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Returning to the Workplace – A Phased Approach


Control Engineering magazine outlines a three-phased approach to return to the workplace: restricted phase, controlled phase and finally the unrestricted phase. The article, including layouts and diagrams, outlines a 7-step approach to the restricted phase. Here’s how:

  1. Establish a multidisciplinary re-entry task force. When establishing your team, considering creating a task force to develop the specific approach to re-entering the workplace and communicating it across the company.
  2. Check and adhere to applicable governmental guidelines, which may change frequently and are expected to do so as the coronavirus pandemic continues; review the most current updates.
  3. Provide guidance and training for supervisors to follow as they support employees during the transition back to the office.
  4. Set up a health station where employees check in and out, complete health checks, learn about using the office safely, and receive supplies.
  5. Plan use of space for occupancy reductions, circulation paths and assigned seating ; create signage and decals to indicate one-way circulation path, standing points for physical distancing and desk decals to reflect shiftwork.
  6. Clean space regularly.
  • Determine what surfaces are cleaned and how often
  • Establish a list of necessary cleaning supplies to meet the required level of cleaning in each office.
  • Setup cleaning substations
  • Maintain a cleaning log that is updated daily
  • Declutter by evaluating what items can be moved or removed completely to reduce frequent handling or contact.
  • Establish shared appliance allowances for this first phase and how to properly sanitize after each use.
  1. Coordinate with landlord for rules about shared elevators and stairwells, gyms and cafés, other tenants, and building systems.

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