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Returning To Work After COVID-19 

As fewer cases of coronavirus are reported, businesses are starting to transition their employees back into the workplace. It is crucial, however, to plan for every eventuality, from government regulations and landlord policies to facilities management and occupancy planning. This blog sets out a checklist that will focus your plans for the transition and make your workplace COVID-19 secure.

COVID-19 secure workplace checklist

Local government regulations

Stay compliant by seeking local government guidance on reopening places of work. In some cases, you will need to obtain a new certificate of occupancy. If this is the case, be sure to do it before your staff return to the workplace.

Landlord policies

Confirm any new rules and procedures with your landlord and determine the necessary policies regarding the building’s safety and cleanliness.

Business continuity plan (BCP)

Ensure your BCP includes a verified list of essential roles and individuals who will be returning to work. Supplement this with contingency plans and critical response controls to account for a failed reopening or another virus outbreak that forces additional closures.

PPE supply chains

Keep a close eye on PPE (especially face masks) supply chains and consider advance orders for items with long-lead times.

HR and legal considerations

Establish protocols for employees with high-risk conditions (e.g. asthma, heart conditions) who will not be returning to the workplace immediately. Prepare a HIPPA-compliant policy that allows your employees to report suspected infections and grievances confidentially. 

Workspace and speciality areas

Ensure floor plans and seating arrangements meet your local government’s social distancing guidelines. Use appropriate signage throughout the building to communicate new COVID-secure workplace protocols and etiquette. Plan how to address impact on non-work areas like post rooms and gyms – one way is designing a one-way system that limits the number of people using these areas at a given time. Where applicable, set straightforward policies for entry into other company buildings.