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Assessing your organization's readiness to return-to-work


As federal and provincial governments begin to re-open the economy amid COVID-19 economic recovery, organizations of all sizes and from all industries are faced with planning their return-to-work strategies. While every organization is different, there are fundamental questions that should be answered as part of your return-to-work plans to ensure the health and safety of staff, customers and other stakeholders. While we recognize that the development of these plans can appear daunting, BDO's strategy, business continuity and people advisory experts have created a comprehensive checklist that will help guide organizational leaders in the development of effective return-to-work programs.

The focus of this checklist is to guide organizations in answering the critical questions of can you, should you, and how do you return to physical work places.

Determining if you are allowed to return to work

With federal, provincial, and municipal rules and restrictions in place, jurisdictions are continuously communicating updates to lifting—and perhaps replacing—restrictions and reopening plans. Organizations need to understand if and when they can return to operating in physical work spaces. Our Return-to-work Readiness Assessment can help determine your eligibility to open and to identify gaps that you may not have been aware of or considered.

Making the decision to return to work

Organizations need to ask and assess whether they are ready to reopen or return to their physical places of work. This is about assessing the impacts of resuming operations in a physical work space and weighing the pros and cons. Is there a business case to support going back, and does the business case align with your strategic goals? It is also important to keep in mind that every organization will have its unique set of circumstances that must be considered. For instance, some organizations have workers who may be able or want to continue working remotely, while others have physical locations—such as factories or retail—to reopen.

Operationalizing how to return to work

All organizations face similar concerns when executing the reopening and/or returning of workers to physical locations:

  • What is the first step and how do we identify when to start?
  • What steps need to be prioritized?
  • How can we protect our workers and customers throughout the reopening process?
A well-conceptualized and designed plan that addresses critical components—such as governance, health and safety, people, physical spaces, and supplies—and is also aligned to the unique set of circumstances of your organization can help with moving forward efficiently and safely.

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