Cleaning Beyond COVID Chaos - 7 Steps for Small Businesses
In recent months, the world has changed beyond recognition. Business of all sizes have had to pivot and adjust at breakneck speed in response to the pandemic breakout of the coronavirus. Whether you’re a shop-fronted business, an office-based organization, or a startup working from a co-working space, no one has been left unaffected.
In the coming months, each country will gradually go at their own pace to start lifting restrictions. Communities will slowly start to come back together. Store entrances will tentatively reopen their doors. Staff will eventually return to their desks, and meetings will resume their place in time.
But what will the future hold, beyond this?
In order to overcome this crisis, it’s vital to hold on to the facts. We need to gather together to implement strong, clear hygiene practices in our workplaces going forwards. We must embrace the relevant information provided and turn it into positive practices for a clean, safe working environment.
Our staff teams are relying on us to keep them safe.
At SERVPRO, we work with a wide range of customers in need of specialist support services from domestic disasters. Fire restoration, specialized cleaning and water damage are just some of the services we provide. With the arrival of COVID-19, we are working harder than ever to keep our customers and staff safe!
Here are our 7 effective steps that we recommend for your business through the coronavirus chaos and beyond:
- Remain informed. At the moment, the updates are changing hourly, yet alone daily. It can seem overwhelming, but staying informed about the latest advice is crucial. Gather information from trusted sources, such as the World Health Organization rather than hearsay from colleagues or newsfeeds. By doing so, you will be empowering your business team rather than scare mongering them.
- Educate your staff. Are your managers fully clear on how social distancing should operate? Do your office team understand the government precautions and what they implicate? Use simple, positive language to deliver training on hand washing practices, cleaning scheduling, and personal hygiene. By doing so, you will be creating a safer workspace for everyone.
- Reassure your team. Your staff groups are likely going to be hyper vigilant when they return to work, as they have been impacted by the scarier news stories they have seen on their screens during lockdown. They may be more anxious than usual, and concerned about how they can do their jobs safely while still achieving their goals. Use positive, straightforward language in all communications to reassure each person that their safety is in good hands. They will appreciate your constructive approach and be much more likely to adhere to safety practices.
- Provide appropriate products. Hand sanitizer should be a standard product you supply for those working within your small business. Make sure you have plenty stocked up. Depending on the type of business you have, you might also want to purchase specialist cleaning products and equipment. If your staff needs training to use them, head back to step 2 of this guide.
- Use floor markings. We are all doing our best to stick to the distancing rules, but it can be easy to forget them when we become engaged in a conversation. To help your staff and clients stay safe, mark out 6 feet gaps between workstations and places where people might be likely to gather. This will also provide a handy frame for someone to refer to if they need to politely remind a colleague who is overstepping boundaries accidentally.
- Utilize effective signage. While your staff team adjust to new practices of health and safety, help them by placing guidance signage in easy to see places. This will help to normalize the changes whilst also providing additional educational opportunities. Remember, knowledge is power. Equip your staff with the right information and you will be avoiding further issues down the line.
- Consider shift cycles. Depending on the type of business you have, consider creating shift patterns for safety purposes. Even an office-based business can benefit from doing this in helping to lessen the numbers of groups of people in the space at the same time. Try out various pattern styles to see how it could work for your business. You can also continue implementing remote work for those staff members who don’t necessarily need to be physically present.
During these challenging times, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. With so much noise coming from news desks and newsfeeds, it’s difficult to navigate forward. However, it’s important to stay focused on the facts of this situation rather than the fearful guessing games that are so common at the moment.
This is not a time to panic - it is a time to plan.
We all want to be back in business as soon as possible. We want to overcome these unprecedented times. Not only that, we want to return to a clean environment that our staff can feel safe within. This, above all, is vital practice for an organization of any size going forwards.
If any of your staff team show any of the key symptoms of the virus, then take immediate action to gain medical support for them. Remove them from your workplace as soon as possible, in order to keep your staff team safe. Wellbeing practices such as this will become the norm for some time, and we must accept this in order to keep our businesses and our staff safe.
This too, shall pass. Despite how it might feel right now, we will survive this chaos, and move on from its clutches. We will overcome this, ultimately. Perhaps as we emerge from lockdown, we will move into our collective futures with an even greater sense of value for the teams who work with us and the customers who facilitate our successes.
Stay safe, stay well, and stay positive. We are in this together!