAQ: Personal travel

a. What is the expectation regarding personal travel?

  • We encourage all staff not to travel at this time.
  • Please consult the Safety Guidelines document.
  • Anyone returning from international travel must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Anyone who has been in contact or lives with someone who recently returned from international travel needs to self-isolate. 

8. FAQ: Personal health

a. What do I do if I feel concerned or afraid?

We understand this is a rapidly evolving situation with much uncertainty. The well-being and safety of our staff is always our top priority. These precautions and policies are intended to protect you and hopefully offer some assurance. That said, some heightened concern is very normal.

If you are feeling anxious, talk to us or call our Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). You can access them online at login.lifeworks.com or by telephone at 1-877-207-8833. Refer to your employee manual for login information.

b. If I used my sick days and I am feeling unwell, what do I do?

  • Please refer to our employee manual and sick-time policy.

c. In the event any team member is diagnosed with COVID-19, will we be notified to get tested? How will it be handled?

  • If a COVID-19 positive case emerges at an RWDI office, we will immediately take steps to inform all relevant personnel. We will work closely with authorities to ensure we are keeping our staff as safe as possible.

d. I have learned that I may have had contact with someone who tested positive with COVID-19. I’m not sure if I even encountered the person directly. What should I do?

  • Please alert your leader and HR before coming into the office. As the spread progresses, we will likely request that you self-quarantine and work from home.

9. FAQ: Technology and equipment

a. What if I need assistance connecting to the network or using technology from home? Who can help me?

  • Our IT department will continue to be available to answer questions and provide support at helpdesk@rwdi.com.

10. FAQ: Possible school closures

a. What do I do if my children's school closes?

11. FAQ: Media inquiries

a. Can we share this document with the media or do media interviews about our office’s response to COVID-19?

  • Please refer any media requests to MarComs@rwdi.com. Our MarComs team is happy to share our plan and arrange any interviews, should that be deemed appropriate.