Re-Opening the Workplace

Re-opening the workplace header. Features glasses on a laptop next to a mouse on a wooden table.

The development of these workplace guidelines is in response to a need in Life Science companies to safely and efficiently reopen the parts of their companies that have been shut down due to the COVID19 pandemic. They were developed based on experience and plans of Life Science Women’s Network members and will be updated as more experience is gained.

These guidelines can be downloaded here: Re-Opening the Workplace


  • How long has work area been unoccupied? If it has been unoccupied for more than 7 days, then you only need to perform routine cleaning.
    • Develop a Plan for Cleaning and Disinfecting the Workplace
  • Clean all surfaces with soap and water and frequently used surfaces, such as light switches and door knobs, with EPA approved disinfectant.
  • Remove porous surfaces, such as area rugs and seating, to reduce need to clean.
  • No need to disinfect outdoor areas. Simply perform routine cleaning for these.
  • If prolonged water system shutdown has occurred, ensure it is safe.  Information regarding this can be found at


  • Continue to work from home if possible.
  • Provide flexible work hours if possible to accommodate childcare and elder care.
  • Educate staff for more willing compliance.
  • Break work into shifts so fewer people are there at a time.
  • Split WFH and on-site for employees where possible (alternating days or weeks).
  • Stagger your start time, so that fewer people are coming into the building at any point in time.


  • Install or Add:
    • Plexiglass between workstations.
    • Handwashing stations, if possible.
    • UV Lights or UV robots to disinfect.
    • HEPA Air Purifiers in common areas.
    • Automatic door openers, activated by a contactless hand motion, for doors.
  • Provide:
    • Face shields.
    • Free, re-usable masks for everyone.
    • Tissues and disinfectant wipes.
    • Hand sanitizer (with reminder signs) in every community area.
  • Use tissues or disinfectant wipes to:
    • Open, close, and lock toilet stalls and restroom entry doors.
    • Touch elevator buttons and open certain doors that can’t be automated.
  • Require masks be worn entering the building, the kitchens, and while riding the elevators.
  • Remove community doors where possible.
  • Post signs at building entrances asking people to not enter if they have any exposure or symptoms.
  • Post signs throughout the building reminding of the need for physical distancing.
  • Use 3D printed door handle modifiers to make certain doors openable via the elbow.
  • Use floor signs indicating one-way hallways and direction of traffic flow.
  • Use stairwell signs indicating one-way walking (one going up, one going down).
  • Use marks on the floor 6 feet apart in areas where a line might form (like coffee machines, microwaves, refrigerators, vending machines, and check-in at front desk).
  • Use circles in the elevator indicating where to stand, no more than 3 in the elevator at once. Best practice is only 1 person per elevator.


  • Form a committee of people from different departments to monitor compliance and safety. Establish the committee as a source of information. Make sure everyone knows who is on the committee and how to reach them.


  • Establish clear work-travel policies for:
    • Flights
    • Mass transit
    • Ride -share
    • Taxis
  • Establish actions to be taken if an employee willfully is not complying.
  • Make sure hourly employees are paid while waiting for temperature checks, signing in safely, and more.

These guidelines were last updated on May 12, 2020 and created through the concerted effort of the following Life Science Women’s Network members: Stacy Arnold of Axogen, Eva Dias of Phoenix Human Capital Solutions, Cherie Mathews of healincomfort, Patti Rossman of Globiox, Steve Fiske of the LSWC, Pat Lawman of Morphogenesis, and Nadia Greenidge of Stat Medical Devices.