Are you returning to work after time away due to COVID-19? If so, you have to prepare your business to keep staff and customers safe from the harmful bacteria that could cause infectious diseases. Currently, there are a few essential guidelines you need to follow. We’ve taken the Australian Government's guidelines and broken them up into six different categories:
- Working from home.
- Physical distancing.
- Symptoms monitoring.
- Planning ahead.
If you carry on reading, you’ll see a full guide as to what you should do within each of these categories.
Working from home
Try to minimise who returns to work as the fewer people in your building, the less chance there is of the virus spreading. So, assess who can do their jobs from home, then ask these workers if they’d like to do so. You could even introduce a shift system where a set group work from home one week, then another the next, etc.
There are a few extra things to do if your workers are staying at home:
- Be sure they have the appropriate guidance to set up a safe work environment. You can view a great guide here.
- Make sure you give them as much support as possible. To do this, you should have at least one contact person at work that they can get in touch with if they have any issues. You should also implement secure communication methods to keep them updated and hold video meetings. It's also recommended that you give them information on any support they should have access to - like an EAP.
Bonus tip: To keep your team on track, motivate and also take care of their mental health by reminding them they are still a valued member of your team try providing some branded gift items such as a tech gift set, t-shirts, caps or a bluetooth speaker they can use to blast tunes while working on in depth projects.
It’s important to keep as much distance between your workers and customers as possible. So, be sure you follow strict physical distancing procedures. The current guidelines suggest 1.5 metres should be left between people at work. This includes employees and customers, meaning you have to try and police this as best as you can.
Here are a few ideas you can follow:
- Clear signage - Make sure you have clear signage around your workplace, reminding everyone to keep a safe distance apart. You could also lay down some signage or tape on the floors to map out 1.5-metre distances.
- Restructure your workplace by moving things around to create more space. An easy example of this is moving desks further apart to put your employees outside the 1.5-metre boundaries.
- Avoid large gatherings - This can be done by implementing a few simple rules. Set a limit to how many people are allowed in the same space at a given time. This refers to employees and customers in the workplace. For example, many stores won’t allow more than 5 people at any given time to create space for everyone.
You could also postpone in-person meetings and conduct everything over Zoom or Skype. At the very least put restrictions on how many people are allowed into meetings.
- Contactless deliveries - Make sure any delivery drivers use contactless delivery to avoid coming into close contact.
Bonus tip: Provide clear direction to people attending your store or shop, things like floor stickers, signs and even marquee tents to accurately display click & collect pick up points are all helpful ideas to help people stay safe and aware while in your shop.
Ensure your business follows excellent hygiene measures to kill the virus and stop it from spreading. These are the steps you should implement:
- Place hand sanitiser at the entrances and exits to your workplace. Make sure that everyone uses the hand gel before they enter and when they leave. This should ensure that everyone enters your business with germ-free hands.
- Keep the bathrooms stocked up with soap and paper towels, alongside posters that instruct people on the correct way to wash hand.
- Encourage employees to avoid touching things with their bare hands. A great way to do this is with a no-touch tool that lets them press buttons or handle things without spreading germs. Disposable gloves are also an option, but they shouldn’t be worn for too long as they lose their effect. There should also be signs encouraging customers to stop touching products unless they’re going to buy them.
This point also includes unnecessary contact with other humans. We’ve already outlined how this can be avoided in the physical distancing section.
- Cashless transactions should only be allowed to prevent the exchange of money. Customers should also be encouraged to bring their own bags to put their shopping in.
- It’s also recommended that employees and customers wear face masks or coverings to help protect themselves and others.
This section is relatively straightforward as the main point is that you need to clean your premises every day. Use a detergent or disinfectant to wash down surfaces at the end of each working day.
Additionally, you should:
- Wipe down surfaces that are regularly touched - like cash registers, desks, etc. Do this sporadically throughout the day.
- Wipe anything with alcohol wipes if a customer has touched it (excluding obvious things like food products)
- Make sure all workers clean personal property they bring to work - like phones, keys, etc.
Be on the lookout for any of the main coronavirus symptoms in you or your employees. Place posters around the workplace reminding people of these symptoms, and encourage your staff to speak to you if they have them.
From here, you should do the following:
- Make workers stay at home if they have any symptoms, getting them to call the National Coronovirus Hotline (1800 020 080).
- Tell other workers to self-isolate or get tested for COVID-19 if they have been around the individual that has been tested. Revert back to work-from-home measures until you’re sure that nobody else has the virus.
- Remember to abide by the privacy laws concerning individual worker’s health - in other words, don’t tell everyone who has coronavirus and shout it from the rooftops.
The final step is to take all of the above information and use it to create a plan of action. Outline all of the measures you’ll introduce in your business to keep everyone safe. It helps if you get your employees involved and nominate someone from each team to oversee the guidelines and keep everyone in check. Also, create a list of any products you will need when opening your business, such as hand sanitser, alcohol wipes, etc.
You should also create a contingency plan for your business, ensuring you know what to do is there is another lockdown or one of your employee’s tests positive for the virus.
Follow all of these steps if you want to reopen your business while keeping staff and customers as safe as can be.
Something that many businesses will be doing and that you should be definitely venturing into is marketing and prmoting their brand post-covid. Dynamic Gift has over 5000 promotional products available which all offer a unique and different approach to branding your business and helping to drag customers in. Browse promotional products now.
Please note that this is not to be undertaken as medical advice. This guide is an approximate brief that is based on the Australian Governments department of health guideline for opening your business after the Covid-19 pandemic. We do not accept liability for the misuse of this guide or any of the material that is linked to from this guide.