102 things to do before reopening
A checklist that covers all the bases
When it’s time to head back to the office or back to full-time, in-person learning, there’s no greater time than now to consider new ways of working, learning, and socializing ― together. With countless scenarios to consider, products to purchase, and the well-being of your employees, students, and customers ever-present in your mind, you may be wondering where to even begin. The good news? We’ve done the legwork for you, compiling a list of over 100 things to do before reopening — 102 to be exact — to help you cover all the bases. From general to room-specific solutions, keep this checklist handy as you prepare your facility or workplace for a safe return.
102 THINGS TO DO ChecklistSee All
- Review current local, state, and federal guidelines that apply to your business or industry.
- Create a return-to-work taskforce responsible for enforcing and communicating guidelines.
- Provide associates with a written guide for new behaviors/protocols and ensure proper training is conducted by the local HR department.
- Post signage that details the importance of wearing face masks when entering a building, leaving a workstation, or interacting with others.
- Reinforce messaging for all associates: please do not come into work if feeling unwell.
- If an individual tests positive, isolate him or her by following local and state policies for quarantine periods and testing.
- Put a plan in place to identify and contact all potentially exposed individuals based on local and state protocols.
- Avoid hugs or handshakes. Greet others by saying "Hello."
- Always have more inventory on hand than needed in the event of an increase or spike in demand. This should include gloves, masks, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated disinfectants and soaps.
- Above all, don’t be afraid to be adaptable; determine what can change for long-term success in a post-pandemic world.
- Instruct staff to follow a more frequent, detailed cleaning schedule.
- Double up on disinfecting supplies, paying close attention to high-touch surfaces.
- Display handwashing and social distancing reminders in prominent locations.
- Replenish janitorial carts frequently to meet increased cleaning demands.
- Disinfect baby changing tables on a regular basis.
- Place antimicrobial film on door plates and handles for extra protection.
- Use stainless steel urinal screens to help promote safe distancing.
- Convert manual flush valves to automatic, sensor-operated flush valves to reduce the spread of germs.
- Install multiple drying stations to eliminate crowding around key areas.
- Add foot- or arm-operated door openers to avoid touching handles or doorknobs.
- Integrate other contactless solutions such as touchless faucets and automatic paper towel dispensers.
- Position a hand sanitizer dispenser directly outside of the restroom area.
- Limit occupants to half the normal restroom capacity; post signage reflecting this change.
- Add crowd control stanchions outside of the restroom area to prevent overcrowding.
- Display cleaning schedules and checklists for easy visibility; include time stamps to illustrate the extra effort being implemented to keep health top priority.
- Furnish the lobby with antimicrobial upholstery to safeguard the furniture against germs and odors.
- Position furniture at appropriate distances.
- Move guest and visitor check-in areas away from the receptionist.
- Scan guests and visitors for elevated body temperature using a thermal imaging system or non-contact digital thermometer.
- Outfit the reception desk with cashier shields for added protection.
- Easily separate or rearrange areas with mobile partitions and dividers.
- Set up crowd control stanchions to reduce overcrowding.
- Use floor markers to encourage guests to maintain their social distance.
- Place hand sanitizer dispensers near the reception area and all entry and exit points.
- Position antimicrobial film on elevator buttons and door handles for 24/7 surface protection.
- Go touchless with hands-free garbage cans.
- Add air scrubbers with HEPA filtration near the main entrance.
- Create one-way traffic flow, when possible, along narrow passages, hallways, and staircases.
- Designate a table for packages and deliveries away from the reception area; for food deliveries, encourage curbside delivery only.
- Welcome back associates with signage listing expected behaviors and additional protocols.
- Let associates know that the office space may look different upon their return, including: social distancing signage and floor markers, hand sanitizers, meeting room and common area limitations, and face mask protocols.
- Take photos of the implemented changes and distribute to all associates.
- Stagger work shifts and/or rotations and limit building occupancy to no more than 50% capacity.
- Stock cabinets with facial tissues and cleaning supplies.
