3 Things for Business Owners to Think About When Reopening
06/08/2020 by Kyle Greco
As states across the country begin to ease the guidelines for flattening the curve, many business owners are faced with important decisions to make regarding the wellness of their employees and their ventures.
We all know that things won’t be “business as usual” for quite some time. But you and your employees can begin to regain some sense of normalcy with proper planning.
As always, refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s ever-updating guidelines for official advice on how to best proceed with reopening your business. Let the following questions help guide your thought process as you reopen.
How Can I Best Protect My Employees?
This should be the first question any business owner asks themselves, pandemic or otherwise. A safe workplace is always a productive workplace. But wanting and being able to go back to work are two different things.
Questions to Consider Before Deciding to Reopen
– Will my employees be able to socially distance themselves while working?
– What will a day at work look like?
– What will happen should someone become sick?
– How will my business handle a supply chain disruption?
– What is needed to improve communication between co-workers?
It is important that you designate a point person for all COVID-19-related issues. While this could be you, the business owner, it is probably wise to choose another responsible manager who can dedicate a larger portion of their work time toward pandemic-specific matters.
Duties of The COVID-19 Coordinator
-See to it that all safety protocols are followed, from regular cleaning of workspaces, to temperature checks of employees as they enter.
–Review your business’ leave policies, ensuring they are flexible and empowering for employees to use should they become sick, or need to take care of someone who is sick.
–Convey any changes in the leave policy to all employees.
–Nominate people to monitor absenteeism.
When it comes to getting work done, you should allow anyone who can work from home to do so. In the cases where workers need to be in one centralized location, consider staggering shifts. This will allow for the number of people together at one time to stay in line with state regulations, and make it easier to follow social distancing protocols.
Businesses that have employees interact with customers have further considerations to take into account. They should do their best to increase the physical space between customer and employee.
Drive-thrus, clear plastic barriers, and outdoor pop-ups are all space-expanding ideas that can work, depending on the business type. At the very least, you can use tape to mark your floors to help people queue at least six feet apart.
And don’t forget to consider your cleaning and custodial staff, who will be tasked with regular cleaning of the premises. You may need to schedule extra coverage for these shifts, as all frequently touched surfaces need to be cleaned and disinfected at least once per day.
Does My Business Have Adequate Supplies to Reopen?
Social distancing is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to putting safeguards in place for your employees. Personal protection equipment is also crucial. Your employees are going to need face covers, gloves, and disinfectants in order to stay in accordance with the regulatory guidelines.
Now, this is not an excuse to stockpile or overuse disinfectants, masks, or toilet paper. The last thing you want to do is create a shortage of the right products needed in critical situations.
Still, there are ways to ensure your workers are fully protected. Our face covers are machine washable and available in bulk (with a majority portion of the proceeds going to pandemic relief charities), making them an excellent choice to provide your workers.
Tips for Providing Face Covers to Your Employees
– Get them shipped to your place of business, to minimize possible exposure to the virus.
– Do not physically hand out face covers. Let each worker grab their own.
– Order enough so that each worker has more than one. Fabric face covers are only reusable if they’re washed.
Remember that you may end up using disinfectants and other cleaning materials more than you normally would. Ensure that you have the adequate amount needed to safely return to work, and that you have a means of getting more when you run out. If you can’t satisfy either of these conditions, you shouldn’t open your place of business.
How Can My Business Further Help Employees?
You may feel compelled to reopen out of a sense of duty to your employees and the community. And if you can do so safely, you will no doubt make people’s lives a bit easier and more predictable.
But your efforts don’t have to stop there. Creativity can be an amazing driver of success.
Do good in new and inventive ways, and people will be sure to recognize it.
That might mean dropping off fresh meals at the local community kitchen, grocery store, or hospital. It could take the form of selling special edition custom t-shirts with your company’s logo or slogan, then donating the proceeds to pandemic relief charities.
Getting back to business will be no easy task, but if you put good out into the world, good will come back to you.
Remember, each business owner’s situation will be different, but figuring out the answers to these three important questions will put you on the path toward reopening. Stay safe!
About the Author
Kyle Greco Kyle Greco is the resident writer at RushOrderTees, where he blends word nerdery with his love for T-shirts. A graduate of The College of New Jersey, he is interested in exploring the intersection of clothing and culture. In his spare time, he makes music, builds guitars, and cooks with his wife. He enjoys hot dogs, sports, and collecting too many hats.