Our offices have been essentially empty for the last month.

We have been successfully working remotely since early March and all lawyers and staff have continued to work hard and produce the high quality legal work that Marler Clark is known for.

We are starting to plan for the “new normal.”  Here are some thoughts.  I know I have a number of very smart subscribers, so feel free to give me any input that will make my staff safer.

Note:  Harvard researchers have opined that people around the world might need to practice some level of social distancing intermittently through 2022 to stop the disease from surging again and overwhelming hospital systems, unless hospital capacity is increased, or effective vaccines and treatments are developed. Businesses should begin to make plans that provide adequate social distancing within the workplace. And, they should also be prepared to demonstrate that when regulatory restrictions are eased, they can accommodate physical distancing for both their employees and customers.

Of course, I am assuming that we will continue to see a lack of COVID-19 testing for the disease of for antibodies.  In a perfect world, I would hope to have tests available.

Marler Clark Office Changes:

  • Tape markers on the floor to remind everyone of how far 6 feet is (i.e., tape on floor behind each cubicle that is being used, and outside each publicly used door, in kitchen, etc.)
  • Put a sign in elevator reminding everyone that only one person is to ride at a time
  • Put up some reminders for regular hand-washing (i.e. in the bathroom, in the kitchen, by the exits, and around cubicles for hand washing every 2 hours or more often when moving about)
  • Place caddies by entrances to office with hand sanitizer, masks, wipes, and thermometers (a noninvasive type that doesn’t require touching the skin)
  • Place hand sanitizer dispensers, sanitizer wipes and no-touch waste bins at strategic places in office (kitchen, printer room, elevator, conference rooms, sitting areas, archives, at cubicles)
  • Ask employees to use their own thermometers to check temperature before coming to work and before departing home
  • Masks made available for use upon entry to office. No need to use masks at desk all day, only coming and leaving office, or when conferring or meeting with others, or walking around office or in common areas
  • Message other businesses in building so that all are compliant with elevator and stairwell limits
  • Create elevator waiting areas tape markers and hang signs about elevator use/hand-washing
  • Turn on whatever type of air filtration is available to keep air clean and virus-free

Office Etiquette:

  • No more than 5 people in the office at any time and work separated by at least one cubicle
  • Each person works 2-3 days in the office, including weekends – schedule either created by one person or to incorporate people’s workday preferences
  • People should drive, walk, or ride bikes (pay for parking) – No public transportation
  • Employees to take temperature at the beginning of their work time – will work on a honor system (normal temp: 5–37.5 °C (97.7–99.5 °F)
  • Employees to stay at least 6 ft from others and wear masks when conferencing, walking around the office or in common areas
  • Hand wash or sanitize before using common areas – printer room, kitchen, conference room – and wash hand after using the bathroom
  • No more than one person at a time in common areas– printer room, kitchen, conference room
  • All food coming in should be from home to avoid outside contamination
  • Each person must sanitize their workspace at the end of day, and each person assigned one other area to sanitize (kitchen, supply room, bathrooms)
  • Cleaning service should be disinfecting on a weekly basis, at least
  • Stay home if any signs of respiratory illness (coughing, fever, sore throat, fatigue, trouble breathing)
  • If sickness occurs while at work, employee should inform the whole office and sanitize anything they touched before leaving