There are many health and safety protocols to consider as you plan for reopening your business after closing due to restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are recommendations to create a plan and policies to keep your staff and customers safer.
Plan. Prepare. Rebuild. Restart.
Safety Supplies and PPE
Consider the cleaning supplies and PPE (personal protection equipment) that you may need when your business reopens; you will want to keep your staff and your clients safe while creating an environment that follows local and national guidelines.
Order and stock up on plenty of these items now, as delivery times are often longer than usual.
- Cleaning agents for all machinery and tools in your office
- Hand sanitizer (motion activated if possible)
- Refuse receptacles (no touch if possible)
- Breath shields
- Sneeze guards
- Disinfecting Wipes
- Disinfecting agents
Begin Formulating a Social Distancing Plan
As we begin to return to work, our offices will likely look very different. By creating a Social Distancing Plan before reopening, your clients and customers will return to your office feeling safe and comfortable.
To draft a Social Distancing Plan for your business, start by performing a mental walkthrough of the client and/or employee journey through your office and consider each of their steps through a social distancing lens.
What will your reception, retail, work area look like? What changes will need to be made?
Draft a Health Policy
If your business does not have a Health Policy, this is a great time to create one. By having a policy in place for your staff, the members of your team will know what is expected of them, and be able to service your clients without worry of whether they should or should not be in the office for certain scenarios.
- What will you, your staff and your clients expect in a post-COVID world?
- How long will sick employees need to stay home? Will they be allowed to miss work in order to care for an ill relative?
Communicate with Staff
It is extremely important that you keep in communication with your staff. Even if they have been furloughed, take this time to check in on them and let them know what you have been up to.
Share your plans with your staff, as much as you feel appropriate, so they are assured you’re planning for a safe and successful reopening.
Key tactics, guidelines and factors to prepare for as your reopening procedures are developed.
Plan for Safety and New Standards in Cleanliness
When you reopen, it will be important to have a clear idea of the cleaning standards you expect from your staff to keep your clients and customers safe and comfortable. This is achieved with the creation of an Office or Store Hygiene and Cleanliness Policy.
Frequency of Cleaning Considerations
- What areas are cleaned throughout the day?
- After each customer or client?
- Before opening and before closing?
This can vary by room, so write down a list of instructions for each specific area of your office or store.
- Designated Cleaning Kit – Will each room have it’s own kit with the appropriate cleaning
- supplies, or will supplies be tucked away?
- Sanitizing Steps – What steps will you need to take to sanitize each room?
- New Cleaning Supplies – What new supplies will you purchase?
- PPE Storage – Where will your PPE be stored in your office?
- Responsibility – Whose responsibility will it be to perform the sanitizing measures you outlined above? Will it be shared amongst the entire staff?
- Contact Your Office Cleaning Provider – Discuss new standards going forward.
In a post-COVID world, your clients and customers will want to feel comfortable when visiting your office or store. Remember, seeing is believing. What they see during their visit will reinforce the health and safety procedures you have put in place.
Create a list (or drawing) of how your office layout and furniture may change. Use your social distancing plan mentioned earlier as a guide.
- Remove anything extraneous or that cannot easily be wiped down
- Position chairs in waiting room to accommodate for social distancing
- Replace cloth chairs with plastic which can easily be wiped down
- Toss out anything communal (mints, coffee stands, magazines, pens, etc.)
- Rearrange your customer flow to reduce the number of areas they may come in contact with
- Create an environment where point-of-sale products are accessible without having to leave the client zone
- Install locks or modify the existing doors in your office
- Consider locking your supply closet
- Install doors that open automatically rather than manually
CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting
Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Home
Get more information
Adapting and reorganizing for new standards in safety and staffing while building your schedule and ramping up marketing campaigns.
New Standards in Cleanliness
As you begin to reopen your business, new standards in health and safety will need to be top-of-mind. Build upon your Office Hygiene and Cleanliness Policy.
Include a section in your policy for employee’s hygiene and cleanliness. Ideas include:
- Always washing hands or using hand-sanitizer immediately before and immediately after contact with a client.
- Mandate glove wearing and regular replacement of gloves.
- Hand washing immediately after glove removal.
Include a section for your office’s hygiene and cleanliness. Ideas include:
- A list of each room/area in your office, how frequently it should be cleaned and sanitized, by whom, with what tools/cleaners/supplies.
- Any machinery, seating, tools, etc. used on a client must be sanitized in front of the client immediately before they come into contact and immediately after contact has ended.
Keys to maintaining new policies and ensuring ongoing safety for your business.
As you open your business again, and begin to see clients and customers, your staff will need to maintain the new procedures and guidelines you have established for cleaning and sanitizing your facility.
Download, print, laminate and post important signage about hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette throughout your facility.
Set up signage reminding guests to observe a 6 foot distance between themselves and any other guests within the office or store.
Continue to monitor each of your staff members to ensure that they are performing their roles in keeping your office safe and clean.
Review your procedures on a scheduled basis with your staff to determine what changes may need to be made.
About Plessen Healthcare, LLC
Plessen Healthcare, LLC. was founded on St Croix, US Virgin Islands in 2014 by Dr. Jan Tawakol and Dr. Tasnim Khan, on the fundamental belief that world class health care should be accessible to everyone. The Plessen campus includes a full-service, multi-specialty medical clinic and the only CMS accredited surgical center in the USVI. Plessen is committed to affordable, accountable and efficient healthcare and is centrally located within the Caribbean for easy travel from down island, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Bermuda and the U.S. mainland.