The decision to transition back to the workplace
There are several sources that offer guidance for returning employees to the workplace. These include federal, state, and local sources and recommendations from health care professionals which may be relevant to your geography and industry.
- The White House and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
- Applicable state, county, and city schedules and guidance—being mindful that rules may differ significantly by jurisdiction
- Guidance propounded by the CDC, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and other applicable agencies
- Industry-specific guidance by OSHA (package delivery workforce, manufacturing industry, and retail workers) and other applicable agencies
- Industry group and/or third-party guidance (for example, National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association, or US Chamber of Commerce)
The CLO is uniquely positioned to understand these varied and complex regulatory frameworks and to help inform the conversation relevant to risk related to potential outcomes. You can take the lead in helping your organization clearly articulate its risk profile and making related decisions. Consider:
- Tools to inform strategic decisions: the Reopen the Workplace Navigator tool from Deloitte, economic scenarios, and the government response portal for up-to-date laws in more than 100 countries
Many individual state orders mandate that telecommuting should continue for roles that have demonstrated success doing so during the stay-at-home period. Thus, a determination of which functions must be performed at the workplace will be helpful. As CLO, you should encourage the enterprise to document job functions that have not successfully been performed from home during stay-at-home orders for use in determining which employees and jobs must return to the workplace. The reasons why particular roles must be performed in the office should likewise be documented.
It is likely that your workforce will fall into one of two categories, although several combinations of pieces of these two categories are also possible.