After months of being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, many states are cautiously beginning to reopen. Although the shutdown has been a challenge for many companies, reopening will have its own problems. It’s important to keep the safety of both employees and customers in mind. Local or state governments may also have guidelines that reopening businesses are required to follow.

What can your business do to safely reopen?

Plan Ahead

Whether your company has been closed completely or operating remotely during the pandemic, it’s important to have a plan before returning to business as normal. The pandemic has changed a lot and there will be a new normal rather than a return to exactly how things were.

You’ll need to decide on what safety measures you’ll need to take before anyone returns. You’ll also need to have a plan for exactly which employees will return to the office when and which may remain working remotely or furloughed. You’ll also need to communicate this plan clearly with all employees so they know exactly what to expect and what is expected of them.

Implement Safety Regulations

Just because businesses are starting to reopen doesn’t mean that the threat from COVID-19 is gone. In order to help prevent a resurgence of the disease in your area, it’s important to implement safety regulations for both employees and customers, for their own safety and the safety of others.

These safety measures include finding ways to maintain social distancing between employees and between customers. Look at what businesses that have remained open throughout the pandemic have done. Grocery stores have lines on the floor where customers can stand and have placed glass between customers and employees as well as implementing contactless payment methods.

Depending on the business, protective gear may be needed. This can include masks, gloves, or other protective equipment. Even if customers don’t wear it, requiring employees to wear protective gear can help protect both staff and customers.

Maintain Cleanliness

While keeping an office or business clean is always important, it’s more essential now than it ever has been before. Offer hand sanitizer to employees and customers so that they can keep their hands clean. Regularly disinfect surfaces that are commonly touched, such as light switches and doorknobs. This can help reduce the risk of infection as disinfecting products can kill any germs or COVID-19 bacteria that may be on a surface.

Keep up Social Distancing

Where possible, maintain social distancing. Any reopening plan should include ways to allow customers and employees to keep a distance of at least six feet from each other. This may involve splitting shifts so that fewer employees are in the building at the same time. Another option is to bring back some staff members into the office while having others continue to work from home.