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Do You Have a Return to Work Action Plan?

Two employees wearing COVID-19 masks at work, return to work during COVID-19

With a shift in focus to the reopening of economies across the U.S., many businesses are looking towards their reopening strategies and what to expect as they bring back their workforce and open up their doors. The Coronavirus still remains a threat, but with some planning and precautions set in place, you can best protect your staff and your business during this unprecedented health crisis. Let’s take a look at how to develop an effective return to work action plan.

Now is Not the Time to Wing It — Develop a Plan

Most businesses and their workforce are eager to hit the ground running and get back to business as usual. While this is possible, there must be a plan in place for your workforce and their families to remain as safe as possible. Take the time to create a return to work action plan that addresses your office and staff’s specific needs in line with your industry and setting.

Consider Your In-Office Staffing Needs When You Return to Work

The first step you should consider in your plan for reopening your office is to think about your approach to bringing back your workforce. While you may be tempted to reopen in full force it may be in your best interest to take a methodical and slow approach to build back your in-person presence at the office. If your staff is currently working entirely remotely, consider allowing staff to first return voluntarily to the office or offering your workforce a structure that allows for days in office and days at home to minimize exposure and risk at the workplace. If your business has been successful with remote operations do not feel pressured to bring everyone back to the office at once. Take your time to balance your business needs with maintaining flexible accommodations for your staff, especially for those in higher-risk COVID -19 categories.

Personal Protective Measures & Equipment

Due to the continued existence and spread of COVID-19 throughout communities, it is important to implement safety protocols and procedures to help reduce the risk of spread and comply with any legal mandates within your area.

Most municipalities have some form of recommendation or mandate regarding the use of face masks for personnel and patrons of businesses. Familiarize yourself with your local regulations and consider the best possible solution for your business. Encourage your workforce to use facial coverings as well as customers entering your offices to reduce possible transmission. Consider providing personal protective equipment for staff that is unable to supply their own.

In addition to facial coverings ensure there are ample sanitizing and hand washing supplies available throughout your office.

Distancing Solutions for Your Office

All efforts should be made to distance your staff from one another when possible during daily operations in your office. At minimum workstations should be kept 6 feet or more apart, if possible consider the use of plexiglass barriers to separate workstations or public-facing counters in your office to offer an additional layer of protection.

Return to Work and Adapt to Changing Circumstances

Maintaining a flexible approach and mindset as you reopen your business will allow you to adapt to any unexpected changes in circumstances. If a member of your staff alerts you to a COVID-19 diagnosis or is exhibiting symptoms make sure you take quick action to protect your entire workforce. Ensure you have sick policies in place that encourage your staff to report their illness and stay home when needed to prevent further spread throughout your business.  

Reopening your doors and bringing back your staff to conduct business as usual under these new and extenuating circumstances can seem overwhelming, however, with a proper plan in place you can look forward to a successful return to your office.

Our staff has sourced a helpful document from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Ready to Reopen, A Playbook For Your Business” can be very beneficial in your planning.

If you have any questions, please contact us immediately! Our staff members are happy to assist, routinely going above and beyond for our client partners. Call 855.565.VSHR (8747) or email us at