Here's what small businesses and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommend when planning to reopen your business as safely as possible.
Business owners everywhere--at least those fortunate enough to survive the shutdown--are looking for the safest way to get back to business.
Brick and mortar retailers that have remained open during the pandemic are keeping customers safe by taking precautions such as limiting the number of shoppers allowed in the store, designating aisles for one-way traffic and placing partitions between customers and workers. As other businesses prepare to reopen, most will seek ways to ensure the safety of another crucial group: their employees.
Monitoring Employees' HealthKeeping sick workers at home is the first line of defense. At Chicago-based Tiesta Tea, which sells its tea both in grocery stores and online, managers take employees' temperatures before they begin their shifts. Healthy employees are given cleaning supplies for sanitizing their individual work stations, which have been separated to give each employee more space. Workers wear gowns, gloves and masks throughout the day. Co-founders Patrick Tannous and Dan Klein told the staff early on that they should stay home if they have any reason to suspect they've contracted the virus--and that they'll still be paid.
"People need to feel like they're supported," says Klein. "They need to know it's okay to stay home, they're going to get paid, and we're going make do without them. The last thing anyone wants is people to feel pressure to come to work sick, because that's when we're going to have issues."
Goodbye Doorknobs and Other Office Adjustments
Indow, a window manufacturer based in Portland, OR, has replaced doorknobs with hooks at its facility so workers can open doors with their forearms. The staff also placed colorful stickers next to often-touched areas such as light switches and buttons, to heighten awareness of those places; workers are each assigned shifts when they're responsible for cleaning those surfaces.
Bigger companies have had to implement even more safety precautions. Amazon eliminated stand-up meetings, moved important information that would normally be delivered in person to bulletin boards, staggered break times, and spread out chairs in its break rooms.
While there is no company rulebook for a pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued several sets of recommendations for dealing with Covid-19 in recent weeks. Among them:
Ask Mark Cuban anything in a live Inc. Q&A this Wednesday, April 22nd, at 1PM ET. Register here. Space is limited.
Read more from INC