How to Help Employees Return to Workplace Safely Post Relaxation of COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown

Madan KumarMay 24, '21
Covid-19 pandemic is a black swan event and the situation is being compared to the economic scene of world war II. It has resulted in more than 3 million confirmed cases and more than 250,000 deaths across the globe. It has created a fear of impending economic doom and recession. Schools and workplaces are closed and most of us are spending most of our time at home. Social/Physical distancing, self isolation and travel restrictions has decreased workforce across all economic sectors.

India has kept the numbers low when compared to many other countries, but at some point they will have to relax some of the lock-down measures so that workers can return back to their jobs. Similar has been the case in countries like Spain and Italy where some lockdown restrictions have been lifted and people have returned to work.

Together, Businesses, employers and employees can prevent and slow the spread of COVID -19 virus.


Employers and employees together should come up with a work plan that will decrease the spread of COVID-19 in their workplace. This plan should include:

  • Practices and policies that will prevent transmission of disease among employees/workers
  • Provide an Healthy environment at work
  • Business operations that prevent spread of disease.

Practices and policies that will prevent transmission of disease among employees/workers

1.) Sick Employees stay at home:

  • All employees/workers with symptoms like fever, cough or difficulty breathing should notify their manager and stay home. They should talk to their doctor and follow their instructions.
  • Employees should return to work only after their doctor has cleared them to return to work.
  • Employees and workers should inform their manager/supervisor if another family member is sick or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and follow the state guidelines or speak to their doctor.

2.) Employees/Workers at higher risk:

  • Employees greater than 60 years (Please check your state laws as it might vary)
  • Employees with other medical conditions like Asthma, Chronic lung disease, heart conditions, diabetes, kidney problems are at higher risk from COVID-19 (Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of diseases)
  • For your high risk employees, consider work that will allow them to maintain a 1-2 meter distance from other workers and customers. Consider working remotely for these employees if possible.

3.) Universal Mask Precautions:

In short everyone should wear masks (employees, customers, visitors). Universal Mask approach will reduce the transmission of the disease as many people may have the infection without any symptoms yet. This will also prevent everyone from touching their mouth and nose with their hands.

Our company gubbacci is able to provide reusable 100% cotton face masks. They can be customized with your company logo or slogan. It is one way of showing you care for your employees.

These masks should be regularly washed with soap and water. Consider providing your employees with 2-3 masks so that they can wash and dry them regularly. For FAQ’s on masks please visit

4.) Strict handwashing practices with hand sanitizer or with soap and water.

5.) Clean all areas frequently, especially the ones that are touched often like doorknobs, phone receivers, keyboards, handrails and so on .

6.) Practice social/physical distancing

  • Implement work from home when possible
  • Avoid large gatherings and meetings at workplace
  • Consider web based platforms for meetings
  • Implement flexible work hours if possible
  • Increase physical space (1-2 meters) between employees at work space
  • Increase physical space between employees and customers
  • Down size operations if not critical
  • Deliver products through curbside pick up or delivery when possible

7.) Promote Healthy habits and practices at workplace

  • Provide paper napkins and hand sanitizers
  • Provide soap and water for handwashing
  • Provide hand sanitizers in multiple locations
  • Good signage to promote good healthy practices

8.) Regular cleaning and disinfection of the workplace

9.) Above all treat each other with respect and treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Besides physical and financial support, there is a need for emotional support to employees so that they feel valued and respected.


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