Creating a safe and productive work environment at the moment is tough at the moment, but you need to move past these barriers in order to get things back to normal, and your business making money again. Work through these tips to get your small business up and running again, safely, during this pandemic.
- Prepare a timeline. In most parts of the world, restrictions are being lifted in phases. The details are subject to change, but it’s important for your business to set goals and dates for reopening specific parts of the business so you can stay on track. This also means you can keep your employees and customers up to date with when you plan to reopen.
- Create a communication plan. Small business employees are struggling without much information about when they can return to work. If you don’t have one in place already, create a communication plan to get messages out to your entire team. The plan should include office logistics, meeting policies, and break room usage.
- Invest in protective gear. Physical safety is the number one priority for most workplaces right now. If you don’t have a supply, you will need to invest in a stock of personal protective gear for your employees, including masks and gloves. Think about other gear that you might need, like bottles of hand sanitizer for customers, and payment processing equipment for taking contactless payments. Also, body temperature scanners are a fantastic investment to keep your employees and customers safe. Here’s a link to a great article that outlines Three Important Ways Your Organization Will Benefit From Using Body Temperature Scanners.
- Set up sanitizing stations. Washing hands regularly and sanitizing is essential for slowing the spread of Coronavirus. Businesses that want to keep things safe and clean should set up extra sanitizer stations or hand washing areas around the workplace, for staff and customers to use.
- Develop a cleaning policy. If your workplace has shared areas, regular disinfecting will be needed to stop germs from spreading. A regular professional cleaning schedule might not be enough. Create a schedule or policies about disinfecting specific items. For example, leave sanitizer by conference room phones, so the handset can be wiped down before and after use.
- Support employees emotionally. This year has been very hard on people’s mental health. Some of this worry will be caused by coming back to work. Offer more support to your team by letting them know that they can discuss issues with you or other members of your team. Set up a meeting where people can discuss their concerns. Letting people know that it’s natural to feel uneasy as they come back to work can be helpful.
- Set clear boundaries. Working from home has meant that a lot of employees have kept strange working hours and have blended office and home lives. As they come back to an office environment, some workers may want to keep up some of these habits, like replying to emails in the middle of the night, or scheduling conference calls in the evening. To create a healthier working environment, try to create some boundaries by setting clear policies around working hours. Try to discourage unhealthy working habits.
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