As your business prepares to reopen or expand its operations, it is important to establish a checklist to ensure a smooth resumption of work. The checklist should include tasks related to health and safety on the premises as well as standard facility functions.
It’s important to refer to CDC guidelines for reopening businesses, but in the meantime, here are some suggested steps for returning to the office later this summer:
Consider suggesting or requiring that employees and customers wear protective face masks, especially if at least six feet of distance between people cannot be consistently ensured. Provide hand sanitizer dispensers at the business entrance and other strategic locations. Arrange processing areas to provide six feet or more distance between people. Organize procedures to avoid excessive touching or handling of items unless protective gloves are worn or handwashing and sanitizing options are available.
Check to see that everything is up to code since the last inspection. The facility should be clean, neat, and easy to navigate by employees and/or visitors. Put up signs at the entrance so people know what to expect and how to prepare. Keep the building well ventilated to remove germs and dust. Also, post signs throughout the office as needed that remind people of health practices and operating standards so everyone will know what to do and where to get answers to their questions that may arise.
Adjust the HVAC system as needed for seasonal temperatures. Have an air conditioning replacement service on speed dial, just in case. Arrange an electric power generator or backup in the event that the power goes off due to weather-related issues. Inspect the plumbing and water fixtures for leaks or malfunctions that should be repaired before the business reopens. Check the parking area and restrooms to make sure they are clean and neat.
Products and Services
It’s important that everything is ready to go when the business reopens. Check supplies and order more if anything is running low. Monitor shipments to find out if there will be delays so you can inform customers or make necessary adjustments. Organize your inventory so that it is easy to manage and quickly replaceable if sales start to spike due to customers catching up on their postponed or delayed business needs. You may want to offer special discounts or temporarily lower prices while reminding customers through social media or advertising outlets that you are now open for business.
Review the employee schedule and confirm each person’s availability to work as planned. Remind everyone of any new protocols or policies by providing digital or print material for handy reference. Provide training for new hires if needed. Consider letting some employees work from home, if feasible. Make sure everyone knows what to do under new guidelines and provide protective equipment if required. Ensure there is an adequate supply available of whatever may be needed before your company reopens.
Going back to work after a shutdown requires planning and follow-up. Ask employees for suggestions or ideas that should be added to the list. Keep your checklist handy and adjust it as needed to make your startup period go smoothly.