It may be sooner rather than later that your business may have the option to open up again after social distancing. When and how your business opens back up depends on a number of factors: the type of industry you’re in, where your business is located, and what the demand is for your industry. Some states are already lifting social distancing restrictions and allowing establishments to re-open. No matter what your business’ plans are, it’s important to figure out what you need to do so you won’t be left scrambling.
Keep employees informed
For most companies, returning to work will probably happen in phases; it won’t all happen at once. And all of this depends on where your business is. Make sure you inform employees of these phases ahead of time so they know what to expect when time comes to open up the office or workplace again. And inform them of your plans to re-open if they change and more information is gathered.
Develop a plan
This is one of the most important things to do when preparing to open your business after social distancing restrictions are lifted. If you’re looking to make an infectious disease preparedness plan, this guide created by OSHA is a great starting point and provides valuable, detailed information. Testing your employees for coronavirus antibodies is an effective way to keep track of who is sick. If those aren’t available, you could also implement temperature checks before employees enter the office.
Basic infection measures are a vital part of reducing the risk of further spread of the coronavirus. That means regular office cleaning practices, encouraging employees to wash their hands often, and encouraging them to stay home if they have any symptoms. If they are sick, here is a guideline from the CDC you can send them. Your plan might also include adding variability in shifts so that your full staff isn’t at the office at one time.
Make sure the equipment and facilities are safe
If the building hasn’t been used in several weeks or months, you’ll have to make sure everything is up and running like normal. This includes basic things like the electrical and heating/cooling units. Your employees can’t work in the dark, after all. Also, high-efficiency air filters are especially important right now to limit the spread of viruses.
One thing you might forget about is the water system. Your employees need to stay hydrated to be healthy and focused on work, so this is vital. Make sure your water disinfection system is in good shape by putting the job in the hands of experts.
See if your business qualifies for federal loans
At the end of March, the CARES Act was passed— meaning $376 billion in relief for small businesses and Americans. If your business has 500 or fewer employees, you may qualify for a loan that doesn’t need to be repaid. This could be a great thing for your company to take advantage of during this challenging time.