It’s time to go back to your office. It’s time to be hopeful as well as extra cautious. The blows of COVID-19 are not over yet and as such, you need a return to work guide to resume your offices after this lockdown ends.
Here’s the thing. The particulars of opening your business are going to be different for every industry. And not just this, how and when you should open depends on your state, and many other parameters.
But there are a few things that remain the same for every business owner.
- Make sure to keep a close tab on the official (nationwide as well as state) guidelines when formulating your COVID-19 return to work guide.
- Understand this fact in the hindsight: your employees are scared. Acknowledge this by changing your sick leave policy. Make sure to implement methods to ensure the safety of vulnerable employees such as people with respiratory disease.
- Maintain transparency. If an employee is sick or tested positive with COVID-19, inform his/her work shift, work stations, and other such details to your employees. This will help them figure out if, at all, your other employees had been in contact with the sick employee. This will avoid a company-wide panic situation.
Having said that, every CEO and business owner need to follow a holistic approach of restarting their businesses. While the safety of your employees is paramount, you also need to restore the state of your business slowly and steadily.
In this COVID-19 return to work guide, I have covered some essential steps you must take to ensure a smooth transition from your current work-from-home to back in the office model.
Permission to Open Doesn’t Mean You MUST Open
The coronavirus spread hasn’t been successfully curbed. So, as governments are allowing businesses to reopen doesn’t mean we have won this battle against COVID – 19.
The initial fight of curbing the spread and “flattening the curve” will continue in the upcoming months as well. This is why when Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said that “just because you can open doesn’t mean you should”, it made much sense!
Assess your individual situation. When creating your COVID-19 return-to-work plan, create a relaunch map for your business – for individuals segments, departments, services, products, etc.
Identify the essential departments in your business.
- How many employee segments can continue working from home without severely impacting your business?
- What are the most essential departments you need back in your offices to continue functioning?
Open up in stages and embrace the digital work-from-home model as long as you can. This will not only help you stay safe but will also ensure that your business is on the right track towards normalcy.
Prepare Your Workplace
Now that you have prepared a plan for your individual departments to return-to-work post-pandemic, you need to prepare your workplace for the same.
Here are a few steps you can take to prepare your offices to enable return to work after this pandemic.
- Sanitize your workplace regularly.
- Make sure to take measures to minimize physical contact between your employees. Prohibit group gatherings and restrict access to places such as cafeteria, meeting rooms, etc. Establish a 6-feet distance between employee workstations in your office.
- Implement staggered shifts to avoid gatherings at the entry and exit points in your office.
- Provide masks, gloves, and other sanitary equipment whenever required.
- For B2C companies, make sure to implement managed entry in your place of business. Keep the headcount to a minimum in your premise and train your employees to avoid direct contact with consumers.
There are only some of the many essential steps you can take to prepare your workplace. You can also seek the help of a trained healthcare professional when creating the return-to-work plan after Coronavirus for your business.
Re-Establishing Trust With Your Clients to Restore Demands
This is one of the most important challenges every business owner will be facing emerging from this lockdown. Health and hygiene have become a priority for your clients.
Everyone is living in a state of fear of this virus. And you have to take the necessary steps to reassure your clients and consumers of the safety precautions you are taking to make them completely trust your business.
The functioning of each and every business has been affected by this ongoing pandemic. And you must re-establish trust to eventually reinstate the demands of your products and services.
- Consumer behavior has changed a lot during this lockdown. For instance, 30% of US consumers plan to reduce their discretionary spending budget over the next two weeks.
So, one of the important things in your COVID-19 return to work plan must be revisiting client/consumer segmentation in your business. Understand the new expectations of your clients in the new post-lockdown era and segregate them based on your business’ ability to address these needs.
- Keep your clients and consumers informed of the safety precautions you are ensuring at your end to safely and smoothly deliver your products/services.For B2C businesses, you can define measures in your return-to-work plan after lockdown to ensure their complete safety and re-establish consumers’ trust.
- This pandemic has affected businesses from all industries. At the same time, the average buying power and spending desirability have also reduced. Keep this in mind while re-pricing your products and services post-lockdown.
The market has become more volatile and there has been a significant shift in customer loyalty during the lockdown. Re-establishing trust of your business will need a laid out plan – from pricing to your marketing efforts, and more.
Acknowledge Your Essential Employees
Hazard pay should be an essential segment of your COVID-19 return-to-work plan. At the time of this ongoing crisis when companies are cutting down costs, providing hazard pay to your essential employees might sound like an overdo. It’s actually not.
There cannot be a better time to reward your most hardworking, loyal, and essential employees.
Your essential employees are standing at the frontlines to ensure the functioning of your business in the midst of this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. Rewarding them in these times will only increase their morale.
Companies like Amazon and Kroger Co. are being widely criticized for rescinding they provided to the essential workers. In your return-to-work plan after COVID-19, accommodate hazard pay for your essential employees!
Staff Augmentation – A Common Solution
I think everyone will agree that the COVID – 19 crisis has brought upon a major shift in the future of work.
While the gig economy was already on the rise, companies have realized the significance of remote work. And the existence of modern collaboration tools has made working with remote teams easier and more productive!
Coronavirus is one of its kind and most businesses weren’t fully prepared for it. But, even now, can you say for sure that if a similar pandemic hits again, your business will not suffer?
I understand that there are multiple factors involved in ensuring business continuity in a pandemic like COVID-19. But it is completely possible for companies to continue their essential business functioning with the help of managed remote teams.
This is where Staff Augmentation comes in your COVID-19 return-to-work guide/plan.
Through Staff Augmentation, you can set up your entire team of highly skilled web and mobile app developers. Besides, you can hire them on a full-time, part-time, or an hourly basis!
As such, you don’t only save significantly on your development costs but also achieve maximum productivity while ensuring best-in-class apps and websites.
Resourcifi is an award-winning Staff Augmentation company. We have set up a team of high-skilled web & mobile app developers and digital marketing experts after years of thorough vetting.
Use this savings calculator to know how much you can save by hiring managed remote developers at Resourcifi!