The conversation is beginning to shift as our governments take tentative steps toward a phased approach to getting back to business. This does not mean a loosening of preventative measures, but more of a strategic approach to continue to work safely.

It is important, therefore, that we all be on the same page for the ultimate success of this “return to normalcy”. Below are some general guidelines to keep top of mind when it is our turn to return to the office.

We’re a team:

  • Leave hierarchy at the door
  • Everyone should contribute and everyone’s contribution should be respected
  • Everyone has a different truth to share of the same event
  • Contributions should be through what people know, feel and believe
  • This time has been hard on, no matter position held
  • Make no assumptions, be open and honest

Back to basics:

Promote hand and respiratory hygiene:

  • Provide tissues, no-touch waste containers, hand soap, and sanitizer.
  • Reinforce training for handwashing and covering a cough

With slight modification, we can continue social distancing

  • When possible, avoid meeting people face-to-face–use the telephone, video conferencing, or online meeting tools to conduct business as much as possible
  • Avoid public transportation
  • Bring lunch and eat at desk or away from others (sanitizing after)
  • Introduce staggered lunch and coffee breaks to reduce lunchroom traffic

 Promote workplace cleaning and environmental decontamination:

  • Cleaning surfaces that are frequently touched by hands daily
  • Discourage the sharing of phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment if possible
  • Regularly clean shared workstations and equipment after use
  • Thoroughly wash cups, glasses, dishes and cutlery with hot water and soap (preferably in dishwasher) after use

 In the event of a second “wave”:

Restrict workplace attendance from employees with pandemic influenza symptoms:

  • Report symptoms immediately to supervisor and stay home
  • Call Health Link.
  • Stay at home until symptoms resolve or quarantine is lifted
  • Work from home until considered completely recovered

 Next steps:

  • Discuss situation with management team and determine when staff should refrain from attending client sites and work from home, notify others of decision, and document decision
  • Discuss work priorities with management team and identify options for re-prioritizing and/or reallocating resources
  • Notify staff of management’s decision
  • For healthy staff that must attend the workplace, ensure preventative steps are enforced and monitor situation
  • Discuss situation with management team, determine whether it is safe for staff to return to work, notify and document decision

Now is the time to rectify previous mistakes:

  • Encourage open communication within staff
  • Conduct a debrief session
  • Update plan and improve areas of process
  • Learning points are documented
  • What was supposed to happen verses what actually happened
  • What was the expectation verses the reality

What worked and what can be improved

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