How to Return to Work After Coronavirus

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, many states are offering plans for how to return to work after coronavirus and reopen certain businesses to the public. This could be a difficult concept for many business owners and employees, who want to know how to restart work after months of being at home. 

What will adjusting to the “new normal” mean for the workplace, and how can you prepare yourself to be safe and well in your return to work? We’ll outline some best practices for reopening your business so you can feel more confident in your ability to return to work after coronavirus. 

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Protecting Yourself, Your Workers, and Your Clients

Returning to work is only a step in the process of responding and recovering from the large-scale effects of COVID-19. How to return to work after coronavirus will depend on the size of your business, as well as your state’s guidelines for reopening, but there are many basic measures businesses can and should take to ensure that all employees, clients, and customers can keep the risk of infection to a minimum.

How to Return to Work as an Employer

According to OSHA, some of the most effective protective procedures you can take as an employer include:

  • Making a detailed plan for your safety and sanitation procedures before reopening, including daily sanitation procedures, workplace social distancing guides, and temperature screenings, if possible. Review these procedures with your staff via teleconference before returning to work.
  • Providing ample sanitation measures, such as antibacterial soaps near sinks, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content in multiple areas of the workplace, and the daily use of disinfectant cleaning agents (according to manufacturer guidelines).
  • Implementing flexible scheduling procedures, such as allowing limited staff back into the workplace while keeping telecommuting measures in place for most employees.  
  • Maintaining air quality and cleanliness in the workspace by installing high-efficiency air filters or sneeze guards around work station barriers.

How to Return to Work After Coronavirus as an Employee

It is up to every member of a workplace to protect each other from spreading the coronavirus. Here is a brief “How to Return to Work after Coronavirus” guide for outlining employee procedures for returning to work:

  • Most sources encourage staying at home if an employee feels ill, is immunocompromised, or if they must care for a sick individual. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) outlines what small businesses must do to support employees in these situations. If you’re feeling unwell, let your supervisor know immediately.
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with other staff members, including the reduced use or sectioning off of conference rooms and break areas, and keep work to an individual employee’s desk or designated work area.
  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate for whatever role an employee fulfills. Properly-fitted face masks are highly encouraged for everyone, but disposable gloves may be necessary only in certain scenarios, such as handling products.
  • Use only the available, necessary equipment at a single desk or station. This includes minimizing the amount of personal items an employee brings to the workplace and discouraging the sharing of work tools and equipment as much as possible. 

Communicating Operations Procedures with Clients and Customers

Beyond your immediate workplace, your clients and customers need to be aware of the updated operating procedures for your business.

  • Make public posts on your websites and social media channels, as well as email updates, for clients and customers that outline the basic procedures your business is implementing as you reopen. 
  • Continue teleconferencing procedures with clients, customers, and co-workers as much as possible. Keep in-person interactions on an appointment-only basis and maintain at least 6 feet of distance in the delivery of any materials or products.
  • Reach out to individual clients and customers about how your new operating procedures directly impact their ongoing work with you, including any changed dates, deadlines, or points of contact. 
  • Reassure confused clients and customers that you are utilizing the most up-to-date and accurate resources at your disposal, such as dispatches from the CDC and OSHA.

Canal HR is Here to Help Businesses Know How to Return to Work After Coronavirus

How to return to work after Coronavirus isn’t an easily answered question. It will take more patience and communication from all parts of a business to adjust to a “new normal.” Professional employer organizations like Canal HR are designed to help you navigate both predictable and unpredictable scenarios for your small business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate returning to work after Coronavirus, and how we can help you manage your business beyond this situation.