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From the outset of the COVID19 pandemic, the economic consequences of social distancing, closing businesses, and other mechanisms for the spread of disease have had a devastating effect on businesses.  This is especially true for small businesses. As a result, there has been considerable pressure to restart the economy by getting people back to work and back to school.

A recent study by Deloitte estimates that $1,660 per employee / manager / task can be saved with in-person collaboration. However, according to the American Staffing Association, more than half of US adults cite barriers preventing them from returning to “brick-and-mortar” work locations, specifically a fear of catching COVID on their way to, or at work.

In mid-summer, many large investment banks have stated a desire to return to normal business operations and that employees should return to the office.  However, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley are now adjusting their return-to-the-office plans amid growing concerns about the spread of the delta variant. Others like Ford have delayed their return to the office plans until early in 2022.

As employers consider what is needed to reopen their businesses, directions from the government and clinicians are clear that simply reopening business is not acceptable. Specific training and process changes are needed for the safety, health, and wellbeing of employees and customers. Additionally, guidance will be needed on COVID19 testing and vaccination requirements for employees and contractors.

Employees are a critical component to the success of the workplace transition, and several issues must be considered. To start, employers need to:

  • Create and follow a strategy engaging employees as they return to the work environment so the business can operate under existing environmental conditions.
  • Establish systems and protocols to foster confidence and peace of mind for the workforce and public.
  • Base these protocols on the evolving scientific findings, considering research and recommendations from global, federal, state, and local
  • Apply these protocols in a scalable, user-friendly manner to achieve success in back-to-work initiatives.

As cases of COVID-19 ebb and flow, we will continue to see changing needs and strategies for safely bringing colleagues together again; and one size doesn’t fit all. These nuanced decisions must reflect the needs of the company and the people who drive it forward.

For more information on how BioIQ can help you make safe, considerate, and informed decisions when it comes to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 for your organization, click here.

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