Are you thinking of calling your employees back to the office?

We have all been living in the “work from home” pandemic world for over a year and as the “return to the office” date looms closer we are hearing similar questions from across the globe: “What will our new normal workplace look like?”

According to the CDC, (any) virus can spread through the air from an infected person to another who is more than six feet away.  When people gather for 15 minutes to 8 hours at a time, viruses can linger in the air. 

The key question is: how much risk are we exposing our employees to by bringing them back? CEO’s have spent the last 15 months putting employees’ safety first, most don’t want to jump too soon and put their employees back at risk.

However, if you decide that the time “now” and you want to start the process of return to the office, you may want to consider:

  1. Will better ventilation help?
  2. Better air quality?
  3. Am I in control of that or is it only building maintenance? (Either way you are responsible to ensure your employees have good quality air flow and ventilation.)
  4. Will we all have to wear masks all day?
  5. Will distance between work areas help? What is the “law”?
  6. Should we bring teams back on staggered schedules?
  7. Do we have access to outdoor meeting spaces?
  8. Should I used dividers and how much do they cost?
  9. What about meetings? Are we limited to how many can be in the meeting room?
  10. Does the meeting room have to be socially distanced?
  11. Do we have to close the lunch room?
  12. Should we take away coffee pots and microwaves and any communal dishes, flatware etc.?
  13. How long will it take to get up to the office in the elevator? (Even pre-pandemic this was an issue in some buildings) Will there still be only two people allowed per elevator.
  14. Do we need to ensure the elevator will be disinfected very xx number of trips?
  15. Should we consider Covid fogging every night? Are we required to do that?
  16. Did we include these things in our capital budget this year?

It is a lot to consider, There are a lot of questions with no hard answers.  Most of the answers will come from you and your team.  We will explore some of the options in future articles.