Returning to the workplace after the quarantine is exciting, stressful, and uncertain. While there are many reactions to reopening and vital phases to return to normalcy, the most important aspect is safety. Here are some considerations for planning to reopen your business post-pandemic.
Phases to Opening
An important part of reopening after being shut down from a pandemic is to decide how your business should go about reopening. Consider if you should open in phases with only certain personnel going into the office at a time or on certain days. Also, think about if there should be specifications made to incorporate social distancing. Explore if it would be possible to rearrange the layout of your workplace in order to keep employees six feet apart. Also, how should common areas such as the break room, conference rooms, and bathroom be set up to accommodate social distancing? Some places have provided markings on the floor for where to stand to respect other’s space.
In order to protect employees, you should consider whether protective equipment should be worn. You can take into account if a mask and/or gloves should be worn all day, part of the day, or only in certain common areas. Another important protective measure would be to keep disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer near doors. Alternatively, if it is not a security risk, consider keeping doors propped open to avoid people touching them constantly.
Remote Work Extensions
Has remote work been successful for your business? It might be worth it to contemplate if remote work could be the new normal for your company. If you are only allowing a certain number of employees within the office, the other personnel could work from home. Moreover, think about if employees need to take public transportation to get to work or have children at home from school or day cares. If these employees can continue to work from home, it might be in the best interest for everyone involved.
Remain consistent with your staff about the day of reopening, what procedures will be in place, and any deviations from the normal routine. By doing so, every employee will be well aware of what is happening and what is expected of them upon returning to the office.
Interaction with Customers
Will your business have a protocol when it comes to outsiders coming into the office such as the mailman or clients? If you are making changes for your staff to follow, such as wearing a mask and gloves, there should be similar requirements for others entering the office. Reflect on the policies you are implementing within your staff and how you could apply them to others coming into the office.
Remind all employees to stay home if they are feeling ill. Also, do not let up on new policies that have been established from the pandemic. They are in place for a reason, and if something like this were to occur again, your business will be prepared and hopefully these actions will lessen the impact.
These are unprecedented times and going back to normal is a risk in and of itself. Make sure your business is prepared. Our HR Help Center provides useful information for employers to handle uncertain situations in your business. Contact Abacus Payroll for access to this feature for your company.