When you finally have a return to work date, have your checklist ready and make sure you have done everything possible to provide a safe work environment for you and your employees.
Has the building been cleaned, sanitized and have provisions been made to continue cleaning during the workday?
Are there written guidelines, posters, and supplies explaining to employees how to protect themselves and their coworkers to keep their work area clean and disinfected?
Do you have PPE for all your employees, or do they know to bring their own face covering?
If you plan to conduct health checks as employees arrive, make sure you have planned a system.
If you have employees that utilize public transportation to get to work, try to see if there are other options available. If not, can you alter their start/end times to avoid the crowds on the bus/train/subway. Make sure they wear face coverings on their ride and wash their hands or use sanitizer as soon as they arrive to work and do not touch their face.
Schools and daycares in your area might not be open when your company returns to work. Childcare could be a looming problem for the next few months. Have open and honest conversations with your employees to see if there is a way to accommodate them with remote work, alter working hours, other possible daycare/childcare options or Family Leave.
Make sure all employees know to stay home if they are sick. This is extremely important.
Some normal day to day activities have drastically changed:
- No personal contact – no handshakes, hugging, close meeting spaces
- No item sharing – phones, desks, office equipment, office supplies
- Make sure all employees are 6 feet apart if possible
- No hangout spots or gathering areas
- Adjust start/end and breakroom times
- Provide sanitation and cleaning supplies around the building
- Eliminate or drastically reduce visitors
Many of these changes will be permanent to prevent future problems. Update your employee handbook so all changes are available to existing and future employees. Digital handbooks will be a great way to quickly make changes as needed.
This process seems daunting, scary and confusing. Take it day by day and we will get through this together. Check out the newest guidelines from the CDC.
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