Reopening During COVID-19

What businesses should consider before returning to work in the ‘new normal’

The COVID-19 pandemic has become the message in most of our conversations, television screens, and now for some businesses, it has become a part of a new routine and set of precautions.

As non-essential businesses prepare to reopen, there are a few things to consider before allowing employees and customers to return.

  1. Consider Your Local Guidelines
    It is highly recommended that all businesses consider their local guidelines before making any decisions, as each geographic area has different approaches to reopening and what that will look like.
  2. Key Point of Contacts
    While the entire office needs to be aware of what new guidelines will be implemented to take precaution, depending on your office size, one or two people need to be point of contact for any communication or questions that may need answering. Most of the time, this will be your Operations Director or someone in a similar role.
  3. Risk Assessment
    When allowing people to enter your business, make sure to have a plan in place to handle at risk situations.
    a. If a COVID-19 patient were to have entered your business or if someone has come into contact with a COVID-19 patient, there needs to be a process in which this is handled.
    b. Do you have employees who usually must meet with people in-person? The process of how to address these situations, whether through a Zoom call or the procedure for when they return to the office, needs to be set.
  4. Flexible Work Schedule
    Many are still in various phases of what their work schedule will look like, and with this, home life can be affected. With many workers having kids or certain obligations at home, the understanding of a flexible schedule is key to being a helpful work environment. With a hybrid schedule (half work-from-home, half in office) or the possibility to continue working remote, we suggest meeting with employees and finding what their needs are.
  5. Screening Employees Entrance
    As you start to allow employees back into your office or facility, it is important to ensure that all are healthy. It is advised that you take the temperature of anyone entering the building beforehand.
  6. Social Distancing
    If your office space is large with multiple people and desks, or if you have a smaller space with multiple desks, make sure to still maintain 6 feet of distance if possible.
  7. Sanitary Office Environment
    Last, it is crucial to continue to thoroughly clean all areas of the office with CDC approved materials. Desktops, bathrooms, door handles, any surfaces or areas that are touched often need to be sanitized with the disinfectants. It is also suggested leaving windows open to have open air flow occurring throughout the day.

While most of these things may sound minimal, the effect they will have on a healthy work environment as we return to “normal” will be immense. Of course, there are more precautions that can be taken, but these are some we found to be the most helpful and find doable in the chaos of returning. Please be safe and continue to be cautious as we enter Phase One.