It has been a year, and yet we are still living in a pandemic. Although vaccines are on the way, new strains of the virus have appeared. And it looks like we’ll be living in the pandemic much longer than we expected. But even if we are living in a pandemic, some things have to go on. Some people have no choice but to work to survive during these times. It’s up to us business owners to give these people a chance to make a living. But of course, we have to make our workplace a safe place for our employees and customers. To prepare your business to run under a pandemic. You need to do a couple of things to ensure that you run your business safely.
Assess the risks.
Before you open up your doors again, you have to conduct a proper risk assessment. What are the different scenarios that might increase the risk of getting COVID-19? Who are the most vulnerable to these risks? What are the possibilities that someone will get infected by the virus? After you’ve assessed all the risks, find a way to solve the problem and control the risks.
Find the best way to implement social distancing.
The rule of thumb is to keep employees and customers at least six feet away from each other. If you run a restaurant, you will need to put up a glass or plastic divider between customers. Tables must be spaced out far enough so that your establishment isn’t crowded. Any workplace is not supposed to be working at full capacity. You may have to adjust your employees’ work schedules to ensure their safety.
Ensure proper ventilation.
The virus spreads much easier in enclosed spaces without proper ventilation. It makes the possibility of airborne transmissions much higher. So make sure that your workplace has proper ventilation. If you have windows, doors, vents, or exhausts, keep them open. If possible, expand outdoors.
Prioritise hygiene and sanitation.
Proper hygiene and sanitation are of utmost importance. The workplace has to be sanitised before and after work hours. Hire a hygiene services contractor to ensure that your workplace is clean enough to run safely. Require employees and visitors to sanitise their hands before entering the workplace. Place a sanitiser dispenser by every entrance and exit. As well as sanitising mats for their shoes. Also, never forget to have a strict implementation of wearing PPE at work. That goes for both employees and customers. Create a no mask no entry rule and don’t let them take it off unless completely necessary.
Educate your employees.
Knowledge is power. The best way to keep your employees safe is to educate them. Tell them about the risks of the virus, the symptoms of the virus, how they can stay safe, and what you’re doing to keep them safe. If you want your employees to come to work, you need to ensure their safety. Don’t downplay the seriousness of the virus. You need to encourage honesty and open communication at the workplace. If you’re honest with your employees, they won’t be afraid of being honest with you. They are more likely to inform you if they have any symptoms if you encourage these values at work.
Let non-essential and vulnerable workers work remotely.
When we say non-essential, we mean employees who don’t necessarily have to go to the office to work. If you have employees that can do their job remotely, let them. If you have any vulnerable employees, such as senior citizens or those with health issues, let them work remotely. This is a great way to let your employees know that you care for them.
Create a plan.
Once you’ve put all the necessary policies and rules to keep your business running, keep in mind that you still need to create a back-up plan if someone in your workplace happens to catch the virus. Your best bet is to save an emergency fund for situations like this. Immediately close down your business, get employees who have been exposed to the infected person tested. And require everyone to quarantine for at least two weeks. If they test negative twice, you can go back to work.
Get help from the government.
If you need financial assistance, you can get help from the government. The Small Business Administration has different relief options for business owners during these times. Check out which loans you can apply for.
We are living in tough times. But things must go on. It might not be normal, but only those who learn to adapt will survive this pandemic. If you want to continue running your business during and after the pandemic, you need to accept the new normal.