As many states are considering reopening, businesses that have been disrupted by the pandemic are welcoming the move. However, before reintegration into office life can happen, businesses must plan properly as failure to do so can be very dangerous.
While creating a plan for employees to return to the workplace, businesses should take into consideration certain things to ensure safety is maintained and resources are managed.
Reduce Workplace Capacity and Maintain Remote Working
Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have been put in place as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to slow the spread of COVID-19. A large number of workers returning to a workplace where people are working closely together increases the risk of spreading and contracting the virus. When considering having employees return to the workplace, it is critical to manage the number of people in the office each day. Rotate a group of employees to work from the office every few days instead of allowing everyone to come back at the same time. This will help protect workplace health.
Although regular workplaces are increasing in availability, businesses should maintain some form of remote working. Lockdowns may continue on a rolling basis for quite a while, especially in areas where the threat of COVID-19 is high. Whether organizations elect to keep employees working remotely or are forced to do so due to a staff member contracting the virus, disruptions may be minimized by having a workforce accustomed to working remotely.
Reconfigure Physical Workspace
Despite the reopening of workplaces, the restrictions put in place during COVID-19 will not be entirely removed. Workplaces will still need to practice social distancing, reduce employee gatherings, and enforce proper hygiene practices. Businesses will need to reconfigure both individual and shared spaces in order to maintain distance between employees. Limiting the number of people in in-person meetings, maintaining a cleaning schedule for facilities, and mandating temperature checks and travel histories of visitors are some of the considerations that can be made when rethinking physical workplace.
Practice Regular Communication