Once the lockdown ends, things aren’t going to instantly go back to normal. As we’ve already seen, customers will look for the businesses that prioritize their safety. If your business reopened tomorrow, would you be ready? Do you have the physical distancing, sanitation, and advisory equipment needed for customers and employees to feel safe?
Here are some tips on ensuring you’re ready for the day your state reopens:
Social Distancing Inside and Outside Your Business
Operating at less-than-normal capacity can mean lines both inside and outside of your business. In both instances, physical distancing measures can go a long way in ensuring each customer is on the same page.
Some businesses are utilizing stickers on the ground, but this is likely not a good long-term solution. On top of general wear and tear (especially in regions with inclement weather), they can be easily ignored.
For years of constant use, even outdoors, high-quality stanchions with retractable belts and barricades with custom COVID-19 messaging can serve as effective physical distancing guidance. You can also use them to separate queues from passerby, which is particularly useful for retail.
Protective Equipment for COVID-19
This will be greatly dependent on your industry, so our number one advice is to consult expert guidance specific to your field.
For food prep workers, masks will likely become an essential component to sanitary measures (on top of gloves and regular, thorough handwashing). But for those in clothing and other retail, you may need to meet those same standards simply for customer comfort levels.
In many regions of the United States, there will be minimum standards – as well as extra precautions you have the choice to take.
Training Temp Workers Quickly
If someone on your staff falls ill, they should not come into work no matter the profession. But that could mean multiple weeks of absence, wherein they recover from the disease and quarantine until they are not contagious. In the meantime, you may need some extra help to ensure your business operations can continue.
When was the last time you optimized training? Do you have a streamlined process for onboarding new employees so that they can both help out and learn simultaneously? Many businesses have that in place, others have realized they were in need, and still more should consider getting that sorted today.
Temperature Checks and Entry Control
Some people can be showing symptoms without even knowing it. In a similar vein as the above advice, temperature checks and carefully coordinated entry control can boost the safety of your workers and your customers.
This is another area where barricades and stanchions can help. Funneling crowds to exactly where they need to be for assessment and approval is crucial for security measures. The municipalities in cities across the country will likely greatly increase the amount of crowd management equipment they have on hand specifically to keep their occupancy levels where they need to be, and effectively check each visitor.
Similar to “floor is slippery” A-frames and emergency exit signs, novel coronavirus safety signage can make a big difference in how folks interact with your business. It also may become required by law in most areas.
Many businesses are resorting to handwritten signs to cut costs. But if it’s feasible, custom signage that aligns with your brand can be a standout piece of safety messaging that’s more likely to be taken seriously by customers.
Regular Sanitation for Businesses
Barricades and stanchions are compact and lightweight crowd management products that can be used to quickly cordon off high-traffic areas for cleaning and disinfection. Specific areas may need to be blocked off several times per day to keep pedestrians off floors and away from benches for regular sanitation.
Staying in Compliance
Let’s start with a specific example. In the construction industry, OSHA sets enforced standards for regulatory bodies while ANSI develops voluntary guidelines to minimize the potential for liability. In combination, contractors can both stay in compliance and maximize the safety of workers, pedestrians, vehicles, and equipment.
Universally, this same principle can be applied to all businesses in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The more reliable sources from which you get information, like the CDC and the WHO, on top of local ordinances, can actually help you attract more business. At the very least, you’ll encourage repeat customers as business begins to slowly return to normal.