2020 has been a year of unexpected events and for everyone in California and the world, more so for companies. Businesses closed. The entire staff began telecommuting — many for the first time. 

Businesses that could work from home continued while others waited patiently for a time when they could safely reopen.

That time is now. But going back to work isn’t a race. The safety of your customers and employees is important. And you can’t reopen without creating a plan.

Not to worry. That’s what this article is for. It’s your guide for reopening your company or business safely.

Physical Distancing 

Reopening your office is conditioned on businesses following the guidelines set up by the CDC to protect both staff and customers.

You and your workers may need to let go of activities that made the workspace feel like a family pre-COVID-19. This includes working close together, congregating in the lunchroom, hugs, and any activity that puts co-workers within 6 feet of each other. 

As a business owner, taking measures to ensure your workers implement social distancing is crucial. What can you do? 

  • Rearrange your workspace. You need to take away communally used items like coffee makers or create more space for workers who share a workspace. 
  • Never allow crowds in common areas like the reception and break room. 
  • Use tape, stickers, or plexiglass to remind employees to maintain the required distance from each other. 
  • Restrict the number of people permitted in communal areas.
  • Create hand sanitizer stations
  • Arrange staggered shifts to keep the workplace less crowded at each given time. Having fewer people would make it easy to maintain social distancing. 
  • Keep doors open to minimize person-to-surface contact
  • Telecommuting or remote work should be encouraged for staff that can do their jobs from home. 

Cleaning the Workplace

Before the lock-down, cleaning was just a simple procedure that includes cleaning floors and wiping surfaces. But not anymore. Before reopening, you need to go above and beyond to keep your workplace sterile and safe. 

More so, cleanliness doesn’t end at the workplace; your employees also need to follow the preventive guidelines to avoid passing on or contracting the virus. 

Here’s what you should check for. 

  • High contact areas like cabinet handles, toilet doors, and faucets should be cleaned and disinfected. 
  • Have soap and water dispensers at the entrance and other designated areas within the workplace for employees and customers. 
  • Provide each employee with a hand sanitizer and nitrile gloves. 
  • Clean the office and always disinfect at the end of each shift. 

PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

Companies reopening during the pandemic must create a COVID-19 Safety Plan, which details the precise measures you are taking to protect employees and customers when you reopen. And this includes providing PPE, such as face masks, to staff, and creating rules around its use. 

You could also ask customers to put on a face mask if your business makes distancing challenging. 

Types of Face Masks

The face mask can either be a surgical mask or a cloth mask. If it is the latter, make sure the cloth masks are designed to fit the CDC’s requirements for a safety cloth mask. 

Cloth face masks can prevent the transmission of droplets from a wearer to someone else. Also, these masks are easy to make; they are reusable and washable too.

Surgical masks, on the other hand, are mostly found in hospitals or clinics. But a lot of people use them during the pandemic. 

Click here to read the CDC reopening guidelines for the state of california. For more details on LA County reopening guidelines and roadmap to recovery, click here.

Also, for COVID-19 business and worker-related questions and  faqs, see here and here.

Following the steps above means that you have done the needful to keep your workplace safe. You could go further by ensuring that sick employees don’t come to the workplace to infect other workers potentially.  

To prevent that, set up a temperature check for all employees and customers before letting them in. What’s more, ask employees to call in sick and stay at home if they feel any virus symptoms. 

If you take these steps to protect employees and customers, you’re ready to reopen your doors. 

Stay Safe!

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