We are all itching to get back to normal life, especially work. The COVID-19 pandemic has had us on pause for way too long now. But what will returning to normal life be like? And how should business owners prepare their organizations to reopen?
After your business has completed a thorough and professional clean of its premises, where to from there? Below we take a look at some important areas to consider:
Important Health and Safety Measures
1. Risk Assessment
Sit down and figure out what risks are posed to your employees in the workplace. If desks are placed closer than two meters from one another you will need to move them. This may require you to change the basic layout of your floor plan. Create a plan on how to adapt your workspace, taking into account guidance by government and health institutions.
Make sure your employees know where you are in the process of reopening, this will help calm their nerves and make them feel part of the process. Send your employees the guidelines and protocols you have adopted for your business going forward. For example, explain to them how policies such as the introduction of shorter shifts or staggered hours will affect their employment contract.
The most important question to ask is: which employees can work from home and how will the rest of the team be able to work with them in this capacity? Think of staggering start and end times for those that need to be in the office and encourage staff to avoid public transport, if possible.
Carefully Assess the Premises
1. Entry and Exit
Important points to consider with regards to the access to your workplace include: the hygiene facilities available on entering the building, limiting the number of people using the elevator, installing swing doors or leaving doors open to avoid touching, and even implementing a one-way system of moving around the office building.
2. General Areas
Try and keep physical distancing a top priority. Not only does this mean desks need to be two meters apart but there also needs to be a limit on how many employees can use public areas at the same time – this includes the toilets and kitchens. Stagger lunchtimes, stagger work times, encourage employees to bring their own crockery and cutlery for their meals. And hold out on reopening facilities such as the company gym or café.
3. Meetings and Customers
Discourage meetings, especially in small rooms, as much as possible. Rather limit meetings to video conference meetings, or arrange bigger meeting rooms to allow for physical distancing. Discourage business meetings outside of the workplace. If you have customers coming into your business, ensure health and safety rules apply to them as well.
4. Personal Hygiene
You won’t be able to get away from your staff touching the same things – such as copiers, door handles, light switches, etc. So, create a plan for these instances – ensure availability and access to hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes for keyboards and phones, and regular deep cleans of the workplace need to happen – particularly the regularly-touched, hard surface areas.
Remember To Assess The Situation Again
Once your business is up and running again and your staff have returned to work, it’s important to keep in mind that a regular audit of your new policies and regulations needs to be done. Assess what is working, what is not, and what is being adhered to. The COVID-19 situation itself is being reassessed continuously, relaxing restrictions doesn’t mean we won’t re-enter another period of lockdown. It’s still a time of caution for all of us.
Why not use Restoration 1’s professional cleaning services before reopening your business and ensure your workplace is hygienic and safe for all employees? Restoration 1 offers virus and disease clean-up services and will get you started on the road to a healthy workplace. You focus on work, we’ll focus on the cleaning. When it comes to virus disinfection, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Find your nearest location, or learn more about our professional services here.