COVID-19: Nine focus areas to get you back to the workplace

Use this checklist to address key areas when re-entering the workplace such as local government regulations, landlord policies, facilities management, occupancy planning and more.

Bringing employees back to the office is a complex process, but with the right information, it will be a transition that leads to greater creativity, collaboration and productivity. Where to begin? Review the checklist below to learn what to consider, and if your organization is ready to return.

Government regulations

  • Confirm guidance from your federal, state and local governments on reopening office buildings and offices to workers

Landlord policies

  • Confirm procedures and/or rules for building re-entry and occupation
  • Determine policies regarding building cleanliness and safety

Business continuity plan (BCP) alignment

  • Determine whether your BCP includes a verified list of the essential roles and individuals included in office re-entry
  • Confirm that contingency plans/critical response mechanisms are in place if additional closures are required

Supply chain

  • Identify and confirm supply chains for personal protection equipment and supplies, and determine advance ordering requirements for long lead-time items

Human resources (HR)/legal considerations

  • Legal teams should review and understand government mandates
  • Determine protocols for ensuring employees with high-risk conditions (e.g. lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, immunocompromised, obesity, diabetes, liver disease) feel comfortable returning to the office
  • Define contact tracing protocols and how to respond to reports of infection
  • Ensure a policy exists to report and track infections and compliance with HIPAA rules, and to report grievances


  • Develop seating and floor plans to meet social distancing guidelines per your local government
  • Determine how to effectively maximize your floorplan to accommodate in-office, hybrid and remote workers by using smart technology
  • Establish new workplace etiquette and protocols and communicate them via signage posted throughout the workplace
  • Develop a communication plan to cascade information about protocols
  • Plan how to address impacts on specialty areas (e.g. wellness and mothers rooms, gyms, showers and lockers, mailrooms, breakrooms)
  • Determine a policy for employee access to company buildings other than their primary workplace

Facilities management

  • Confirm emergency evacuation procedures follow social distancing requirements, and assign "floor wardens" responsible for managing evacuation
  • Understand elevator social distancing guidelines for multi-story buildings, and calculate and confirm elevator protocols and occupancy levels with your building landlord
  • Create phased and "quick close" procedures to shut down offices if additional closures are required
  • Determine entry/exit badging protocols for essential employees returning to the building


  • Establish contact tracing for building location, space utilization and potential infection zones
  • Evaluate the room reservation technology and ensure employees can be seated to support social distancing
  • Utilize technology that simplifies various work needs such as reserving rooms and other space, creating service requests and scheduling meetings

Approvals and communications

  • Decide who in each region/market/office is responsible for announcing office openings/closures
  • Determine who needs to approve the re-opening plan (e.g. regional crisis management team, market/country leadership, enterprise risk and audit teams, business units, IT, security, legal and HR teams)

For more information about planning your return to the office and future workplace, visit our website.


©2021 Jones Lang LaSalle IP, Inc. All rights reserved. All information contained herein is from sources deemed reliable; however, no representation, warranty or guarantee is made to the accuracy thereof or results. The information is merely a suggestion and should be implemented at the sole discretion of each individual.

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