7 steps to return to work safely

7 steps to return to work safely after COVID

As lockdows are gradually lifted, companies have begun making changes to workspaces to welcome their employees back. These are the 7 steps that will be considered before we all return to our offices. 

Step 1: Establish the work team

It is essential to establish a re-entry task force. When building this team, consideration should be given to creating a multidisciplinary working group that will put the office back on track. Members may include: Architects, Human Resources, Marketing, Security, Facility Management.

Step 2: Following government guidelines

Companies will adhere to government guidelines. These change frequently and are expected to do so as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Tip: Companies will assign an internal resource to maintain an up-to-date database with government guidelines for reopening. It is important to maintain constant monitoring.

Thinking about the team when getting back to the office is key

Step 3: Training

One of the top priorities during the pandemic is to make employees feel comfortable and safe as they begin to re-enter the workplace.

Such a situation will bring a number of personal challenges to the work team. Effective return to the workplace requires strong leadership, collaboration and commitment from everyone.

Companies that have this can rely on the human resources area to provide training and guidance to employees.

Step 4: Health check

Consideration should be given to equipping reception areas as health check stations. This is where employees come and go. In addition, with this measure they can receive supplies such as antibacterial gel and other types of indications.

The use of a health station is a necessary upgrade to ensure that offices can maintain security controls and contact tracking. Especially during the first few days back.

Training for the "new normal" in the office environment should be a priority

Step 5: Better spaces

Spaces must provide confidence to the employes. That is why it is important to rethink the space and have the following:

Occupancy reductions: information should be gathered on current office capacities and occupancy should be reduced according to guidelines on social distancing.

Improving circulation: an important point is the direction of pedestrian traffic, as well as identifying two-way versus one-way corridors. Marking circulation clockwise when possible and thus avoiding awkward encounters.

Work stations: stations should ensure that employees are kept apart from each other.

Step 6: Cleaning the space

Cleanliness should be a priority for organizations during this process. While most organizations have cleaning services, we all now have an individual responsibility to keep our office and community facilities clean.

Here are some key points:

Cleaning will play a central role in the new office environment

Step 7: Coordinate with companies that share space

Many workplaces are located within a corporate with multi-tenant business offices. These professional environments include shared elevators, stairwells, gyms and cafeterias.

Landlords and their management teams must maintain high levels of communication to ensure that workplaces are safe for their activities.

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