For the first time since March 14, I ate a meal in a restaurant. Well, not in a restaurant; on a restaurant patio.
While the restaurant looks the same from the outside and the brunch food is familiarly delicious – brioche French toast with local blueberries, ricotta custard and Ohio maple syrup – everything else is different. Masks are required for all employees and customers, who could take them off once seated. Customers are reminded not to “congregate” around other tables or the bar area to observe proper social distancing. Tables are spaced 6-8 feet apart. Menus are paper and are thrown away after use. Tables are disinfected as soon as diners got up to leave.
While I appreciate the new protocols the restaurant has adopted to keep everyone safe, they are a jarring reminder that there is a new normal.
The same is true of employees who have or will return to the workplace. A recent survey of respondents who attended our Ready2Return Virtual Conference found that companies now:
- Include pandemic response in their emergency response planning process.
- Provide additional training for employees and supervisors related to COVID-19.
- Have a communication plan to share return to work procedures.
- Have protocols for exposed or sick employees
- Utilize new sanitation protocols
- Provide for a phased in return of employees or made changes to shift schedules to limit the number of employees on site.
COVID Challenges for Employers
There remains uncertainty across organizations of how to mitigate the risks for returning employees to work post-COVID, particularly issues around social distancing, given limited space in some work environments or the need for employers to interact with each other to perform work.
Nearly half of the attendees to our conference admitted that the greatest challenge they faced was ensuring physical distancing and conducting health screenings and monitoring.
Return to Work with confidence and in compliance. Learn More About Intelex Solutions.
To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to address the specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of COVID-19.
This new infographic from Intelex offers guidance on how to prepare the workplace and the workforce for return to work. It might be the same workplace with the same work, but everything else has changed, so make sure you and your employees are ready.