While it’s too early to pin a date on a possible return to work for most of us, it’s not too early to start to consider planning for that inevitable day. The sudden shelter-in-place orders may have created their own set of chaos, but you’ll want to ensure the easing of those restrictions doesn’t create a second set. Now is the time to start thinking about what a return might look like and what modifications to your workplace or employee work schedules may be necessary. Obviously, your plan will vary based on your type of business (for example, a restaurant will require significantly different strategy from a manufacturing plant or a typical office setting). Below are some considerations for those of you like us in an office:
Seating: If social distancing of 6 feet is still required, people may not be able to sit next to or across from each other. You might have to create a schedule of who works in the office on what day, etc.
Increase Air Exchange: You may want to consider working with building management now to see if it’s possible to increase the air circulation in your office suite(s).
Social Guidelines Rules: You may be expected to limit congregating in common spaces and adjust positioning in conference rooms for larger meetings. This may require the removal of chairs, tape on the floors or some other visible barrier.
Cleaning: You may want to work with your landlord to increase cleanings of commonly touched surfaces.
If an employee is feeling ill – they probably need to be sent home ASAP:
Additionally, some people may be afraid to come back and will want to continue working from home longer. And, there could be those who continue to be challenged with limited childcare options and will be forced to continue. Regardless, you should have a strategy in place, with managers onboard, before communicating it to the company. Now is the time to start thinking about it and initiating discussions with senior management, if you haven’t already.