With reports of more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases a day, it’s pretty clear that the pandemic is far from over. While states like Florida, Texas, and Georgia are becoming the new “hotspots” with cases and hospitalizations multiplying each day, other states like New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are either holding steady or seeing a decline.
It is in these states where local officials have started reopening in phases. This, of course, is good news for businesses who have been struggling to survive since temporarily closing their doors earlier this year. For employees, however, the idea of returning to work in the midst of a pandemic is unnerving.
While grateful to have a job to return to, many employees are afraid of contracting the virus once they’re integrated back into society. As employees are the backbone of any successful business, it will be imperative for owners and/or managerial staff to prioritize the health and safety of their employees to ease their fears.
Know the Business Reopening Guidelines
Each state has its own set of rules and regulations as it pertains to the reopening of businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Business owners are strongly advised to familiarize themselves with these guidelines to ensure they remain in compliance with the law. Failure to do so could lead to fines, lawsuits, and even the shutting down of your business.
Thoroughly Clean Your Commercial Property
While providing a clean work environment has always been a necessity, during the pandemic it is a MUST. The virus can live on surfaces for several hours at a time increasing the chances of transmission.
To reduce the spread, the premises need to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized from the inside out. Hiring a company that provides cleaning services as well as commercial carpet cleaning in Rochester, NY or Erie, PA is highly recommended for a deep clean.
A regular cleaning schedule (especially high-traffic areas) also needs to be created and followed daily. Seeing that the premises are being cleaned regularly on a daily basis will provide a feeling of safety to staff.
Stock Up on PPE
Personal protective equipment is essential to protect the safety and wellbeing of employees. Businesses should ensure that they have enough facial masks and gloves in stock to provide staff. Other forms of protection might include hand sanitizing stations and plastic shields for receptionists, cashiers, and other employees who may come in close contact with clients/customers.
Develop New Health and Safety Policies
Though companies already have health and safety policies, updating them during the pandemic is ideal. These policies and procedures might outline what employees should do if they’re feeling sick, what steps you’ll take to safeguard everyone if the business is exposed to coronavirus, and the best methods for keeping common areas clean and safe.
Get Their Input
Businesses would be wise to take the advice and/or input of their staff. This not only means an opportunity to learn new ways to keep everyone safe, but it allows your employees to feel heard which can boost morale and ease tension. Find out what their biggest fears are and possible solutions to reducing those fears.
Go beyond their fears to find out what other obstacles may be causing an issue in their ability to return to work (or perform at their best). You may find that employees will need more flexible hours since there are limited options for children during the summer.
You may have employees with health conditions that put them at risk of contracting the coronavirus that would prefer to continue working remotely. The idea is to essentially try to provide not only a safe haven but the most support you can so that your team can return to work without the stress.
The reopening of certain businesses across the country is ideal for the local and federal economies. Returning to work is also beneficial for those who have been working from home or unemployed. If this process is going to be a success, however, businesses must go above and beyond to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their employees. When employees feel safe, essentially, they’re able to put their best foot forward in serving the community.