With the release of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the country, businesses are beginning to transition back to the workplace and plan for the rest of their 2021 year. Here is what you need to know when creating your back-to-work plan and how the vaccine will affect your business.
Currently Authorized Vaccines
Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases websites, there are currently two authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. As of December 28th, there are also three more vaccines that are in phase 3 of clinical trials. Despite this advancement, the United States has a limited supply of these vaccines that will increase in the next coming weeks. Once there is a large enough quantity to easily distribute it to everyone, the CDC's plan is to have them available at doctors' offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers. Healthcare personnel, long term care facility residents, essential workers, people aged 65 years and older, and those with underlying medical conditions are at the top of the list for receiving the authorized vaccines.
How will this affect your business?
The best thing you can do for your business is to create a back-to-office plan that allows for ample communication between yourself and your employees, especially because it will still be at least a few weeks before the vaccines are widely obtainable. This includes an honest read from your employees on what they want and how they are doing, giving employees the resources they need both in office and at home, providing an office space to accommodate those who do want to come in, anticipate what could go wrong and what to do if rates go up in your city, and ramping up your office space.
Some tips for your back-to-office plan:
- Send out an anonymous form/questionnaire to employees to get an honest and accurate read on what they are wanting in regard to workspace. This eliminates any pressure they might feel in rushing back to the office and allows you to better accommodate what they need going forward. This will also tell you their comfort levels in regard to receiving the vaccine.
- Rethink, redesign, and reorganize your office layout to ensure the safety and efficiency of employees. Utilize flexible office space companies, like Jay Suites, to provide more private offices and conference rooms that meet CDC guidelines.
- Provide supplies and materials to those who do want to continue working from home and have these materials ready for all employees in case of a lockdown before the vaccine can be widely administered.
- Consider partnering with a health expert or company to best protect all employees and guests. This not only allows you to keep the workspace clean, but also stay up to date on everything you can do with testing and vaccine distribution.
Vaccination recommendations will begin to include more groups as availability increases. Keeping this is mind, plan ahead with how you can seamlessly transition back to the workplace and prepare for any pitfalls that may come your way. As more and more people return to the office, regulate health measures and accommodate with private office spaces and materials for all employees to guarantee a successful business year.