As state and local governments start to re-open non-essential businesses for employees, it’s critical for business owners and senior leadership to consider and implement ways to create a safe and healthy work environment. Employees may be concerned with returning to an office, and small gestures and safety protocols can go a long way to improve morale and productivity.
While you must decide on what is best for your business and community, our team at Reynolds Restoration Services offers the following tips to best position your organization for a safe and healthy return of employees and staff:
Share Safety Protocols with Entire Team
Direct and open communication about your organization’s plans and safety protocols may help ease the fears employees have about going back to work. What is the plan should someone not feel well? How are you going to control access to small spaces that are prohibitive to social distancing guidelines? Having a plan in place – and sharing it with your team – is encouraged. Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Levine recently outlined worker safety measures for business in Pennsylvania and Governor Hogan in Maryland has several guidelines in place for a gradual reopening of businesses.
Provide Masks, Gloves and Hand Sanitizer
In both Maryland and Pennsylvania, employees as well as customers are required to wear masks or face coverings at a place of business. Prior to welcoming your team back to a brick-and-mortar office, consider purchasing masks and hand sanitizer for employees. N-95 masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and front line responders, but other cloths masks are acceptable for the general public. Having trouble sourcing masks for your team? There are several DIY methods to create face coverings from items you may already have on hand.
Stagger Arrival and Departure Times for Occupants
Even though businesses may begin to reopen in the coming weeks, aggressive social distancing measures should still be practiced. If your business or organization operates under a set arrival and departure time for employees, consider staggering the work day for your team. For example, your management team may arrive at 8 a.m., however support or ancillary staff may arrive at 8:15 or 8:30 a.m. A tiered, staggered approach to arrivals and departures will help minimize congestion in common spaces such as parking lots, lobbies and break rooms.
Replace or Adjust Communal “Perks”
According to the National Coffee Association, 63% of employees have access to a workplace coffee area to get their caffeine fix. Communal coffee areas, however, can prove to be limiting to social distancing and have the potential to be a risk for COVID exposure in a workplace. If your team relies on coffee during the workday, consider providing coffee gift cards for employees to visit a drive through on their way to work, or create a “coffee schedule” that outlines when team members can visit the company kitchen. Alternately, consider adding additional coffee stations throughout your facility which will help limit the number of team members waiting for their morning fix.
Clean and Disinfect All Work Areas
Many employees may worry about whether your facility has been properly cleaned and sanitized before they head back to the office. Prior to opening your doors and routinely thereafter, use the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your office. Pay particular attention to high-touch areas like doors, countertops, light switches and electronics. For facilities where someone has been sick, consider engaging a professional service to clean and disinfect the buildings.
Opening your business after the global pandemic is a decision only you can make. With some planning, preparation and teamwork, though, you can help ease the fears and worries of your team and also provide a safe and healthy working environment. Our team of certified restoration technicians are here to help. For more information about our cleaning and disinfecting services, reach out today.