Offices reopening, but many workers continue to work at home

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Several businesses were allowed to reopen on Monday as part of the state’s plan to reopen Ohio’s economy.

Under Governor Mike DeWine’s plan, general office environments were permitted to reopen, although many employees continued to work from home.

“Very few people are coming in,” said Danny Tiano, the owner of 175 On The Park.

Tiano said his office building houses about 30 businesses, but he only unlocked the doors for one.

“The majority of our tenants are telling us that they are going to wait two to four weeks before they start to come in again on a full-time basis,” he said. “I think we need to see the numbers — as far as how many people are infected and how many people are dying. I think everybody’s waiting to see those numbers not just stabilize, but go down.”

Otto Beatty owns Intelligent Office, which is located in Tiano’s building. While his office space is open, most of his employees are still working from home.

“We put the technology in place in the spring in order to allow them to do that,” he said.

Beatty said he is putting several safety measures in place to protect his staff when they fully return to the office. One of his plans is to put signs on the door on how to safely adhere to best practices.

“We also purchased, but they’ve not arrived yet, acrylic barriers that will go on our front counter so that if there is somebody that does not wear a mask or appropriate protection, my staff will be protected and they also will be protected, as well,” explained Beatty.

In addition to general offices, distribution, construction, and manufacturing businesses were also permitted to reopen Monday.

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association represents approximately 1,500 manufacturers. A spokesperson estimated about 75 percent of the association’s members continued to operate during the pandemic, as their services were deemed essential.

On Monday, he said many had already implemented the safety guidelines ordered by the state.

“A lot of the best practices and guidance that are coming from the administration are actually coming from the manufacturing sector,” said Ohio Manufacturers’ Association spokesperson Jamie Karl. “They are the ones who frankly engineered the safety protocols that are being recommended and required by the administration, right now.”

The association has created a number of resources for manufacturers, as they begin to reopen. Those resources can be found by clicking here.

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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