With Covid-19 still a real threat, many states have relaxed their stay-at-home orders and have begun to re-open non-essential businesses. Keeping in mind the problems faced by small businesses during Covid-19 the government had decided to reopen businesses with safety precautions. The business owners, now need to navigate through the new normal.
With social distancing, masks, gloves, and sanitizer, businesses today are prioritizing the health and safety of employees and customers clearly and demonstrably.
Any new health guidelines launched by the government should be followed and communicated with your audience promptly. This article shares safety measures to consider when operating your business. Read on to find out more.
1) Reset Safety Norms in the Workplace
Conducting a 30-minutes Covid-19 Bootcamp daily in the office will make your employees accountable for their own health, as well as for their peers’ health.
Bootcamp enables you to break old norms and introduce new rules that create quick, thoughtful, and sustainable behavior. For influencing behavior centered around the health and safety of staff during the pandemic, six pillars of support emerge:
● Persuasive ethical environment
● Cautious health-oriented practices
● Leadership and peer pressure
● Social support
● Environmental signals, resources, and tools
By using these pillars, leaders can easily create a boot camp that focuses on spreading awareness on dealing with the pandemic, medication or vaccination programs available, and precautionary measures to be taken when working or interacting with employees and customers face-to-face.
Further, moral messaging that describes how families and friends have been impacted by the pandemic influences positive behavioral changes, and reduces the risk of non-compliance for following safety protocols. Many employees might be affected with Anxiety due to the pandemic, the leaders can recognize common symptoms of anxiety and help them through it. Leaders must set an example in their teams by practicing Covid-19 safety protocols.
This will help build a sense of comradery and in return safety. Additionally, leaders can take quick rounds through the workplace and maintain a scoreboard for their team to reward employees who are consciously practicing the safety protocols, and politely remind team members who fail to abide by the norms.
Single modes of traveling are the best option. Walking, driving a car, or biking are safer ways to travel. Try to avoid public transports like trains and buses since they can be a petri dish of germs. If you need to use public transport, use a face mask, wear gloves, and regularly sanitize your hands, clothes, and belongings.
Recommendations have been issued by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that emphasize wearing face masks and shields when traveling in taxis or other shared rides. Subsequently, Uber has planned to ship disinfecting wipes and sprays, and 800,000 face masks to drivers across the country, especially in the hard-hit cities like New York City.
3) Dining at Restaurants
The National Restaurant Association has released the “Covid-19 Reopening Guidance” that focuses on maintaining 6 feet of space between tables, eliminating unwrapped straws from self-service drink stations, and providing hand sanitizers.
The biggest risk in a restaurant is being near other people. Try avoiding crowds that may crop up while waiting for a table at a restaurant or a bar. Ordering takeout is best. However, if you must dine in, opt for outdoor dining as it offers better ventilation and lowers the risk of getting sick.
Restaurants must avoid sharing physical menus and instead use paper menus that can be thrown away after use by guests, or better to share digital menus on their guest’s smart devices.
All high-touch surfaces should be regularly disinfected. These surfaces include salt and pepper shakers, pens, and cheque holders. Restaurant cutlery is less of a concern since it is heated and cleaned frequently. But objects that are being touched by 10 or 20 guests must be frequently sanitized and cleaned.
4) Visiting Public places
Since some Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic, wearing a mask can protect you and others in proximity from the virus. The mask prevents you from touching your face and ensures if your hands come in contact with an infected surface, the virus will not be transferred to your nasal passage. Always have a mask handy just in case some establishments require masks for entry.
Regularly wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds when visiting public places. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket when you don’t have access to water. Maintain social distancing by staying 6 feet apart from others, it greatly reduces the chances of getting infected.
Try not to get close to someone even when wearing a mask since prevention is better than cure.
5) Major Events
Major events like music festivals across the globe have been canceled over the past year until the pandemic improves. However non-essential services have re-opened for business. Sporting events like football have been opened for the public with heightened hygiene regulations.
Marketplaces and shopping malls are slowly re-opening with a limited capacity of consumers in some places.
Simon, one of the largest shopping malls in the US, announced that their malls would re-open in 20 states. But not every store in the malls will stay open. Individual sellers can keep their stores closed.
All single-use items like bags and coffee cups will be used to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Shoppers will be encouraged to wear masks. And the store hours will be limited.
They will close early every night and cleaners will rigorously clean areas like urinals and bathrooms to ensure health and hygiene as per the government instructed safety protocols.
7) Outdoor Activities
If social distancing is maintained, outdoor activities are possible. Sports like golf are encouraged since they already maintain the 6 feet apart rule. Tennis is relatively low risk as well.
Outdoor activities are better than clubs and bars, however, you must follow stringent protocols to ensure the prevention of the virus spread.
8) Gyms, Movie Theater, Hair Salons
Gyms, movie theatres, hair salons, and other such services have begun reopening. The government has already re-opened primary and essential businesses. The number of people allowed to enter a retail space will depend on its size.
With re-opening such services, precautionary hygiene will be maintained and will include face masks and hand sanitizer distribution at the store.
Senior hours are already in effect at grocery stores allowing people over the age of 65 years to shop before the general population. This method could be carried over to the other service retailers to prevent the spread of infection among delicate seniors.
Covid-19 has changed the way we live today. For our successful existence, we should exercise caution to minimize damage. With time we can overcome the pandemic, but for now, we need to walk through each step carefully.
This involves maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitizing hands, clothes, surfaces, and belongings.