Returning to Operations in a COVID-19 World

The Following Post Is Written by Wendy Stachowiak, VP of Global Travel Partnerships at International SOS and Vice Chair of the GBTA Risk Committee.

As the United States begins to open up during the COVID-19 pandemic, going back to “normal” will require a lot of thought and strategic planning. The new “normal” may be quite different than what we knew in times before COVID-19. It is important for organizations to have a plan to return to operations, including thoughts on when and how to reopen, what steps are needed to ensure workforce resilience once operations resume. Organizations of all sizes have been implementing social distancing measures, working from home, and strict sanitation practices.

It is important for organizations to include these considerations when planning to return to operations:

Return to Operations Framework:

  • EVALUATING YOUR BUSINESS AS USUAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:
    • Have you reviewed and evaluated your building readiness and site safety guidelines prior to returning?
      • Assist in identifying and implementing phased return to operations plans
      • Coordinate workplace risk assessment and preparation
      • Provide management training
    • SITE CLEANING PROCEDURES
      • Do you have the appropriate preventative vendor/resources and equipment?
        • Review and enhance cleaning procedures
      • RETURN TO WORK PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEES
        • Do you have the appropriate procedures in place if an employee becomes symptomatic?
          • Review and/or implement point of entry screening program
          • Review and/or implement workplace zoning and social distancing approach
          • Review and/or implement employee communication and education
        • EDUCATION AND ADVICE
          • Do you have access to a trusted and trained Medical physician to ask questions and advise on best practices?
            • Our trained doctors and nurses are available to provide the most up-to-date advice and guidance as return to operations
          • EMPLOYEE MONITORING PROGRAM
            • How do you ensure you can protect COVID-19 vulnerable or at-risk personnel?

            While the ‘Return to Operations’ needs to happen before returning to travel, organizations need to focus on creating a COVID-19 travel policy working with their travel management company, HR, legal, and security.

            Return to Travel Framework:

            DESTINATION ASSESSMENT PRE-TRAVEL APPROVAL
            PRE-TRAVEL ACTIONS ACTIONS DURING TRAVEL
            ESCALATIONS/SECOND WAVE RETURN FROM TRAVEL

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