Returning to Work After COVID-19 Lockdown easing

This information sheet offers practical guidance for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations looking to return to work following the easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures.

As the government begins to ease lockdown measures, those who cannot work from home are being ‘actively encouraged’ to return to work. In the coming months we can expect to see lockdown measures ease further and it is important for your organisation to be prepared for how you will return to work and/or reopen space(s). There is no one size fits all answer for how to do this but here we will highlight the key issues that you need to consider when planning how to safely return to work.

Remember, any decision to change how services are currently delivered or the reopening of services previously closed should be informed by the government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. Visit When planning how to return to work/reopen spaces, consider the following

Do your premises need to be open?

  • Where staff can effectively work from home, they should continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
  • Can operations continue with some or all of your staff working from home?
  • Can embracing digital enable staff to continue to deliver projects from home?
  • Would all members of staff need to be on site?

Carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment

  •  How will you maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible?
  • How can you redesign work spaces to maintain social distancing?
  • Are there any areas of your work where social distancing isn’t possible? If yes, how will you manage the transmission risk?
  • Could a trades union help you carry out an assessment?
  • What are your staff’s concerns about returning to the office?
  • How will you manage visitors/beneficiaries coming to your premises?

Plan how to reinforce cleaning processes

  • Do you have adequate handwashing facilities?
  • How will you ensure these are well supplied?
  • How can you ensure that your premises area a clean and safe environment for staff/visitors?
  • Are there certain high-touch items that you may have to restrict/limit the use of?
  • How will you ensure frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, such as door handles and keyboards?
  • Are you able to put in place adequate disposal arrangements?

What do your beneficiaries have to say?

  • How can you engage with your beneficiaries to find out what their needs are at this time?
  • Do they have ideas about how you could run projects at this time?
  • Could digital enable you to connect with them without them visiting your space?


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