May 18, 2020
But now that we’re starting to see early signs of a light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel, our attention has shifted to when and how we will eventually reopen — and how to do so safely.
At Elevate, even as we’re waiting to see what an exact timeline will look like, our COOP team is beginning the process of planning for our eventual reopening. We’re starting to think about questions like how best to welcome staff and stakeholders back into our physical office, what a responsible timeline will look like, and how to roll out these changes in a way that prioritizes our staff’s health and safety. We also plan to survey our staff throughout the process and take their feedback into account as we map out the various phases of our reopening process.
We’ve mapped the basics of our framework below, as well as our recommendations for implementing it — we hope you find it useful as you begin this process within your organization!
As we explained in our last blog post, we highly recommend you start by having a COOP team in place with at least one representative from each of your organization’s core functions or departments. Having this team in place will help ensure your reopening plan is a thorough one that accounts for every aspect of the work your organization does, and prevents core business functions from being interrupted during the transition. (If you haven’t done this step yet, we recommend you start here!)
With your team assembled, you’ll want to think through how to move from your current office phase into a reopening phase — specifically in terms of any prompts, considerations, and preparations that will be involved.
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to establish a list of your organization’s core departments or business functions — then use that list to flesh out all the relevant prompts, considerations, and preparations to plan for as you prepare to reopen. For Elevate, our core functions include our clients, internal client teams, office status, operations, finances, human resources, and communication.
We use the term prompt to mean any information that would possibly prompt us to move into this phase. Make sure your team agrees on the reliable sources of information that you will all use to make informed, fact-based decisions.
When coming up with your list of prompts for shifting into a Reopening phase, there are two main categories to consider:
We use the term consideration to mean any valuable information that needs to be considered when moving to this phase — which often includes things that are not immediately obvious.
Considerations for shifting into a Reopening phase will look different for every organization, and will depend on both the nature of your work and your size and structure. At Elevate, our list of considerations includes things like ongoing health and safety concerns, company culture and morale, in-person events or meetings that will need to change, and compliance with both federal and state guidelines.
We use the term preparation to mean any steps that should be taken before or during the communication and implementation of this new phase.
Preparations for shifting into a Reopening phase might include developing any new protocols or policies in writing, developing a thorough reentry plan for your team, reinstating any vendors or services that you’ll need once you reopen again, and communicating the changes to staff and/or stakeholders.
Keep in mind, it’s very possible that you may need to reopen in stages. If that’s the case, your reopening plan should spell out what each of those stages entails, and include specific prompts, considerations, and preparations for each stage.