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Up here in Michigan, we’re very slowly attempting to return to normal after the quarantine, as are many states around the country.

“Returning to normal” will take many forms (and won’t happen immediately), but for many of us, it means we’re at least back in our place of work. Whether you’ve been working from home, put on a reduced schedule, or flat-out unemployed in the interim, a lot of companies are slowly starting to bring their staff back to their location – and that goes double for warehouses.

Even the busiest warehouses probably had to go through some staff reduction and shift changes during the previous few months of shutdown. As your state or governing body starts to implement plans to get everything back to where it was, your team is probably making steps to get everyone back in the warehouse like they used to be before the various shutdowns began – but what does that mean for your staff? How can you keep your workers safe when they return, as well as help them ramp back up to their previous levels? There’s a few questions any warehouse will need to be asking themselves in the coming days, such as:

 

How will my workers be kept safe from potential illness?

  • Do you have a plan in place for social distancing? Are your warehouse shelves and wire shelves spaced far enough apart that workers aren’t in as close of proximity with one another as they used to be?
  • How many workers will be present at one time? Even if you’re returning to your previous staff levels, will you have a strategy in place to prevent too many workers from being on the floor at once, especially when flu season rolls back around?
  • Will you be taking temperature checks at the door and enforcing a sick policy? Will workers have individual warehouse lockers to keep their personal goods in to prevent accidental contamination?

 

How will you be bringing workers back in?

  • Will you be ramping back up to previous staff levels right away, or will you be slowly rolling staff back in over different shifts?
  • Will you be going by seniority, or will everyone just be reassigned to the shifts they had previously?

 

Has your supply chain been affected by the shutdown?

  • Will you be expecting more products to come back in, or has your product lineup changed during the pandemic?
  • Will your staff levels be able to match the amount of product coming back in, or are you still experiencing inventory shortages that won’t be resolved by the time your workforce returns?

 

By asking yourself these questions, you’ll be better prepared to bring your team back in when you need them most.

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