Designing a Post-Coronavirus Workplace: Is Your Office COVID-Ready?
As companies and businesses start to open up and operate, you may be at the crossroads of deciding whether or not to reopen your own business. Although many prefer the idea of working from home, perhaps your small business needs that human touch that requires people to be physically present in the office.
If that’s true for you, then this article is just for you. We’re going to show you how working through (and adapting to) the COVID situation isn’t as daunting as it seems, if you have a positive mindset, the right approach, and necessary legal obligations in place to get your business up and running again.
First, let’s tackle the positive mindset. Think of your office as a potential breeding ground for germs and you and your staff as agents who could easily carry and spread those germs. In other words, pretend everyone could have really bad colds and you need to make sure business goes on as usual without you, your employees, and your customers constantly infecting each other. With that in mind, it becomes a lot easier to envision what your workplace should look like - it simply boils down to how to make your workplace more sanitary and hygienic than it currently is.
Obviously, the right approach would then be to change your office layout to reduce physical contact as much as possible, encourage better hygiene amongst your staff and clients, and allow remote options for employees and customers who absolutely need it. This will get you through not just the coronavirus, but also prevent most other contagious diseases from spreading and save you loads on the indirect costs associated with paid leaves and absenteeism.
Now, here’s a list of things you can do for your business to ensure the best health practices and safety of your team and customers:
Enforce the 6ft-apart rule within your workplace
Install no-contact soap dispensers and automatic flushing systems in restrooms
Place hand sanitizers and wipes where they can be easily accessed by everyone in the office
Increase the frequency and thoroughness of the cleaning staff’s services
Encourage hand-washing protocols and discourage physical contact such as handshakes or hugs
Determine the necessity of meetings/conferences and limit them and the number of participants as much as possible. Instead, you can inform your team about the increased reliance on memos or intercom services to spread important information or updates.
While these things may take time and aren’t very cheap to carry out, they will certainly compensate for that in the long run. And as a further safety net, you can always talk to your health insurance consultants and providers about the best way to cover your COVID-related losses. You can also contact NY Small Health, New York’s favorite small-business health insurance experts.