Return to Work Checklist
With businesses beginning to re-open, it’s vital to ensure your organization is prepared for the challenges ahead. While every business is different in the efforts they will need to take, here are some general tips for ensuring your office is best prepared for the potential hazards that come with a return to work:1) Having a comprehensive plan of actions to take, products to stock, and preparations to make is essential for a safe, controlled re-opening. Simply telling employees and guests to wear masks isn’t enough to ensure a safe environment. 2) Stocking up on disinfectants and cleaners isn’t quite as difficult as it was a month ago, but supplies are still limited. Be certain you are prepared to meet the cleaning needs of your business for as long as possible, and establish a plan to deep clean as frequently as your supplies permit. 3) Organize your work space to create an environment conducive to social distancing. Ensure employees’ desks are 6 feet apart and limit seating in communal areas such as break rooms. If not possible, look to install physical barriers such as plexiglass to avoid the spread of germs between employees or to guests/customers. Similarly, depending on the size and layout of your facilities, it is recommended to direct traffic to manage any potential issues with the flow of individuals through the business and avoid unintended contact with others. 4) While most have some form of PPE already, it is recommended to procure a supply of masks, gloves, face shields, or any other equipment specific to your office. Employees and guests forget theirs, and your organization needs to be prepared so as not to send anyone away empty-handed or potentially risk endangering others. 5) Install touchless equipment, including paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers, door handles, and hand sanitizer stations. These are among the highest-use pieces of equipment in a business environment. Eliminating the need for contact can drastically reduce the spread of bacteria in shared spaces. 6) Prepare and stock hygiene stations in high-traffic areas, communal spaces, and near entrances. Wide availability of sanitizing products is the best way to ensure your employees and guests can consistently halt the interpersonal spread of bacteria. 7) When returning employees to the office, do so in a staggered or phased system. Essential employees who are unable to work from home should be first, with high-risk or exclusively digital employees being the last to return. Doing this gives time to adapt to your organizations’ new measures and fix any issues that may arise. 8) Develop a testing protocol and stick to it. While many businesses are using infrared thermometers to do temperature checks, you can use oral thermometers with disposable sleeves. In smaller offices with less than 10 individuals, self-reporting of symptoms or contact with sick individuals will suffice. In taking these proactive steps, your business can re-open confidently, continuing to monitor any additional actions recommended by leading organizations, such as the CDC and OSHA. While no solution is perfect, taking confident, comprehensive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is the key to getting your organization back to normal as soon as possible while protecting your employees, guests, and customers.