When your business is ready to reopen, you should do so in a manner that balances your needs and the health and safety of employees. As such, consider reopening in phases, and be sure to provide ample employee communications throughout the entire process. Depending on your business and location, this phased-in approach to reopening will vary.
You will need to keep state and local guidance related to social distancing in mind when reopening your business. For example, if your local guidance prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people, it may not be advised or permitted for all employees to return to work. Consider asking only essential employees to return to work. As regulations begin to permit allowing larger gatherings, incrementally increase the number of employees permitted within the office or building. Whenever possible, leverage telecommuting and rotating schedules to keep employees safe.

Be sure to implement any screening or workplace protocols that were created prior to reopening your business. In addition, make sure to provide any necessary managerial or employee training to ensure that every employee understands how they can do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 once your business reopens. Consider distributing an employee version of your return to work action plan to be as transparent as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has created stress and uncertainty for many employees, and the prospect of returning to work in the midst of the pandemic can cause uneasiness among employees. By being transparent, employees will know what to expect and are able to see the steps you’re taking to protect them while they’re at work.

In addition, it’s important to remain flexible and adaptive throughout your reopening process. Due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, rules and regulations are constantly changing. You should be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations. Depending on how the pandemic progresses, you may need to make changes to your return to work action plan, suspend operations again or add additional safety measures.

While resuming operations following the COVID-19 pandemic may seem like a daunting task, businesses don’t have to go it alone. To help with this process, organizations can seek the help of their insurance professionals to determine what actions they need to take to ensure their business reopens smoothly.

Furthermore, while the strategies highlighted in this document can protect workers from COVID-19, it’s important to follow CDC guidance at all times. For more information, click here.

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Further Reading
Step 1 - Planning
Step 2 - Communication
Step 3 - Preparation
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Creating a Return to Work Action Plan: Step 3 - Preparation Creating a Return to Work Action Plan: Step 2 - Communication