As the world struggles through the second phase of the pandemic, lockdowns have been lifted and businesses are allowed to reopen. Although this is good news financially, reopening is fraught with challenges for businesses. There are several compliance requirements to follow and not doing so can put you in deep trouble. People getting sick will not only cause operational interruption but may also bring lawsuits, both from employees and customers. Getting started with your return-to-routine plan, therefore, requires a complete understanding of your challenges and how your business must align with the new legal landscape. Here are some suggestions that can help companies to gear up for the post-pandemic world.
Use experience to make future decisions
Handling the shutdown and aligning with the pandemic when it first hit wasn’t something businesses had ever imagined doing before. Challenging as the situation was, it brought some valuable lessons on resilience and adaptability. In a part, businesses are already prepared with tools and insights for reopening safely in the new normal. All you need to do is to use this experience to make better and more informed decisions for the future.
Plan and stay agile
When it comes to reopening without falling prey to the virus and legal hassles, good planning can keep you safe. Create a proper reopening plan based on the current guidelines and safety recommendations by the federal, state, and local authorities. Fix the responsibilities of organizational leaders to ensure that these are followed stringently. Since guidance is constantly changing, there is a need to stay agile and flexible at all times. You may need to revisit and realign your return to work plan several times, so be ready to do it quickly.
Accept the new normal
Even as you have the best safety measures in place and follow the regulations carefully, your company may still be hit by the contagion. So you can expect the infected employees and customers to file a lawsuit for compensation at any point in time. The best approach would be to accept the new normal and be prepared with a plan B to handle such legal issues. Having a seasoned lawyer in your team is important because COVID litigation is a relatively new field and no one really knows how things are going to pan out ahead.
Have a complete planning checklist
Safety is the top priority right now and you will probably be most concerned about preparing your workspace for the new normal. But there are several other aspects of operations that require your attention. It is important to prepare a checklist of the essential ones like taxes, loans, credit and liquidity, employee benefits, business travel, and insurance policies because nothing is the same as it was. You will also need to plan for future outbreaks with attention to physical and financial resilience and recovery.
The pandemic has thrown several challenges at businesses and reopening is perhaps the biggest one. Still, the right approach and a positive mindset can help you reopen safely, but ensure that you are fully covered on the legal front.