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The COVID-19 pandemic presented business disruptions on a level that no one could have predicted and has changed the way employers will operate moving forward. With the federal, state and local governments slowly introducing reopening efforts and eliminating stay-at-home restrictions, you’re likely beginning to assess what the “new normal” will look like for your organization.
Doeren Mayhew’s Business Advisory Group shares insight into critical areas to evaluate within your business before returning to the workplace – from health protocols, communication, training, remote working capabilities and more – and how they are all essential in promoting a safe and productive environment.
The main priority for any business should be securing a safe and healthy environment for all individuals entering your facility. Before resuming your workplace operations, evaluate your current health and safety procedures for your employees as well as your facilities, and identify whether any areas should be improved or implemented in response to COVID-19. Employers should also make sure they are following the reopening requirements outlined by state and local governments. Initial areas to consider in your reopening efforts include:
An additional measure to consider is having each employee conduct an individual assessment prior to returning to the office to identify if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or experienced any symptoms, recently traveled and gain an initial understanding of what they would like to see in place prior to returning to the workplace.
In the event of any business disruption, communication is key for employers. As you begin outlining plans for reopening your workplace, be transparent and offer clarity on these efforts so employees are provided with the assurance their best interest is on top of mind. To help alleviate concerns and prevent confusion amongst your employees, we encourage you to communicate the following before returning to the workplace:
Once your workplace reopens, be sure you have the appropriate signage posted throughout your facility which clearly communicates and supports these measures. For example, mark off any areas where employees cannot maintain the recommended 6-foot distance from each other or post signage if a common meeting area is restricted to a certain number of individuals.
Although most employers prefer being in an office environment, continue to make remote working an option for employees who will not have the capability or comfort level to return on your expected reopen date. A common area of concern for employers who offer remote working is often its impact on productivity and communication. However, there are ways to minimize this concern:
As employees begin returning to the workplace, it is important they clearly understand the safety measures in place and their role and responsibility in promoting these efforts. To help foster a safe working environment, consider implementing a training program to educate your staff on your organization’s health and safety standards and formally documents their understanding of these procedures. An effective training program usually includes the following:
As you look ahead, consider conducting a risk assessment to help develop a business continuity plan if one is not currently in place. A business continuity plan is instrumental in an employers’ ability to quickly react and adapt to future disruptions, which is often the key determining factor between maintaining your current operations or being forced to close.
Employers should also lean on their group of trusted advisors to gain insight on how to navigate through this pandemic and be prepared for the future. Consult with your certified public accountant to explore how recently passed legislation impacts you from a tax perspective, as there were several tax extensions and credits included. Work with your attorney to ensure you’re following the proper reopening procedures to help minimize any future risks or legal disputes. Ask your lender what lending options are available for your business to help provide some financial relief.
Planning is crucial for every business right now and Doeren Mayhew’s team of advisors stand ready to help. For more information, contact us today.
This publication is distributed for informational purposes only, with the understanding that Doeren Mayhew is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional opinions on specific facts for matters, and, accordingly, assumes no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Should the reader have any questions regarding any of the news articles, it is recommended that a Doeren Mayhew representative be contacted.
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