Workplace Safety

10 essential tasks to have on your office reopening checklist

Whether you’re a large organization with thousands of employees or a smaller organization with a handful of employees, reopening your office will be one of the most important projects you take on in 2021.

As you begin planning, there are numerous things you need to take into consideration. How do you keep everyone safe?  How do you make sure COVID-19 doesn’t get into the office?  What are your local regulations?  How do you effectively communicate your reopening plan to employees?  What do I do if someone does get sick?

We’ve put together a checklist to help you begin navigating reopening your business during COVID-19.

10 essential things that need to be on your office reopening checklist

1. Understand your state and county reopening guidelines

Restrictions and requirements will vary by state and county, so be sure to check for any regional specific requirements that need to be considered in your office reopening plan. You can typically find this information on your state or county’s website.

2. Create a plan for in-office safety

Map out your expectations for safety procedures employees will need to practice while in the office. Be sure to include social distancing policies, masks requirements, and room and elevator occupancy requirements.

3. Update your in-office cleaning procedures

Coordinate with your office maintenance team to understand additional procedures they have in place in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Be sure there is adequate sanitation (hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, etc.) throughout the offices employees can wipe down surfaces before and after using them.

4. Ensure your office floor plan allows for social distancing

Does your current office layout allow for adequate social distancing? If not, you’ll need to reconfigure your layout prior to reopening your office. 

5. Set up a workplace capacity management system

Build a plan to keep the total number of employees at your office at any one time under the threshold you deem appropriate. We recommend consulting with people managers to create a plan for which teams come in on which days in order to allow team collaboration while still meeting your capacity requirements.

6. Understand how you plan to screen employees for COVID-19

Are you going to ask your employees to confirm they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms and/or have not been around anyone known to have COVID-19 before they come into the office each day?  If so, how are you collecting and storing that information?

7. Capture data necessary to conduct contract tracing

Ensure that you’re capturing the correct data to aid in contract tracing should someone get COVID-19. For example, a daily employee log that captures whether an employee has experienced COVID-19 symptoms or has recently been exposed to COVID-19.

8. Create an action plan for what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19

Building an action plan will allow you to move quickly in the event that an employee tests positive for COVID-19. This plan should cover guidance and support for the impacted employee, contact tracing procedures, office cleaning plans, and how you plan to communicate this information to the broader team.

We also recommend reviewing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s overview of what to do if an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.

9. Share your reopening plan with your team

Once you have confirmed your reopening plan, begin to share it with employees. We recommend sharing guidelines at least two weeks prior to reopening the office so employees have ample time to review the new requirements and ask questions before returning to the office.

10. Post signage onsite reminding employees of new office policies

As employees return to the office, be sure to have signage posted in common areas that remind employees of the new policies that are in place.

While we understand there’s a lot you need to think about before reopening your office but hope that this checklist may make your office reopening a little easier. 

Looking for additional resources? Check out the following sources:

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