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For some returning to work after COVID-19 may be anxiety inducing and for some businesses it can be quite a debacle. To ease the transition from shutdown or remote work to being back in the office, we bring you a 6 step plan on what to do to insure your office and employees are prepared to return.

 

 

Make the Workplace Safe

  • Deep clean the office before employees return
  • Increase daily cleaning
  • Have daily cleaning standards of desks and common spaces
  • In a shared offices, determine cleaning responsibilities with your landlord and other building tenants
  • Ensure you have current and correct emergency contact information for every employee
  • Have and share risk mitigation strategies for employees commuting by public transit, carpooling or ride sharing
  • Communicate rules for shared kitchen use to all employees and post them in the kitchen area
  • Decide how, if at all, to enforce social distancing in areas where employees congregate (e.g. water cooler, break room, photocopy room)

 

Encourage Good Hygiene

  • Order hygiene products to have on-hand (e.g. hand sanitizer, paper towels, hand soap, disinfectant wipes, tissues, masks)
  • Lead by example
  • Hang posters in common spaces on the best practices in regards to health and hygiene, for example; hand washing practices, not coming into work if sick and coughing and sneezing. WHO has a couple of downloadable resources here.
  • Face masks? If so, decide who will supply and replace/launder them and enforce correct use?

 

Update Policies and Procedures

  • Reorganize office layout to give employees more space between work stations and/or install sneeze guards between spaces
  • Limit the number of employees in meeting rooms and encourage large meetings to be held via video conference
  • Update visitor policies: are delivery people, clients or employee family and friends allowed in the workplace? Is there a way to make deliveries contactless? These are good questions to ask yourself.

 

Support Employees’ Restore Productivity Mental Health

  • Be aware of mental health issues that can arise from periods of isolation
  • Share resources for employees who are struggling with their mental health or with stress during this time
  • Decide what to do with employees who feel unsafe returning to work
  • Offer mental health leave

 

Restore Productivity

  • Get employees back to their routines with as little interruption as possible
  • Offer exercise and mindfulness resources
  • Take inventory of devices and equipment coming back into the office

 

Encourage Social Interaction

  • Bring employees back in stages and/or on rotating shifts
  • Allow employees work time to celebrate and reconnect whilst practicing social distancing
  • Plan bonding activities which are safe, like talent show, problem solving activity or quiz etc.

 

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Any other tips you can think of that might help businesses create the best return to work plan? We are all in this together.

 

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