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How To Reopen Your Business Safely

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Written by Ben Robinson Position
How To Reopen Your Business Safely After Pandemic

Whether you work alone or with other people, your business has almost certainly had to close some of its operations during the pandemic. And you’ll want to reopen safely after it’s over. Here are some critical steps you’ll have to take in doing so.

RELATED: How to Manage a High Performing Remote Team: 9 Effective Ways

What Does “After Pandemic” Mean?

I’m not talking about years from now when everything will (probably) be all the way back to normal. Instead, I mean just after the economy reopens. At that point, lots of people will still be worried about COVID, and you should still take safety measures as a precaution.

Safe Meeting Etiquette

Even if you work alone out of your home during normal times, you probably have to arrange out-of-the-house meetings every now and then. Here are some tips for how you can ease back into those meetings after the lockdown is lifted.

Meet Outdoors

Studies show that COVID is not nearly as easy to transmit outdoors. Because of that, choose an outdoor venue like a park or a town square for your meeting.

Meeting outdoors has a lot of non-COVID-related benefits as well. Sitting under direct sunlight is shown to promote health, make participants feel more awake, and increase happiness.

Don’t Shake Hands

The handshake is a staple of one-on-one meetings. It’s so ingrained into the culture that it’s almost second-nature to some. While the COVID panic is still fresh, it’s a good idea to replace your traditional handshake with an alternative like the ones proposed in the video below.

Make sure to explain you are avoiding handshakes due to COVID, or else the other person might get offended.

Meet Somewhere Quiet

I’m assuming you’ll be engaging in social distancing, and one or both of the people in the meeting will be wearing a mask. This combination makes it pretty hard to hear each other, especially if you’re in a loud environment.

Because of this, you want to schedule the meeting in a space that’s as quiet as possible.

Don’t Meet in Person

business woman having video call on computer ss

The final tip I have about meeting in person after a pandemic is… don’t do it. The extra considerations you’ll have to make, turn an in-person meeting into a hassle, and you can avoid it by sticking with Zoom meetings for at least another few months.

Besides, you can never be too cautious when trying to reopen safely.

RELATED: 9 Online Etiquette Rules for Managing a Virtual Business

Safe Office Environments

If you run a business, you can reopen safely after pandemic if you’re careful. These tips are a good start.

Allow Employees to Work from Home

Even after employees are allowed to come back to the office, let them work at home for a few months if they feel more comfortable.

You don’t want to be seen as the bad guy by forcing people to assemble in an office if they are scared to.

Also, individuals are the best judges of whether they are fit to come back to work. If someone feels they might be carrying COVID and wants to stay home, let them.

Enforce Social Distancing

Just telling people to maintain 6 feet between each other is not enough; you need to set up reminders.

For example, buy some 6 foot long boards of wood and fasten them to tabletops to remind people they should stay that far apart when sitting.

This tip synergizes with the one before it, because ensuring your employees have a lot of space at all times might mean you don’t have enough space in the office for everyone. Letting some employees stay home is an excellent way to lessen the amount of space you’ll need.

Enforce Hand Washing

a man in suit washing his hands under water ca

Washing your hands frequently is by far the best way to keep from spreading COVID. It would be best if you made it clear to your employees that clean hands should be prioritized over any other safety measure.

You can even make it easier by adding mobile hand-washing stations to the office if possible.

Get Ahold of Safety Equipment

That being said, safety equipment like masks and disposable gloves are the best measures for making employees feel safe because of how visible they are. Unfortunately, that equipment isn’t easy to get ahold of right now. Hopefully, though, supply will catch up to demand soon.

If you can, make safety equipment readily available in the office to reopen safely.

Open the Windows

Like being outside, opening windows to increase circulation slows transmission of COVID by quite a bit. So don’t just crack the windows — throw them wide open! Then buy screens if your office is located in an area that has bugs because getting bitten really messes with productivity.

The items in this post might just be hypotheticals at the moment, but we can work together to make them into realities sooner rather than later! Keep up social distancing, and businesses will be able to reopen safely within the next few months.