Your workplace after the reopening of the coronavirus: what it might be like to return to the office

empty office

Don’t expect to see many people at your workplace.


While the coronavirus pandemic continues enraged, companies are in the process of reopening or are planning how they will allow employees to re-enter the building. The guidelines are clear if you work in an essential business such as a restaurant or some other service or hospitality sector. But what about skyscrapers and other typical offices for 9-5 employees?

If you work for a company preparing to reopen, you may be concerned about how they plan to help you stay safe from the virus while locked in a shared space with others, especially since the cases of COVID-19 reach a daily record in June.

New sanitary regulations will need to be established throughout the building, which could become the new normal while we wait for a coronavirus vaccine. The World Health Organization also advises companies to continue promoting telework that keeps nonessential employees at home.

From staggered shifts to dividers among his coworkers, this is what his office would look like if he finally got back to work. This story is based on guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the WHO.

Who will come back first?

Depending on the company you work for, only office staff may return to work first. Or just people with critical face-to-face meetings and only for short periods. IT facilities and equipment are often already considered essential for building maintenance.

Limiting the number of returnees can help limit the risk of the spread of the community and also form a test of best (and safest) practices for reopening the building. Some companies may decide not to bring everyone back. For example, Twitter made the decision to keep part of its permanently employed at home.

What if my workplace has an open floor plan?

If you generally work in a cubicle-free environment, the CDC suggests that certain precautions should be taken for your safety. For example, desks can be extended over six feet to allow social distancing between you and your coworkers. Some companies may also establish Plexiglass dividers among employees, as some factories are already doing.


Don’t expect to attend big meetings.


Close meetings and no more parties

When you return to work, don’t expect to attend large meetings in small conference rooms. The meetings will probably take place in Video call zoomJust like now while working from home. You may have to drop the morning conversations with your coworkers next to the coffee machine as the coffee machine is likely to be off limits like high traffic surface.

Also, any event your company has planned, such as a shared meal or party, is likely to be canceled. Companies will have to work hard to ensure that employees maintain a social distance at all times and are not in situations where saliva can be easily transferred (for example, sharing a birthday cake or punch drinks).

You may have a staggered schedule

Some companies may start allowing employees to return to work on a staggered schedule. For example, you can go to the office on Mondays and Wednesdays, while another group works on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In this way, you are always working with the same group of people, and if one person becomes infected with the virus, the group they work with can quarantine, rather than the entire building.

You may also only work half a day in the office. For example, one group will work from 8 am to noon, while another group will work from 1 pm to 5 pm. Intermediate time may give cleaning staff time to sanitize the office space before the next group arrives.

Hallways can become only one way

The building you work in can be configured differently once you return. For example, you may see signs on the floor indicating that it is a one-way walking zone on one side and the opposite direction on the other side. So when you enter the building, you are likely to stay on the right side when you walk to your desk to avoid crossing someone else.

What happens if I take an elevator to get to my office?

If you work in a high-rise building, you may have always used an elevator to get to your office. However, hundreds of people who touch buttons and travel in elevators throughout the day is worrying. Your workplace may decide to address this by having employees climb the stairs or with an assistant on each floor to limit the number of people who can ride the elevator and ensure that social distance is maintained once inside.

If you have a health condition that prevents you from climbing stairs, talk to your employer about going to work when traffic in the elevator is low. Remember avoid touching the buttons with your fingertips – use your elbow or knuckles instead.

You will probably need to wear a face mask

The CDC has been advising for months that people wear masks in places where social distancing is not possible to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Many states even have mandates for face masks when going out in public or browsing a store.

The essential companies that remained open during the pandemic have been wearing masks for months now It is likely that while you move through the building, a mask is required, even in the bathroom. You may be able to take it off once you’re at your desk.


Your employer can check your temperature every day before entering.

Angela Lang / CNET

Expect daily temperature checks

If you’ve been in a restaurant or entered a store and an employee checks your temperature, that’s your daily routine when you return to work. In my experience, a restaurant employee was waiting at the reception with a non-contact thermometer and scanned our temperatures before sitting down.

Your workplace may have a temperature control station outside the building. If someone shows up at the office and their temperature is 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, they can be sent home and advised to visit their doctor. The measure is designed to help prevent sick employees from entering the building and infecting others.

Adjusting to a new normal is challenging, but we have tips to help you. Here it is How to protect yourself from coronavirus at work, how to make your mask more comfortable and how long will it take to retrieve the results of your COVID-19 test.

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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or health advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.