4 Things to Prepare for as You Reopen Your Business

Apr 24 2020

As the climate slowly changes and some semblance of pre-quarantine life returns, it is important to think through what you can expect as you redefine the “new normal” for your business. Covid-19 will have changed most companies at a fundamental level and returning to “normal” exactly as it was before is unlikely for most of us—at least right away. Here are 4 things you should think about now to help your business prepare for the future.

1. The Demand for Continued Remote Work Privileges
The need for flexibility will remain high, particularly for employees who have children at home since most schools will not reopen until the fall. With many summer camps and childcare facilities also expected to remain closed for at least part of the summer, anticipate a continued need for remote work privileges for the foreseeable future. If you have employees who will be affected by continued school, summer camp, and daycare closures, there are a few options you can explore:

Option A: Allow employees to continue working from home if they have school aged kids at home, or if they have childcare/summer camps canceled at the beginning of the summer.

Option B: Allow people to use PTO if it is approved by their manager and will not impact the business.

Option C: Do not allow people to keep working from home, recognizing that you will likely have at least some people who take paid leave for up to 10 weeks under the new FCCRA rules which state you must pay at least 66.7% of their salary (up to $200 per day or $1,000 per week) for 10 weeks while they are not working.

2. A Rush on PTO
We all want to get out and do things after staying home for so long. Expect PTO requests at very high rates as shops and businesses open up and travel restrictions are reduced. Talk to your leadership team now about how you plan to handle an increase in PTO requests, many that will likely overlap. Everyone cannot be off at the same time, so remind your team to be reasonable with their requests and mindful that the needs of the business will come first.

3. The Need to Evaluate Former Policies for Relevancy Post-Quarantine
We have all adjusted to a new normal and this means things that were allowed before Covid-19, may no longer make sense for your business. Former policies like rigid work or travel schedules, education reimbursement, expense accounts, or company sponsored events may no longer be possible. Now is a good time to examine your budget and business needs to determine what policies can remain in effect and which ones need modification. Remember to update your employee handbook too if you make major policy changes.

4. A New Wave of Candidates in the Job Market
If you have jobs to fill, get ready. With unemployment rising, you will likely have access to candidate pools that were not available before. As your business begins to resume a more normal workflow and you are ready to hire, move quickly. Post your jobs now if you know you will need to hire. Highlight what you have to offer potential employees, particularly highly sought after things like job stability, competitive pay, benefits, and work-from-home privileges.

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