States and businesses are methodically opening up. As an “essential” business, we have remained open throughout most of the pandemic. However, as a “less paper” and technology-oriented law firm, we immediately and seamlessly transitioned to a remote work environment, rotating work schedules, and video client meetings.
Since we have already experienced this transition, we would like to share four things we learned about how to prepare for a healthy and productive return to work.
- Social Distancing. It is crucial that employers devise a plan to reinforce social distancing measures by providing frequent reminders to employees in the office, such as tape on the floor directing employees to travel in one direction, signs near entrances such as “wash, don’t shake, hands”, moving desks six feet apart, or setting up dividers between work stations.
- Implement Self-Assessment Policies. You may insist on a strict but flexible policy that encourages workers showing symptoms of illness to stay home until cleared by a medical provider. Such a policy emphasizes the importance of putting health first, yet is flexible enough to permit employees to work from home. Many states, such as CT, will send your business office a thermometer so you can easily check the temperature of employees and visitors.
- Reduce or Rotate Workplace Schedules. Depending on the size of your workforce and how amenable your business is to remote workers, institute a rotating in-office work schedule to reduce contact between employees. If you choose this route, as we did, it is important to make sure your systems and security (internet, telephone, other IT) support the move.
- Disinfect High Traffic Areas. Another way to foster workplace health is to disinfect high traffic areas – front lobby, bathroom, kitchen. Identifying problematic or high traffic areas in your office prior to the return of your workforce is a crucial step to ensure your office and employees are protected.
While the pandemic has produced many serious drawbacks and inconveniences, empathy, concern and appreciation for our fellow co-workers are not among them.
Fournier Legal Services has been a customer-service oriented, technology-based, paperless law firm from the day we opened, and we are uniquely positioned to help our clients navigate the current environment. For any questions related to Business Law or Estate Planning, please contact us by calling 860.670.3535 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph E. Fournier is an Attorney and a CPA who has more than twenty years of experience in a variety of business legal matters, including start-ups and company formations, drafting shareholder and operating agreements, contracts, employment law, commercial litigation, tax planning and audit defense, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He also handles estate planning matters, such as business succession planning, wills, trusts, and probate.