Getting ready to welcome employees back into the office for the first time since the pandemic started? Here are some thoughts for you to consider as you make preparations.
The first thing you will need to do is learn about state & local government mandates regarding vaccination status as it applies to public and private areas. Visit the appropriate websites as well as the CDC website to make certain you are in compliance with all laws regarding this issue.
Transparency and communication will be critical to make sure everyone understands what is expected of them and that they remain compliant to ensure the safety of everyone.
Keep lines of communication open as there will undoubtedly be questions as policy and laws continue to evolve, as well as allowing employees to voice any concerns.
You may need to rethink the way your office is currently designed. Review the layout to make sure your office is adhering to social distancing guidelines as outlined by the CDC.
Creating an open-concept or moving desks or people around are options, as well as creating work “shifts” where employees alternate the days they are in the office to avoid office over-crowding.
Washing stations and hand sanitizing stations will help minimize germs and the transfer of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases among your employees.
Determine the feasibility for employees to work from home part of the week to keep office headcount low to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Will you require employees to take COVID tests and if so under what circumstances and how often? Certain cities and states have testing requirements mandated for anyone working within their jurisdictions.
Make sure you are aware of what you’re required to do as an employer in those regions. For those in regions that don’t require testing you will need to determine if testing your employees for COVID-19 is in the best interest of your company, as there are significant costs associated with testing depending on the size of your organization.
Preparing the office for work after COVID is complicated and requires a lot of thought and planning. The ultimate goal is to create a safe and supportive working environment for all employees who are in the office. Make sure all factors are considered when deciding when and how to bring back your employees.