As businesses look to reopen safely after a prolonged lockdown imposed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, employers are facing unprecedented new challenges. Every business has been impacted in some way or the other by the Covid-19 pandemic. The process for resuming business is a difficult task and has to be done industry-wise and according to governmental norms.
Here are a few general guidelines and checklist to mark off before reopening:
Check to see you meet all governmental norms.
The norms and regulations are different for different states. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has different guidelines for varied industries like restaurants, hospitality, education and health institutions, veterinary clinics, retirement communities, and more.
The US Chamber for Commerce has a Digital Resources Center that provides the latest state guidelines, sector-specific guidance, small business advice, and other tools and resources to help employers and employees return to work safely and successfully.
States and cities are constantly updating on guidelines and mandates as the situation unfolds in their area. It is prudent to keep yourself updated on the official social media platforms of the relevant authorities.
Be sure to check on the authenticity of the sites you check.
All Health and Hygiene Measures
Businesses will need to incorporate certain physical and structural changes. Ensure distancing among customers and employees both. Provide all state/city-mandated hygiene provisions. Air-conditioning needs to be controlled at a certain temperature. If possible, offices need to let natural air and sunlight in at regular intervals.
- Seating needs to be rearranged to see people are distant from each other.
- Common areas need to be closed down or restricted, including use of restrooms.
- Restricting office visits and offering work from home as far as possible.
- Ensuring temperature checks, PPE kits to whoever needs it.
- A plan to follow if an employee falls sick.
- A rota system that sees only the essential employees being present at a time.
- Ensuring regular disinfecting and cleaning of oft-used surfaces.
Being open to fears of employees concerning rejoining. Get all inputs and clearances from your legal advisors.
Strictly follow the CDC protocols for business reopening and hygiene and health guidelines. All documentation regarding the process of reopening and guidelines should be clear and updated so that it can be produced immediately when needed.
The place of business is up to grade -
- If you are in retail, check the inventory is up to grade and stocked and displayed, keeping distancing and disinfecting in mind.
- Have proper signage everywhere recommending masks, social distancing, and no touching rule.
- If in customer-care, then ensure regular disinfecting of all surfaces, usage of screens, masks, and gloves.
Last but not least, get the word out that you are in business again if you are in retail or hospitality or footfall dependent.