Returning to Work
Getting employees back into the office safely is no small feat. While some employers have begun the transition into the workplace, a majority of organizations are still working from home. While we are still in the early stages of vaccine distribution, it is a good time to begin creating your return-to-work strategy. Listed below are some tips to consider when designing a return-to-work plan.
Return-to-Work: Best Practices and Tips
Keep in mind that every organization’s return-to-work plan will be unique, and different plans may be required based on location, local requirements and function. The following tips from Benefit News and Shearman & Sterling are meant to serve as an outline and/or inspiration for your strategy:
1. Begin with Communication
If you haven’t yet re-opened your office and are looking for a starting point to begin creating your return-to-work strategy, the first step should be to communicate with your employees! Discuss aspects of your return-to-work plan with your employees and be open to their suggestions and feedback. This effective bi-directional communication strategy will help ensure your plan meets all of your employees’ safety needs and that your office is fully equipped to safely reopen.
2. Invest in Testing
As of right now, testing is the most effective way of preventing spread in the workplace. Any employer that is serious about re-opening their workplace safely should strongly consider a strategy for regularly testing their employees. Health Designs offers diagnostic COVID-19 testing that accurately detects active infection, helps guide care management for infected individuals, and encourages timely isolation to prevent the spread of the virus throughout your organization. To learn more about our services, click here!
3. Provide Tools & Resources
Since we are still in the early stages of vaccine distribution and many employees remain remote, now is the perfect time to decide which tools and resources will be most beneficial in your workplace. Tools and resources may include glass partitions, symptom screening stations, contact tracing platforms, etc. One resource you should consider creating is an employee handbook that outlines exactly what to expect when the physical office reopens so there is no confusion!
4. Consider a Phased Approach
A phased approach is a great strategy for those that wish to limit the number of employees present at a single location at any given time and gradually return to full capacity. With this strategy, consider polling your workforce to see if any employees would volunteer or otherwise be willing to be part of the first phase of returning employees. This specific strategy has the added benefit of not overwhelming the organization and its cleaning crew as everyone adjusts to the enhanced office cleaning and disinfection routines.
For more information, visit Benefit News and Shearman & Sterling! Another valuable resource to check out is the Return-to-Work Checklist from SHRM.