COVID-19: Suggestions for Returning to the Office

Back to the office - COVID-19

According to MarketWatch, 55% of businesses listed on YELP!  are closed due to COVID-19. Thankfully, some of those businesses did not shut down for good and are starting to reopen back up physically and/or virtually. What will the post-COVID-19 workplace look like?

What are offices doing differently during COVID-19?

Some offices are working virtual, some are doing a hybrid, and some businesses are bringing employees back in-person with new special precautions. If your office is planning on having everyone go back to the office, there are many things to consider. 

The CDC released the following articles with tips and suggestions on how to protect yourself and others. You may want to include some of those suggestions in your email to employees, along with the other new procedures your office will have in place: COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings and Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

There are many steps you can take in your workplace to help slow the spread of COVID-19, as well as multiple questions and suggestions your business may want to consider before employees return to work.

COVID-19 Questions for Office Buildings

Connect with your building management to discuss the new policies that are in place and get an understanding of the building protocols. What will the building be doing differently to ensure the safety of the people that enter? Request a copy of the rules and regulations so you can share them with your employees. Below are a few questions to ask.

  • What signage will they have? Will there be signs reminding people to stay 6 ft. apart? 
  • If your building has an elevator, is there a limit to how many people may enter?
  • Will there be signs outside the doors saying there is no entry without a mask? 
  • Will there be temperature and mask checks?
  • Does the building have a protocol if someone tests positive? 
  • Does that protocol align with yours? 
  • How will a positive test be handled? 
  • Who will have access to the building? What will the protocols be with vendors, deliveries, mail, and guests?

COVID-19 Office Changes

Share the building and office rules and protocols with employees prior to returning. Communicate the ongoing changes that that take effect for the building and office. Depending on your office and its setup, preparing for employees returning to work will vary. Below are a few questions to help you prepare for employees returning to work.

  • Will you have signs at the door reminding people to wear a mask, stay 6 ft. apart, and to stay home if they have a temperature above 100.4°F?
  • If your building does not perform temperature checks, will your office be doing temperature checks before employees come in the door? 
  • What will the maximum capacity be for conference rooms, bathrooms, lunchrooms, break rooms, supply rooms, coffee areas? It is important to include this in the email to employees before they return to work. Will you have maximum capacity signs posted?
  • Do you plan to supply masks, wipes, or disinfectant spray? Will there be disinfectant spray available as soon as people walk in the door?
  • Will your office have a cleaning company disinfect the office after each work day? 

Contact Us

Encouraging open communication and listening to your employees’ ideas and concerns as everyone is adapting to their new workplace environment is critical. We hope your home and work families remain safe and healthy during these challenging times. If you have any questions or concerns about how your office should handle the changes, please feel free to contact us.