As of May 2020, states are slowly beginning to re-open amidst the unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Social distancing guidelines have significantly impacted the economy over the past few months. Many non-essential businesses were forced to close, and millions of Americans lost their jobs almost instantly. Many are still struggling with no end in sight.
Businesses are still obligated to follow public health policy and best practices during these times. At Crest Insurance, we’re here to help employers navigate the waters of uncertainty when it comes to resuming your business.
Where To Start
As an employer, your number one goal should be to prioritize the safety and health of your workforce.
Before you re-open, you should be up-to-date with all of the current CDC information, along with appropriate state and federal guidelines. Proper communication with your employees is also vital to swiftly re-opening your face-to-face business. Will the return to work happen all at once? In phases? Will employees still have the option to work from home for the time being? All of these (and more) are essential questions employers and other business owners are currently facing.
Prepare Your Workspace
Unfortunately, America returning to “business as usual” will still require some updated protocols.
All desks, counters, tables, and more should be regularly sanitized or wiped down with some sort of disinfecting agent.
Businesses should also provide hand sanitizer to employees, especially in common areas such as the break room, or meeting rooms.
Furthermore, employees should still feel welcome to wear a mask if they choose. If you have your own office, this shouldn’t be needed. However, anyone working or communicating in close quarters should consider PPE, such as facial protection.
If your business also has a large waiting area, consider limiting volume, so patrons can be adequately spaced out. Businesses should also consider removing any cloth furniture or seating. This material harbors bacteria and viruses much more easily than metal, wood, or plastic chairs, for example.
- If any of your staff is sick, encourage them to work from home.
- Choose videoconferencing, email, or phone calls over face-to-face business.
- Avoid large office gatherings like parties, birthdays, and potlucks.
- Provide floor markings to maintain social distance.
- Include any other necessary signs in your business that you need patrons to adhere to.
These aren’t the only safety protocols needed to maintain a safe workspace, but they are some of the most simple and effective ones.
Communication is Key
Encourage feedback from what employees. What protocols are working? Which ones aren’t? Actively seek improvement and change. All businesses are different, so no single protocol will be the same.
Some businesses are inherently able to operate remotely; others aren’t. Ensuring compliance also means that you have the proper protection and educational materials in place.
Only time will show us exactly how this phased out re-opening of cities, states, and countries will go. Experts have already predicted impending second waves of the virus, directly stemming from opening areas up again too soon.
In the meantime, you can still keep yourself safe by adhering to social distancing guidelines, and only shopping for essentials. Boost your health by eating correctly, sleeping enough, and keeping in touch with your loved ones.
For more information on this topic, watch the video below: