Truth be told, this year’s Fourth of July must have marked the resurgence of America. Before, the fledgling nation freed itself from the Draconian hold of foreign interference; these days, it’s slowly cutting the seemingly insurmountable grip of a sinister virus. Who would think that the most powerful nation on the planet would be humbled in the year 2020? But, it’s not the case anymore.
Well, if there’s any clue to be had, then we can take it from Apple. The tech giant has already opened all of its retail stores in America. That’s nearly a year since it closed them.
And you should be thinking why not have your business reopen too? That’s a splendid idea, no doubt. Be wary, however. Getting your business back on its feet is not as easy as opening your front doors and doing things like they were before. You may be confident that nearly 70% of adult Americans are fully vaccinated. But a quick look will tell you a more aggressive and dangerous variant of the virus called delta is hounding America again.
Don’t lose hope just yet though. If you’re thinking of reopening your business, here are four essential takeaways to consider so you can start your operations safely while garnering trust from your patrons and future clients.
Prep the Workplace
You need to be strategic about this. For one, you have to be mindful of CDC guidelines. And the least of it is the need for individuals to be at least six feet apart. In this regard, you will have to factor in certain changes in your establishment to make this a reality. That can mean installing barriers such as Plexiglas or you can also change your workplace layout so that there is greater space between workstations.
Another thing to consider is to look at communal spaces. You may have to close some and also schedule breaks in a staggered manner so people won’t mingle as much and do small talk.
In addition, you can make it a protocol to disallow workers from hopping into other cubicles or workstations. That also means you will have to discourage untimely visits from outside. Make sure your workers know that under no circumstances will they entertain friends or family in the workplace.
If you want to secure your premises from strangers and other intruders, installing a reliable intruder alarm system should be wise. Not only can it be useful by the day but also it can protect your premises at night when everyone is away. Definitely, the tech can be a big boost to security personnel on duty.
Have an Employee Wellness Plan Ready
Right now, there’s a tug of war going on in the minds of government leaders. One, there is the case for reopening with the vaccines in full swing, and on the other hand, there’s the case for restrictions with the presence of the delta virus growing. What that means is you should be ready with your own employee wellness plan.
Should you decide to bring everyone back into the workplace instead of just working from home, you need to be conscientious in your approach. Some things you need to consider are:
- Vaccine Cards: Are you going to require your returning employees to work without being vaccinated? Or are you going to make vaccines a requirement for work? Do your due diligence and check with your state and local government for guidance on this.
- Personal Protective Equipment: Will you still require masks? Some local governments are doing away with the protocol. How about you? The greater question is will it be safe not to require the PPE mouth covering?
- Temperature Checking: Will you stick to putting infrared scanners at your gate? Will you require everyone to be scanned?
- Employer-led COVID Testing: Will you be doing regular testing? Will you be keeping a tab on this for every employee? Will you require everyone to pass a test before coming back to work?
Have Safety Protocols for Materials Handling
You can take a cue from the restaurant industry when talking about customer-facing roles or supplier-facing ones. The goal here is to minimize as much as possible direct contact with people. As CDC details, person-to-person contact is the #1 fastest way to contract the virus. Some protocols restaurants are implementing are:
- Cashless Payment Options: While there is no study that the virus travels via money, we know for sure human interaction is dangerous. So as much as possible, online payments or debit/credit cards only should be the golden rule. Be ready to catch flak though as not every buyer in America can avail of touchless payment.
- Pick-up Rack Galore: You can have your client stay in the car to be notified when the order is ready. He just has to pick it up in the rack.
- Safety Seals: When you provide safety seals on products, you not only improve your packaging but also give your clients confidence they’re safety is a top priority.
Most importantly, everyone in your organization should know your health protocols before you even start your operations. It should be crystal clear. When you work as one, everyone feels safe — in the process your organization’s productivity skyrockets.