Back to Business: Safely Reopening Your Doors During the Pandemic
It’s finally about that time. Businesses across the country are slowly beginning to reopen as restrictions are being loosened and shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders relaxed in most regions. With Americans starting to return to their place of work, their companies must be prepared by planning ahead to open up safely and sustainably. However, all businesses are different, and certain areas continue to emerge as hotspots, making it riskier for owners to reopen. Companies that are considering reopening their businesses must take measures to keep both their employees and customers safe. Here are some steps we’ve found are working for us that we wanted to share with other business owners to help mitigate risks when opening their doors in the post-shutdown world.
Educate yourself – Prepare your business to safely reopen by getting reliable information from reputable sources. There are many great resources available to you online. Reopening plans fall under the authority of individual state governors. As such, each state’s guidelines vary. Learn the latest state guidelines from either the US Chamber of Commerce or your states official government website. Guidelines can also vary from city to city and county to county, so check your city or county’s official government website for any additional instructions from which you will need to adhere. As far as the safety of your customers and employees, the CDC, OSHA, and American Industrial Hygiene Association have issued guidelines for businesses preparing to reopen to provide safe and healthy workplaces.
Plan ahead – Once you have knowledge about how to safely reopen your place of work, it’s time to put safety measures in place. Depending on your state and industry, you might have specific mandates for things such as social distancing, sanitation protocols, and personal protective equipment. You might also choose to implement these measures even if not mandated for your business. If you will be doing so, before reopening, you need to develop any new safety policies or procedures, order any necessary supplies, and reconfigure your workspace. This could take some time, so get started as soon as possible. Waltz Business Solutions is keeping in mind the guidelines for our state and sharing those with our employees as well as adding a few of our own safety measures such as reminding employees to wash off their fruit in the lunch area that’s provided by the company before eating. Taking small precautionary measures like this, something that can be easily looked over, can limit future potential health problems.
Communicate with your staff and clientele – Life will likely not be business-as-usual once you reopen, so you need to prepare your employees, vendors, and customers for the new normal. Clearly communicate any updated policies, what to expect, or changes to the way you do business with anyone who will be interacting with your company. Be transparent and explain that the health and safety of all involved are your priority and the measures you’ve taken to ensure this may cause your business to operate a little differently. Get input from your staff about their thoughts and concerns, and how you can address them.
Don’t open prematurely – Perhaps most importantly, don’t open your doors before it’s safe to do so. The CDC recommends businesses open only if their community no longer requires mitigation, they comply with state and local orders, and they are adequately prepared to protect their employees. If you meet all of these criteria, you can consider reopening your workplace.
Businesses can’t stay shuttered for the long-term; that’s not realistic. However, every owner is responsible for the safety of their employees and customers. So do your part to do everything possible to reduce risks when reopening your business. As always, we are here to help as you take this big step in opening your doors. Waltz can support our clients “from document creation to document destruction.” This includes copiers, printers, scanners, document management, document storage and shredding/destruction. Call us today for your business solutions needs!
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