Back to Business: Reopening Amid COVID-19

July 9, 2020 Jeramy Gordon

COVID Back to Work

Despite the novel coronavirus raging on, businesses all across the world are beginning to reopen their doors.

Just last month, the U.S. economy added nearly 5 million jobs – a welcome change from the nearly 20 million jobs lost between March and April – slashing unemployment to a three-month low of 11.1%. But with reopening comes many challenges, risks and legalities. Health and safety concerns are front and center as workers return to the job and businesses begin to open their doors to the public once again.

In this eBook, we discuss the ins and outs of reopening your business, including tips on restructuring your office and workforce and insights into the legal and managerial struggles you may face.

Here are five things business owners and managers need to consider when reopening amid a pandemic:

  1. Update health and safety policies: As we all try to navigate the “new normal,” one way companies can ensure their management, employees and customers are all on the same page is to update policies regarding health and safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated its safety standards for employers amid the pandemic and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided several industry-based guidelines for reopening.
  2. Take things slowly: There’s no need to rush when it comes to reopening. While we understand that months with little or no revenue can be devastating to most businesses, reopening too soon can be equally detrimental. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but employers should consider easing into the transition, bringing back more essential workers first and allowing those workers that can, to continue working from home.
  3. Communicate properly: Communication is key to a successful transition back to work. Clear crisis communication requires top-down leadership and a solid plan of action. Employees will feel nervous about returning to work, and rightfully so. It’s your job to make sure you’ve properly communicated all the measures the company has taken to ensure the health and wellbeing of employees and customers. This is also an opportunity to reflect on the situation and grow as a leader.
  4. Understand the law: While most laws remain unchanged during COVID-19, some laws have evolved or been put on hold. New executive orders are issued regularly and it’s important to stay on top of the ever-changing rules. Laws requiring the use of masks and other safety protections can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. You should also consider whether or not your company will go beyond what is required by state and local laws. For example, if masks are not mandated, will you still require their use?
  5. Ensure hiring practices are in compliance: Reopening almost certainly means hiring new employees. Will you require employee background checks when you reopen? If so, will you rescreen furloughed or laid-off employees? All rules and regulations regarding hiring and employee background checks remain intact. With court, institution and government closures, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on background checks and verifications, so make sure you allow enough time in the hiring process.

Reopening your business is exciting but it can seem a bit scary too. That’s why we’ve compiled an eBook to help you navigate it. Check out “Back to Work: How to Ensure a Smooth Post-COVID Transition.”

For more COVID-19 resources on reopening your business, work-from-home programs or employee background screenings, visit www.accurate.com/COVID-19

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