This pandemic has brought upon new safety precautions that we have otherwise not been familiar with. Since the outbreak, businesses have been diligent in ensuring the safety of their employees and customers by implementing new strategies for sanitization. When opening a new small business, you are expected to do the same so here are some practices that can help to aid in the opening of your small business during a global pandemic.
Initially, one of the top priorities for navigating through a work environment during this time is to ensure that everyone is doing their part to create a clean and healthy place for everyone. One of the best ways employees and management can do their part is by implementing proper hand washing regimens. Hand washing is a simple and easy way to take some initiative during this rather scary time, and create a clean environment for everyone involved. Host a team meeting where you can go over the proper way to wash your hands including how long you should wash them for and how often you should wash them. This will guarantee that everyone is on the same page about the health of themselves, as well as others, and can safely work from that point forward. This tactic can also be a permanent addition to your small businesses’ practices in order to instill cleanliness longevity even after this pandemic is over.
In addition to hand washing, face coverings have also been a necessity since the outbreak of this virus. Within every business that comes in contact with customers and each other, staff are required to wear face coverings. Since your small business is just opening, hold a staff meeting where you can provide examples of proper face coverings that will be acceptable at work. You will decide which face coverings are appropriate for the work place, or perhaps provide work-issued face coverings in order to avoid any confusion. A good rule of thumb for choosing face coverings is to make sure that it covers both the mouth and the nose and it is not too big or too small. If a covering is too big, staff may run the risk of the mask slipping or falling when speaking with a customer or fellow staff which isn’t a great idea during a time like this. If a covering is too small, it may prove to be uncomfortable for long hours of work which isn’t optimal either. Instilling these practices and setting the tone for work safety precautions are imperative during this time and it should be of utmost importance to ensure the safety of your staff and customers.
Lastly, accompanying both of these practices above, is to also initiate the proper ways to social distance while at work. This part can be a little tricky to navigate because many employees have to work in close quarters with their fellow employees and can not maintain a safe distance, which is why proper hand washing and facial coverings are essential. Although you sometimes can’t control the distancing practices your staff can partake in, you can control the distances your customers experience. One great way to protect your employees when they come in contact with customers is to have a Plexiglas or plastic barrier between them. This allows for extra safety during these encounters because there is virtually no chance they can touch each other or exchange bodily fluids.
In addition, you can measure out 6 feet on the ground and put stickers or tape on the floor to identify how far apart customers should be from each other when waiting in line. This allows for ample space in front of them and behind them in order to keep them safe and properly distanced from each other. If your business requires customers to be inside of your establishment, you can also have an employee do door-duty who can manage how many people are in the building at a time. When a customer leaves, another customer can enter which can help with the density of persons within the building and increase chances for proper social distancing.