COVID-19 Return to Work Instructions, Guidelines, and Checklists

Get your employees back to work safely with this return to work toolkit

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Editor’s note: This page was last updated May 2021. We will continue to update these pages as we publish more resources for SMBs and HR managers. Do you have an idea for an article you would like to see added to this kit? Email [email protected] 

With many states reopening, small businesses across the country are more than ready to open their doors and get back to “business as usual.” Except, there’s no blueprint for reopening — It’s not as simple as hanging a “now open” sign. And what may work for a small retail store who invites customers into their stores, may not work for an office that is opting to keep employees at home.

Enter this toolkit, where we include a full range of information to help your small business reopen after COVID-19. We’re here to help you with tools, strategy, and forms to communicate with employees and customers.

What can you expect?

Return to Work Guides

As small businesses plan their re-openings across the country, many business owners are wondering if they should bring employees back to the office, pivoting to a 100% remote workplace, or some type of hybrid.

First, if your company has been working remote …

If you have decided to continue remote work or have a hybrid model where employees work from home and in the office, check out these guides.

Remote work guides

Hybrid work guides

Return to the office guides

A recent Workest survey of 1,000 small business employees found that the majority of respondents (67%) said they will be heading back to the office in some capacity. If you’re one of the companies planning a full return to work, use these guides to navigate reopening.

Memos and Templates

In this section, we have customizable memos and templates HR managers and small business owners can use to address employees and customers. Copy and paste these sample memos into a Word or Google document and modify to fit your business’ needs.

Tools and Checklists

From employee safety to compliance, there’s a lot to think about as you’re reopening your business. Use these checklists to get an idea of what action you will need to take.

Employee Engagement

It’s simply not enough to open your doors and expect your employees to jump right back in after working a year-plus in a pandemic. It’s important to engage your employees, which means they are working hard and being productive on behalf of your company. Engagement matters because it helps with employee retention. Here are some resources to understand employee engagement and surveys you can use to get an idea where your workforce is at.

Posters to Print and Hang

Posters are an easy, visual way to keep your employees and customers informed about your policies. There are a number of posters you can hang in your business, covering symptoms, cleaning and disinfection procedures, cleaning protocols, sick leave, emergency operations, and mask use.

Here are some other posters you can use:

If you need additional posters, the CDC has a library of posters you can download and print.

Other Resources

Here are additional resources to look over as you begin to plan your re-opening.

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