Creating a Plan For Employees Returning to Work During COVID-19

As businesses continue to navigate through the coronavirus pandemic, they should be considering the major steps they’ll need to take once it appears employees will be able to return to the workplace, and operations will return to as close to normal as possible.

Those plans need to be both short-term, including assuring all employees’ health and safety, and long-term. This includes looking at how your operations will run in the future, with either a full return to the workplace or perhaps a hybrid model, including some telework.

Here are the areas to consider as you put together your plans:

Short-term planning

Employers must stay current on local, state, and federal health directives, so they know when it’s safe to begin bringing back employees to the workplace.

The first step is to appoint a team of department heads to establish a plan that covers all aspects of a safe return-to-work plan. This will include any reconfiguration of workspaces to comply with social distancing to eliminate any risks of exposure, make personal protective gear available, and plan to clean and disinfect all facilities regularly. There must also be a strategy in place to quickly respond to an outbreak in the workplace.

This plan must also include steps to mitigate any potential liability risks.

Next, devise a plan for actually bringing back employees. Depending on your workforce’s size, it could be all at once, or it may need to be in phases. You might also consider offering employees a flexible plan, particularly if they rely on public transportation or have conflicts at home with childcare or children involved in distance learning.

Long-term planning

Even as they plan to bring back employees, companies should take the time to evaluate the future. What will your company look like in the post-COVID-19 world, whether that’s one or more years away? Now is the time to consider future staffing levels, production quotas, and other aspects of what could be a changing business world.

Now would be a good time to decide if a total re-design of your workplace is in order. Or, perhaps companies can plan on using a hybrid mix of some employees reporting to work while other continue to work remotely.

Staffing Resources is a top provider of workforce management, staffing, and temporary services in Indiana. To find out how we can help your company, contact us today.

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