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Returning To Office After COVID-19

Coming back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic is not as simple as you might imagine. Most workplaces will have to undergo specific revamps and remodels. On top of that, there will be some long-term changes that will remain due to pandemic as well. Here you have a list with some of the most important issues and tasks you must consider if you want to reopen your offices.

Focus on workplace safety

All employers need to make sure that the workplace is as safe as possible. There are some key things to focus on here, such as performing employee screening. It’s important to create a response plan too, such as making people work from home, offering containment and isolation, as well as exposure communication. Offering facemasks and gloves or personal sanitizer will be a must-have.

Aside from that, you also need to enforce physical distancing measures, just to be safe and ensure everything is working at the highest level. In addition, you must perform deep cleaning and sanitizing, not to mention business travel needs to be restricted. You can also establish a certain visitor or customer protocol. Staying up to date with the latest Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be imperative at this time.

How can you perform the recall procedure?

First, you want to see if employees are willing to get back to work or not. Then you want to create a plan where you phase-in employees that are indeed coming back to work. It might also require some changes to the current schedule or how employees are working at this time. You will need to notify the state unemployment agency that specific people came back to work.

Compensation

Are there any pay cuts needed? Will the employee receive any compensation when he/she comes back? All these things are extremely important to focus on. 

Employee benefits

It’s important to review employee benefits like 401k, paid leave, flexible spending accounts, group health insurance of anything similar. You want to communicate any changes related to these benefits, according to the Covid-19 situation. It’s also important to let the employee know about any status changes, if the bonuses will be affected and anything similar. 

Remote work

Many businesses are unable to pay their rent due to the lower number of sales. What they can do is to push the idea of remote work. Even companies that area in a better state financially are still pushing remote work as a great solution because it’s efficient and it also protects workers. It’s important to consider the long term impact and savings that come from permanent remote work. Some of the employees can still continue working from home, some of them will come to the office. You want to have a way for them to communicate with one another. That’s why implemented virtual communication protocols is extremely important.

Changing policies

This “new normal” is enforcing a few policy changes too. Sick employees will be encouraged to stay at home, paid leave policies will be adjusted based on the business needs, and many businesses will end up implementing flexible scheduling options. Meal and rest break policies can also be staggered in order to enforce the idea of social distancing.

Preparing a business continuity plan

It’s imperative to have a system in place that helps with business continuity. You need to create a pandemic task force that will monitor the internal and external data and ensure everyone is safe. You can also update the contact information and plan resources. In addition, you need to perform tests to ensure employees are safe. 

Conclusion

Enforcing new rules and implementing social distancing measures is imperative if you want your employees to come back to work. You will also need to establish a business continuity plan, while also changing policies. These guidelines will help make it easier to return to the office safely and without any worries. 

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