Successful Business Reopening Checklist | Start Hybrid
Right after the pandemic, offices are faced with the daunting task of inviting employees back to office premises, ending the tenure of a completely remote work style. However, the pandemic has
taught one and all that, what once was considered a rare option, is transforming how businesses manage and optimize their workforce.
Yes, remote work has been adapted with open arms and now companies all over the globe are turning their heads toward the hybrid model. This hybrid workforce management model comprises remote as well as on-site flexibility, which ensures that the employees can choose to switch between the two options as and how the company allows.
While businesses are planning to bring employees back to the workplace, necessary measures should be taken and a clear “back to office” plan should be set aside to encourage employees to adapt to the in-office workplace. It may seem a bit uncomfortable for employees to align with a clock-in clock-out work environment. Preparing the facility is equally important.
Read on to know more about how a facilities management checklist can prep up your office space for the successful reopening of businesses post-pandemic.
1. Pre-Plan the Process with a Team
In order to create an effective facility management checklist, put together a facility optimization team and plan the steps in advance. Assess how equipped is the facility to deal with the incoming flow of the workforce and create an effective strategy to make this a success. Discuss the how and when of the reopening, along with the required measures and financial aspects needed to set up the premise for safe operations.
2. Conduct Risk Assessment in Advance
Create a list comprising all the kinds of risks a facility faced with the outbreak of coronavirus. This list may comprise of areas that might require the expertise from separate departments like legal, IT, field technician, admin & facility management, HR, etc to formulate a plan.
You can start with the following
- How is your facility prone to transmission?
- What departments are most sensitive and require protection like the labourers, technicians or contractors?
- Which areas of the facility require stricter cleaning protocols to be secure?
3. Check for Compliance and Government Guidelines
The business management checklist should primarily consider that all the services within the facility are compliant with the current government guidelines. Countries around the globe have formulated safe reopening guidelines for the industries to ensure that their employees can return to the office safely.
Review those documents and identify the areas that need to be mandatorily followed.
- Check for social distancing compliance
- Standardised plan for quarantine measures
- Imposition of fines for the ones breaking protocols
- Guidelines on the usage of PPE inside the facility
- Get a proper visitor management system for allowing visitors into the premise only after mandatory checks like body temperature etc.
4. Environmental Factors
The office environment and space needs to be thoroughly ventilated when planning to bring employees back to the office. Air quality plays a major role in ensuring good health and therefore, cleaning the existing systems, checking them for repairs and installing the latest models of air quality control systems is a must.
- Check for surface deterioration of roofs, windows and doors
- Check the facilities for leakage and water spots that might disrupt the airflow
- Ensure that the air filters, coils, wires and thermostat are in good condition
- Check air ducts, the refrigerant in HVAC units
- Install sensors for checking room temperature and proper airflow.
For the organisations that don’t have proper cleaning systems like HVAC filters and air purifier systems, now is the right time to leverage such technologies for ensuring a properly ventilated air
inside the facilities.
5. Train Employees to follow COVID-19 Guidelines
The management must sit with the employees to discuss measures of safety and health in the workplace. This will not only make your workforce feel inclusive but also help the
management in getting valuable ideas. Apart from this, employees must be aware of the protocols being implemented in the facility.
- Educate your employees on the importance of following COVID guidelines
- Integrate pandemic proof technologies to create a safe and secure workplace
- Ensure that the staff gets easy access to, hand gloves, masks, PPE kits and other sanitizing items
- Equip the workforce with personal sanitisers, masks, and other necessities
- Formulate a clear flexible desk reservation plan to limit building occupancy rate to fall within the stipulated range.
- If any changes occur in COVID-19 guidelines, ensure the information is passed to all the department/ employees.
6. Create a Cleanliness Regime for Buildings
Maintaining hygiene at workplace was always a ticked item in facility compliance checklists but after the pandemic, its importance has touched new heights. In order to achieve perfect cleanliness;
- Ensure the building is routinely cleaned and sanitized
- Sanitize the high-risk zones like corridors, elevators, stairs, meeting rooms, common halls, etc at regular intervals.
- Strictly clean the reception zone as it is most prone to external contamination. Integrate a touchless visitor management solution with a pandemic proof feature at the front office.
- Sanitize the shared objects like scanners, printers, kitchenware, water purifiers, etc.
- Decide on proper policies regarding who should be allowed to enter the office premises (visitors, vendors, customers, etc) and the items that are brought to the facility like parcels, their sanitization and other safety measures.
- Focus on the sanitization of high-usage objects like doorknobs, handles, stair walls, desks, visitor seats etc
- Identify which areas need a routine cleaning, like areas where there is very little density and the ones that need proper timely disinfection like high traffic zones and poorly ventilated spaces.
7. Check for Equipment and Other Utilities
A business reopening checklist is incomplete without the inspection and maintenance of equipment and electrical utilities.
- Check the electrical lines, motors and machines along with specific parts of the equipment like condensers, air ducts, compressors
- Ensure that the utilities used by the staff are sanitised at regular intervals.
Maintaining a checklist app will help your sanitization department keep day to day records, easily manage and reassure that the facility is fully sanitized. With a smart checklist at your side, you will never miss a spot. Maintaining checklists will help reassure that all the equipment, desks, and other areas within the facility are fully sanitized, creating a safe and secure workplace for employees.
8. Limit Office Density
Integrate building capacity optimization tools to limit office density. Businesses around the globe started using office seat booking apps like SeQure to easily manage a hybrid workforce strategy and adhere to COVID protocols (like maintaining a safe distance and restricting the no: of employees allowed to enter office premises within a set time period). Encourage your employees to use smart applications like the SeQure seat booking app to easily reserve your workstations.
- Follow social distancing norms at all times and ensure that the seating arrangement is configured strictly according to the workplace norms issued by state and local governments.
- Segregate timings and divide the workforce by calling in employees at different times. Ensure that the desks and rooms, along with all the high-risk items are sanitized between every changing shift.
- Specify the limit and restrict access after the capacity of a certain room/ area/ floor reaches the specified limit
- Avoid cluttering of visitors at the front reception by allowing only scanned or pre-invited visitors inside the premise
- Install proper software for allowing the employees to use the office services by making reservations in advance, especially for the remote working staff
9. Emergency Contamination Plan
While companies are planning to ensure maximum safety, there may be occurrences that few of the employees get affected. This requires measures to be taken post-contamination so that the transmission is contained and the rest of the staff remains out of danger. An emergency contamination plan is a list of measures that need to be implemented if any person tests positive for the virus and should be made clear to all the working staff of any organisation.
A successful business reopening checklist is a must, as your checklist gives a strong idea of what needs to be completed before sending a “Welcome Back to Office” email.