- Disinfect doorknobs, file cabinets, tables, common areas, office equipment, and other commonly touched surfaces throughout the workday.
- Make hand sanitizer readily available by placing dispensers every 15 feet.
- Use HEPA filtration to improve air circulation around high-traffic areas.
- Separate desks to ensure six feet between all associates.
- Add partitions or room dividers to allow safe collaboration.
- Place deskside wastebaskets at each workstation to keep germs contained.
- Encourage use of desktop dry erase boards to reduce contact with shared spaces.
- Practice social distancing when sitting near colleagues at conference tables.
- Employ virtual video conferencing whenever possible.
- If an in-person meeting is unavoidable, post occupancy limit signage and remove chairs to maintain social distancing.
- Prohibit sharing office supplies, such as pens or pads.
- Discourage associates from bringing in food for the team (bagels, donuts, cookies, etcetera).
- Ensure janitorial process includes disinfecting all surfaces multiple times per day.
- Invest in foggers and sprayers to increase efficiency of janitorial team.
- Remove water coolers and water fountains; replace with touchless water bottle refilling stations, along with touchless ice makers (if applicable).
- Create dedicated walkways that keep cross traffic six feet apart.
- Consider current workforce needs and determine if permanent remote assignments can be accommodated.
- Display outdoor signage listing social distancing protocols.
- Set up picnic tables with thermoplastic coating for resilience against outdoor elements.
- Keep waste contained using recycling bins and plastic/steel outdoor garbage cans.
- Disinfect bike racks, playground equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces.
- Use sprayers and pressure washers to sanitize and deep clean large areas.
- Refill water bottles using touch-free outdoor bottle filling stations.
- Promote hand hygiene with mobile handwashing units.
- Position picnic tables and benches at safe distances apart.
- Use traffic cones and barriers to maintain physical distancing and crowd control.
- Convert parking spaces into outdoor conference rooms (if space is limited).
- Equip workers with personal protective equipment.
- Post a cleaning schedule with times coordinated at off working hours.
- Place hand sanitizer stations, safety signs, and social distancing reminders at entrances and exits.
- Set up a wellness check station to screen for elevated body temperature.
- Use floor markers to encourage single-file movement in narrow or confined areas.
- Keep airflow moving with industrial fans and air scrubbers.
- Move products more efficiently, with fewer employees, using conveyor systems.
- Disinfect frequently used equipment such as hand trucks and scissor lifts.
- Collect and dispose of waste using tilt trucks and plastic indoor garbage cans.
- Use floor scrubbers and sweepers to regularly remove dust, dirt, and debris.
- Secure small items and important tools in a security cage or tool crib.
- Create visual and physical barriers using guard rails and bollards.
- Set up hand sanitizer stations to ensure clean hands before entering classrooms.
- Ensure desks are spread apart and use floor tape to indicate proper space.
- Add desk dividers to reduce the risk of exposure to coughs and other airborne droplets.
- Display floor markers to promote safe distancing between teachers and students.
- Frequently clean lockers and bookcases with disinfecting wipes.
- Keep doors propped open to help enhance ventilation and to avoid touching doorknobs.
- Have an ample supply of facial tissues available for coughs and sneezes.
- Use mobile whiteboards to create a safe working space or room divider.
- Reconfigure the lunchroom to allow for social distancing on lunch lines, at cafeteria tables, and near trash receptacles.
- Enforce one-way traffic flow with crowd control stanchions and floor markers.
- Use tables equipped with an antimicrobial agent for surface protection in high-traffic areas.
- Reduce lunchroom table occupancy to smaller numbers.
- Add lunch dividers to help safeguard students while they eat and drink.
- Use disposable utensils and gloves to reduce contact between others.
- Regularly clean and disinfect tables, trays, and counters between lunch sessions.
- Boost hand hygiene with portable sinks and handwashing stations.
- Keep the supply closet well-stocked with cleaning and disinfecting supplies.
- Replace water fountains, ice makers, and paper towel dispensers with touchless solutions.
- Consider leaving doors with handles or knobs wide open with securable stoppers to reduce contact.